About

The Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference (RVP) is the only national conference dedicated to strengthening communities through innovative solutions for vacant, abandoned, and other problem properties. From September 28-30, 2016, RVP is expected to draw approximately 1,000 professionals to Baltimore for 65 engaging sessions and other learning opportunities.

The theme of RVP in 2016 is “In Service of People and Place.” It will take a deep look at how work to reclaim vacant properties can improve the wellbeing of residents and the places they call home.

Conference sessions will explore strategies to strengthen neighborhoods that are being left behind in the housing recovery and to serve residents who continue to face the impacts of vacancy, abandonment, and disinvestment.

Sessions will tackle practical strategies, research, and fresh ideas on a wide range of topics, including:

  • Demolition and other blight elimination techniques
  • Land banking
  • Code enforcement and nuisance abatement
  • Property tax systems and tax foreclosure
  • Data and information systems
  • Equitable community development
  • Arts, placemaking, and preservation
  • Residential, non-residential, and green reuse
  • Access to capital in underserved communities

In addition to traditional conference sessions, mobile workshops will take participants to Baltimore’s neighborhoods to experience the City firsthand and learn from the leaders who are working to reclaim and revitalize the city’s vacant properties.

In the video below, Ian Beniston, Executive Director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, explains why he thinks the Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference is “Geek Central” for people working on community revitalization.

Who should attend

RVP is an opportunity for government, nonprofit, community, and private sector leaders. Attendees include urban planners, city attorneys, elected officials, local, state, and federal officials, CDC staff, land bank leaders, academics, police officers, code enforcement officials, neighborhood association leaders, developers, representatives from lending institutions, urban policy experts, and more. The 2015 RVP attracted participants from 37 states, representing cities large and small, both places experiencing population loss and widespread abandonment, as well as growing communities where some neighborhoods find themselves left behind.

Why Baltimore

Baltimore faces significant challenges related to vacancy and abandonment, but the city is also home to many innovative efforts to create safe, stable neighborhoods of opportunity for all residents. The Center for Community Progress selected Baltimore as the site of RVP to showcase the multifaceted efforts of the city’s vibrant nonprofit and community-based organizations, local government, philanthropy, and other institutions to stabilize and reactivate the city’s thousands of vacant properties.

Conference History

Established in 2007 and held every eighteen months, RVP has traveled to Pittsburgh, Louisville, Cleveland, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and, most recently, Detroit. It has featured keynotes from artist Theaster Gates, then-HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Manchester Bidwell CEO Bill Strickland, Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune, and other remarkable leaders. RVP has lifted up ideas and strategies that work, many of which have been replicated across the country, and it has created the space for creativity and collaboration that have led to major policy and legislative reforms.

About the Host

Founded in 2010, the Center for Community Progress is the only national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization solely dedicated to building a future in which entrenched, systemic vacancy and abandonment no longer exist in American communities. As a national leader on solutions for blight and vacancy, Community Progress serves as the leading resource for local, state, and federal policies and practices that address the full cycle of property revitalization. Community Progress seeks to build strong neighborhoods for the people who live in them by nurturing comprehensive and sustainable change. More information about Community Progress is available on our website.

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Our Host City

While you’re in Baltimore, take the opportunity to see all that “Charm City” has to offer. This port city of more than 600,000 residents boasts a rich history that spans from the original Star-Spangled Banner to John Waters’ Hair Spray, and beyond. It is home to myriad museums, restaurants, and attractions, all within walking distance of downtown (or accessible by light rail, bus, subway, or water taxi). Baltimore is at its core, however, a City of neighborhoods, with each individual one offering its own unique style and personality. Whether you’re strolling past the painted ladies of Abell and Charles Village, the quaint main streets of Pigtown, Hampden and Hamilton-Lauraville, the bustling shops of Belvedere Square and Lexington Market, or the historic waterfronts of Fells Point and Federal Hill, each neighborhood, and each community, has its own story to tell.

Our Host City

While you’re in Baltimore, take the opportunity to see all that “Charm City” has to offer. This port city of more than 600,000 residents boasts a rich history that spans from the original Star-Spangled Banner to John Waters’ Hair Spray, and beyond. It is home to myriad museums, restaurants, and attractions, all within walking distance of downtown (or accessible by light rail, bus, subway, or water taxi). Baltimore is at its core, however, a City of neighborhoods, with each individual one offering its own unique style and personality. Whether you’re strolling past the painted ladies of Abell and Charles Village, the quaint main streets of Pigtown, Hampden and Hamilton-Lauraville, the bustling shops of Belvedere Square and Lexington Market, or the historic waterfronts of Fells Point and Federal Hill, each neighborhood, and each community, has its own story to tell.