Tag Archives: Blight

Brownfield and Health Tool Gives Blighted Sites Across the State a Healthy Second Chance

The City of Duluth is using the new Brownfield Health Indicator Tool to address the common challenges of transforming brownfields into productive community assets, including the complicated process of identifying and prioritizing redevelopment strategies that will best meet the long-term needs of the environment and community. The tool, developed in partnership with Minnesota Brownfields and the Minnesota Department of Health, aims to streamline project decision-making by focusing on health. Read more... Read more

Brownfield Health Indicator Tool

​Brownfield redevelopment is complicated, often with many roadblocks to remediation, but communities who avoid brownfield sites can inadvertently limit economic development opportunities in areas of higher poverty or urban neighborhoods. Minnesota Brownfields and the Minnesota Department of Health have developed a new Brownfield and Health Assessment tool to assist planners, public health professionals, and other brownfield redevelopment influencers engage the community in redevelopment planning. Learn more... Read more

Urban Farms Could Replace Blighted Lots in Cincinnati

Vacant homes and abandoned lots could soon make way for urban farmland under a new pilot being considered by the Cincinnati City Council. Rather than it being a burden on the city to have to pay to maintain vacant spots … give them to somebody that will maintain them and plant some fruits and vegetables. Read more... Read more

Detroit’s DIY Cure for Urban Blight

​ Land banks are the Swiss Army knives of urban reclamation efforts, wielding an array of powers to make abandoned, tax-foreclosed properties useful again. They demolish unwanted houses, sell houses to new owners who’ll fix them up, sell vacant lots, and assemble land for future development. They’re an alternative to unloading tax-foreclosed land in highest-bidder auctions, which often attract irresponsible speculation. Recovering from bankruptcy, Detroit created the country’s largest land bank to transform a surplus of abandoned properties into livable,... Read more

Urban Blight and Public Health: Addressing the Impact of Substandard Housing, Abandoned Buildings, and Vacant Lots

​We spend more than two-thirds of our time where we live; thus, housing and neighborhood conditions affect our well-being. The health impacts from blighted properties are often not immediately visible or felt. This report synthesizes recent studies on the complexities of how blight affects the health of individuals and neighborhoods while offering a blend of policy and program recommendations to help guide communities in taking a more holistic and coordinated approach, such as expanding the use of health impact assessments,... Read more

D.C. Tightens Regulations on Vacant Properties

It will soon become harder for landlords to neglect vacant or blighted properties under a bill the D.C. Council unanimously passed. The measure seeks to maintain such buildings at higher property tax rates (5 and 10 percent more than standard for those determined to be vacant and blighted, respectively) until owners affirmatively prove to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs that they’ve abated issues. Read more... Read more

Artists Bring Slow, Neighborly Approach to Tackling Blight

When it comes to blight, block by block, creativity is often a good business proposition. Housing and Neighborhood Development Services, known as Hands, has been rehabilitating and redeveloping properties in Orange, New Jersey, since 1986. Hands trained people, many of them homeless, in carpentry, and rehabbed nearly 100 of the worst properties in a bid to change perception and spur development. It worked. More investment followed, and ValleyArts, an arts advocacy spin-off of Hands, was born. Together, they’ve worked to develop galleries,... Read more

Baltimore Anchor Institutions Work Together on Blight

In the wake of unrest in Baltimore, local universities and companies got together quickly to launch a jobs program aimed at economic disparities. One thing that made a faster response possible: Anchor institutions in Baltimore are no stranger to partnering on the city’s challenges. And though the public protests highlighted struggles with poverty, segregation and criminal justice, these collaborators have made strides in rehabbing vacant properties and bringing historically significant buildings back into use in recent years. Read more... Read more
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