Vacant Lots

View of vacant lot in Manhattan through chain link fence

How Low Land Taxes Contribute to the Housing Shortage

The relatively low cost of holding on to vacant lots leads to underdevelopment in what are often prime residential areas.

November 23, 2022 - The Wall Street Journal

Vacant lot in Chicago, Illinois with skyline in background

Chicago To Boost Vacant Lot Sales Program

The city hopes its incentives to buyers will help convert the thousands of city-owned vacant lots into housing, green space, or other productive uses.

October 19, 2022 - Bloomberg CityLab

Community garden in Chicago, Illinois with view of city skyline

How Abandoned Properties Can Be Used for Redevelopment

Abandoned properties can be a burden on a community, bringing everything from negative curb appeal to an increase in crime. Using these properties for positive community development can kill two birds with one stone.

July 7, 2022 - Devin Partida

 The Young Apartments — 1621 South Grand Avenue, at the southern end of Downtown Los Angeles.

California Not Creating Affordable Housing Quickly Enough, Audit Finds

The audit points to inefficiencies in the state's process for identifying and using surplus properties to create affordable housing.

March 30, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

Vacant Lot

The Importance of Unintentional Nature in Cities

A new book argues in favor of spontaneous, informal natural spaces.

March 14, 2022 - Bloomberg CityLab


Opinion: Richmond, Virginia Needs a Land Value Tax

Switching from property tax to a land value tax could rein in sprawl, boost urban density, and lower the cost of housing.

December 27, 2021 - Virginia Public Media

Detroit Vacant Properties

Detroit Residents Find it Hard to Access Land Bank Properties

Longtime residents say the city is not fulfilling its goal of keeping vacant parcels in the hands of locals as property values rise steeply.

August 19, 2021 - Outlier Media

Buffalo Bayou Park

Houston Residents Want to Build Pocket Parks on City-Owned Lots

In a park-poor neighborhood, vacant lots provide an untapped opportunity for small-scale parks.

April 26, 2021 - Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research


Newark Launches Land Bank to Revive Long-Vacant Properties

The land bank will assess proposals for the sale and redevelopment of 100 city-owned properties in neglected neighborhoods.

March 7, 2021 - Next City

Sound Transit Bus

Key Considerations for Urban Demolition Planning

Demolition can be a lot of fun for the people holding the sledge hammers and swinging the wrecking balls, but demolition is serious business with a large number of significant social and environmental consequences.

April 16, 2020 - Kayla Matthews

Vacant Lot

Housing Designs for New York Small Lots

A design competition focuses on the many tiny and often irregularly shaped vacant lots of New York City.

August 22, 2019 - Curbed New York

Vacant Lot

Greening Vacant Lots Improves Depression

According to new reaearch, the power of green space where vacant lots previously stood includes mental health benefits, especially in low-income neighborhoods.

July 24, 2018 - NPR

Battery Urban Farm

Long Beach Urban Farming Initiative Targets Vacant Lots

A California policy lets cities offer tax incentives to landowners who put vacant lots to use as urban farms or gardens. Long Beach is the latest comer, but the uptake has been sluggish elsewhere.

December 16, 2017 - Next City

Chicago Extreme Weather

Chicago to Use Vacant Lots to Capture Stormwater

Chicago's Planning Department is putting eight city lots to work as "Stormwater Parks."

October 20, 2017 - Chicago Cityscape

Cook County Land Bank Expands Vacancy Program, Offers 4,400 Lots for Sale

The vacant lot program at the Cook County Land Bank Authority recently kicked into high gear—offering a huge number of vacant lots for sale, located around 27 neighborhoods and suburbs in the Chicago region.

February 20, 2017 - Crain's Chicago Business

Urban Garden

Don't Forget to #LoveThatLot This Valentine's Day

What better way to show you love for your community than by transforming its underused spaces into gathering areas for activities and fun?

February 14, 2017 - Center for Community Progress


A Toolkit for Solving California's Housing Crisis

The McKinsey Global Institute wants to help California build 3.5 million homes by 2025.

October 26, 2016 - The New York Times


Dallas Doesn't Deliver on Promised Libraries

In 2006, Dallas voters approved a bond package that promised $42 million for new libraries. Ten years later, and after $11.75 million in spending, none of the projects are close to completion.

May 10, 2016 - The Dallas Morning News

South Bend Reactivating Vacant Lots

Formerly vacant homes are now vacant lots in South Bend, Indiana. Returning the lots to productive uses presents a new kind of challenge for community groups and local officials.

April 13, 2016 - WSBT

Kansas City Program to Turn Vacant Lots Into Urban Forest

The Kansas City Land Bank has the funding to back up plans to begin transforming blighted, vacant lots into thriving groves of poplar trees.

April 6, 2016 - The Kansas City Star

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