1. Skip to Menu
  2. Skip to Content
  3. Skip to Footer>

News Releases

Revitalizing communities core of center’s work

Rethinking and reusing existing urban assets rather than "carving up yet another farm field for development" are definitive steps to creating strong, vibrant and sustainable cities and regions, says Dan Kildee, co-founder of the Center for Community Progress.

"The center is more than a 'think tank,' but rather a 'think-and-do' tank," says Kildee. "We're getting in there and helping people create the public systems and policies that encourage, rather than hinder, investments in their local communities."

That hands-on approach includes helping cities identify and launch strategies for responding to chronic property abandonment and stabilizing at-risk neighborhoods, and transforming vacant lots into affordable housing, new business ventures and open green spaces. The center also is raising awareness of issues related to urban land-use reform through research, conferences and dissemination of reports and other publications.

Among those working with the center on local land use reform is the Fulton County-City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority.

Christopher Norman is executive director of the Atlanta program, one of the first land banks in the country. He notes that while the organization and its scope have evolved significantly over the years, the 1991 state legislation that provided for its creation has left the program "constrained in a 'Land Bank 1.0' platform, while newer programs are operating in a '3.0' version. We need some of the functionality of that new model."

To that end, the center is helping Norman and other local officials call for public policies and develop financing tools that will allow the land bank to obtain foreclosed properties before they can be bought by land speculators, who Kildee says "can significantly undermine a community's ability to realize its land-use vision."

Those tools also will allow the Atlanta program to actively engage in the clearing, management and development of abandoned properties.

"The center has been 'mission critical' to this work," notes Norman. "Without their ability to galvanize people, to guide and coordinate us on these issues and share their insights from other programs, we could not have positioned ourselves to do this next generation of activity."

In Atlanta and other communities, the center's work starts with engaging area leaders and residents in identifying a vision for local land use and related economic development. Next, staff helps local officials assess how existing property tax and foreclosure systems and code-enforcement policies shape the community's ability to realize that vision.

Armed with that information, the center helps the community explore strategies for re-engineering those local systems and regaining control of abandoned and forgotten properties. This often includes developing new land-use policies, such as those that provide for the creation of a land bank.

Woven throughout that work, says Kildee, is helping locals "adopt a new way of thinking about land use and its economic impacts."

"Many communities deal with vacant and abandoned properties as if they're a nuisance, a source of crime and blight, a problem to be regulated and enforced," he said.

"We're trying to open the eyes of people. To help them think about urban land as an opportunity, a potential investment that has real value and that can be converted into an asset. Once they embrace that idea and exercise the leadership to see it through, that's when you start to see things happen."

It was that same approach that helped Kildee pioneer a land-banking strategy in Mott's home state of Michigan. The Genesee County Land Bank, a longtime foundation grantee, was launched in 2002 and has since served as a model for many communities — including Syracuse, N.Y. — looking for ways to address vacant and foreclosed properties.

The success of the Genesee County program caught the attention of the Syracuse-based CenterState Corporation for Enterprise Opportunity, which began working with Kildee in 2008. Its goal since has been the development and passage of state legislation providing for the creation of land banks in New York.

Rob Simpson, the organization's president and CEO, believes "the prospects for that legislation in 2011 are good." He expects the Center will work with local partners in developing the state's first land bank.

In the meantime, Kildee and his staff are helping CenterState and the city of Syracuse develop interim tools, such as housing code enforcement strategies, for reclaiming delinquent properties and converting them into community assets.

"Our work with the center has helped us define a focused urban land-use agenda and informed our strategies in advancing it," said Simpson. "Our ongoing efforts related to land banking, historic preservation, tax increment financing and government modernization have been directly impacted by the skills and insights of Frank, Dan and the rest of their staff."

Lou Glazer, president of the Mott-funded Michigan Future Inc., says that such examples illustrate the center's capacity for helping people to understand and embrace the connections between effective land-use policy and economic stability.

"If regions are to survive, then the cities within them have to thrive. We have to rethink our whole approach to urban communities, to the role they're going to play in transitioning the country into the new economy," he said.

"Having an organization like the center, which knows what that transition is all about and how cities can go about doing it, is enormously valuable."

The Center for Community Progress

The Center for Community Progress was founded in January 2010 by Dan Kildee, former county treasurer in Mott's home community of Genesee County; Frank Alexander, an Emory University law professor; Amy Hovey, who helped launch the Genesee County Land Bank and has served as an independent consultant with a background in real estate development; and Jennifer Leonard, former director of the National Vacant Properties Campaign.

Initial support came in the form of a combined $1 million in grants from the Mott and Ford foundations. Mott support for the center now totals $2 million. The center is based in Flint and has a policy office in Washington, D.C.

Since launching the organization little more than a year ago, Kildee and his colleagues at the center have taken that message on the road, working with dozens of cities around the country — including Mott's hometown of Flint — as well as federal, state and local officials and nonprofits.

(Note: This report is provided as a service to our readers and a service to the group or individual mentioned in the release. Usually, only minor editing is done. The group or individual is responsible for all information provided.)

Share
Visitors
15
Articles
2757
Articles View Hits
2849544

Fast Links

Notices

Average hits a day on stories in last 30 days: 2,707.

Average hits a day on web site in last 30 days: 679.


Hits on stories Jan. 15, 2010 to Dec. 12, 2013: 6,676,049.

Hits on web site Jan. 15, 2010 to Dec. 12, 2013: 1,535,763.

 



Hits on stories Dec. 13  to Jan. 12: 32,660

Hits on web site Dec. 13  to Jan. 12:  10,887

 

Hits on stories Nov. 13  to Dec. 12: 19,236

Hits on web site Nov. 13  to Dec. 12:  6,412

 

Hits on stories Oct. 13  to Nov. 12: 49,387

Hits on web site Oct. 13 to Nov. 12:  16,462

Hits on stories Sept. 13  to Oct. 12: 65,084.

