In late September, a few Cuyahoga Land Bank staff members traveled to Baltimore, Maryland for the Center for Community Progress Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference 2016. More than 1,000 professionals converged on Baltimore for three days of engagement and learning. The theme of the conference was “In Service of People and Place,” and explored ways to reclaim vacant properties and improve the wellbeing of residents and the places they call home.
Conference sessions explored strategies to strengthen neighborhoods facing the impact of vacancy, abandonment and disinvestment. Our own Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel and Michael Schramm, Director of IT and Research for the Cuyahoga Land Bank presented at the Conference, sharing their knowledge in breakout sessions titled, “Land Banks and Community Land Trusts: Natural Partners?” and “Beyond Property Surveys: Using Point-in-Time Surveys for Action and Research.”
From political and development strategies to demolition and blight elimination techniques, to code enforcement and nuisance abatement, conference attendees tackled tough subjects, examined successes, and shared best practices in their work.
Beyond traditional conference sessions, participants also stepped outside the hotel conference rooms and joined in mobile workshops to experience first-hand how host-city Baltimore’s leaders are confronting significant challenges related to vacancy and abatement.