April 17, 2014, 8am PDT
Pittsburgh recently approved a land bank to acquire properties when owners fall behind on property taxes. The question about how much control to grant an independent authority, or maintain with the City Council, remains controversial.
April 16, 2014, 6am PDT
Old City in Philadelphia presents a troubling dichotomy—while the neighborhood is a busy location for redevelopment investment, many of its historic buildings are succumbing to neglect.
March 14, 2014, 11am PDT
Philadelphia recently became the largest U.S. city to create a “land bank.” As new land banks spring up across the country, it is important to take a close look at what needs to accompany them if we want to have real impact.
March 5, 2014, 2pm PST
Flint Mayor Dayne Walling used the occasion of his recent State of the City speech to call for a $70 million “war on blight” that would include the demolition of 6,000 buildings.
February 2, 2014, 5am PST
In Philadelphia, an alliance of unusual suspects worked together to convince the city to create the land bank. The law isn't perfect but the new land bank will significantly improve the city’s vacant property process.
January 28, 2014, 8am PST
Removing Detroit’s blight is highly emotional, and made more difficult by the lack of models for emulation. A recent editorial rejects the assumption that removing blight from over 100,000 vacant lots is sufficient to stimulate economic development.
January 12, 2014, 7am PST
The murder rate in Ciudad Juárez is in sharp decline: from 3,075 in 2010 to 487 in 2013. Juárez officials are launching initiatives to revitalize the city and attract visitors from across the border in Texas and New Mexico.
WFAA Channel 8 Dallas/Ft. Worth
December 14, 2013, 5am PST
75 teams of surveyors will fan out across Detroit on Monday to begin cataloging the city's vacant buildings block-by-block. One of the leaders of the effort is estimating that eliminating blight could cost $1 billion.
December 5, 2013, 5am PST
Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, has expressed his belief that the city can clear its backlog of 78,000 blighted buildings within the next 18-36 months.
November 26, 2013, 6am PST
An "unprecedented" effort being led by Detroit’s new Blight Task Force will document the city's crumbling and vacant properties. It's part of a multi-pronged effort to combat Detroit's widespread blight.
November 16, 2013, 7am PST
Localities are experimenting with social impact bonds (SIBs) to fund America's social service infrastructure. John Roman asks if such an instrument could be used to help transform blighted areas.
September 28, 2013, 11am PDT
The $300 million in federal and private aid announced Friday for Detroit is just a drop in the bucket compared to the city's $18 billion debt. While the aid is far short of a bailout, it represents a down payment on the city's recovery.
August 28, 2013, 2pm PDT
Over the course of a year beginning in June 2008, a 'mysterious holding company' named Urban Assets bought 240 parcels across a five-mile swath of the north side of St. Louis. Since then, it's just let them decay.
June 6, 2013, 5am PDT
On Wednesday, a four-story building that was being demolished in downtown Philadelphia collapsed on top of a neighboring store, killing one person and injuring several people. According to Inga Saffron, the city bears some responsibility.
December 14, 2012, 6am PST
Ohio has been one of the hardest hit states by the recent wave of foreclosures, with filings continuing to rise. Susie Cagle looks at the variety of state and local policies and programs arming communities with new tools to fight blight.
December 5, 2012, 9am PST
Despite the progress downtown L.A. has made over the last decade in becoming a vibrant, day-night, mixed-use community, "block-killing blight" remains a stubborn presence in the area's landscape. Ryan Vaillancourt calls out the worst offenders.
Los Angeles Downtown News
November 21, 2012, 2pm PST
Soumya Karlamangla profiles a once-thriving hippie mecca, hit by hard times and largely abandoned, even by the nearby student population. Is it down for the count?
October 22, 2012, 10am PDT
After months of development, a group of Code for America fellows has unveiled a new web application that seeks to assist communities in identifying and cleaning up New Orleans's blighted properties, reports Emily Badger.
July 2, 2012, 11am PDT
A new report by Oakland, CA nonprofit Urban Strategies Council reveals that a massive surge has occurred in investor-speculator ownership in the city's low-income neighborhoods in the wake of the foreclosure crisis.
June 29, 2012, 2pm PDT
One brazen entrepreneur from Detroit is looking to raise funds to bring his "zombie theme park" concept to life, Sarah Cox reports.