Hits on web site Sept. 13 to Oct. 12:  21,695.

Hits on stories Aug. 13  to Sept. 12: 60,139.

Hits on web site Aug. 13 to Sept. 12:  20,046.

 

Hits on stories July 13  to Aug. 12: 66,870.

Hits on web site July 13 to Aug. 12: 22,290.

 

Hits on stories June 13  to July 12: 58,424.

Hits on web site June 13 to July 12: 19,304.

 

Hits on stories May 13  to June 12: 59,629.

Hits on web site May 13 to June 12: 20,095.

 

Hits on stories April 13  to May 12: 57,218.

Hits on web site April 13 to May 12: 19,073.

 

Hits on stories March 13  to April 12: 60,182.

Hits on web site March 13 to April 12: 19,082.

 

Hits on stories Feb. 13  to March 12: 67,293.

Hits on web site Feb. 13 to March 12: 14,788.

 

Hits on stories Jan. 13  to Feb. 12: 54,538.

Hits on web site Jan. 13 to Feb. 12: 18,198

 

Hits on stories Dec. 13 to Jan. 12: 71,290.

Hits on web site Dec. 13 to Jan. 12: 15,870.

 

Hits on stories Nov. 13 to Dec. 12: 113,197

Hits on web site Nov. 13 to Dec.. 12: 16,849

_______________________________________________

Hits on stories Oct. 13 to Nov. 12: 132,525

Hits on web site Oct. 13 to Nov. 12: 16,570.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hits on stories Sept. 13 to Oct. 12: 113,654

Hits on web site Sept. 13 to Oct. 12: 15,448


Hits on stories Aug. 13 to Sept. 12: 91,003

Hits on web site Aug. 13 to Sept. 12: 9,869


Hits on stories July 13 to Aug.12: 59,238

Hits on web site July 13  to Aug. 12: 6,804


Hits on stories June 13 to July 12: 48,151

Hits on web site June 13 to July 12: 6,589


Hits on stories May 13 to June 12: 45,956

Hits on web site May 13 to June 12: 7,209


Hits on stories April 13 to May 12: 38,676

Hits on web site April 13 to May 12: 3,857


Hits on stories March 13 to April 12: 45,240

Hits on web site March 13 to April 12: 3,907


Hits on stories Feb. 13 to March 12: 25,114

Hits on web site Feb. 13 to March 12: 4,081


Hits on stories Jan. 13 to Feb. 12: 12,400

Hits on web site Jan. 13 to Feb. 12: 6,491


Hits on stories Dec. 13 to Jan. 12: 12,400

Hits on web site Dec. 13 to now: 6,524


Hits on stories Nov. 13 to Dec. 12: 12,800

Hits on web site Nov. 13 to Dec. 12: 7,044


Hits on stories Oct. 13 to Nov. 12: 12,000

Hits on web site Oct. 13 to Nov. 12: 6,524


Hits on stories Sept. 13 to Oct. 12: 12,000

Hits on web site Sept. 13 to Oct. 12: 6,359


Hits on stories Aug. 13 to Sept. 12: 12,800

Hits on web site Aug. 13 to Sept. 12: 6,107

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories July 13 to Aug. 12: 17,800

Hits on web site to July 13 to Aug. 12: 6,407

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories June 13 to July 12: 20,400

Hits on web site June 13  to July 12: 6,784

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories May 13 to June 12: 22,800

Hits on web site May 13 to June 12: 6,229

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories April 13 to May 12: 18,800

Hits on web site April 13 to May 12: 3,469

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories March 13 to April 12: 21,220

Hits on web site March 13 to April 12: 3,699

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories Feb. 13 to March 12: 25,420

Hits on web site Feb. 13 to March 12: 3,005

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories Jan. 13 to Feb. 12: 24,636

Hits on web site Jan. 13 to Feb. 12: 3,508

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories Dec. 13 to Jan. 12: 22,600

Hits on web site Dec. 13 to Jan 12: 2,937

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories Nov. 13 to Dec. 12: 17,280

Hits on web site Nov. 13 to Dec. 12: 2,372

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories Oct. 13 to Nov. 12: 9,752

Hits on web site  Oct. 13 to Nov. 13: 2,596

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories Sept. 13 to Oct. 12: 16,700

Hits on web site Sept. 13 to Oct. 12: 1,898

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories Aug. 13 to Sept. 12: 14,572

Hits on web site Aug. 13 to Sept. 12: 1,760

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories July 13 to Aug. 12: 6,072

Hits on web site July 13 to Aug. 12: 1,442

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories June 13 to July 12: 2,905

Hits on web site June 13 to July 12: 1,205

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories May 13 to June 12: 4,005

Hits on web site May 13 to June 12: 1,481

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories April 13 to May 12: 3,003

Hits on web site April 13 to May 12: 1,467

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories March 13 to April 12: 2,229

Hits on web site March 13 to April 12: 1,538

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories Feb. 13 to March 12: 1,991

Hits on the web site Feb. 13 to March 12: 1,485

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

Hits on stories Jan. 15 to Feb. 12: 2,378

Hits on web site Jan. 15 to Feb. 12: 1,839

 

Hits on stories Nov.13 to Dec. 12: 113,197

Hits on web site Nov. 13 to Dec.. 12: 16,849

 

 

 

See pictures in the Photo Gallery for information about these pictures as captions become available.

 

Sloan618eRamsdell619a

FirstPres619b

FIA619 c

 Dotson619a

 Remaxa

McFarlanVoluntersa596Whaleya

 

 

 allinger593aa

 

 

 


promoweb565contribute566aad564atemple563