Credit: Choose Chicago Photo Courtesy of Choose Chicago

The Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference (RVP) is the only national conference dedicated to strengthening communities through new strategies to transform vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties into community assets.

Since 2007, more than 12,000 professionals have connected for three days engaging in 60+ sessions and other learning opportunities.

RVP explores the latest strategies to address vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties, creating a forum in which new ideas can arise. It brings people together around these common challenges and equips them to return home and effect real, on-the-ground change.

Past conferences have focused on a mix of practical strategies, research, and fresh ideas on a wide range of topics, including:

  • Arts, placemaking, and culture
  • Code enforcement and rental properties
  • Disaster recovery and resiliency
  • Economic and workforce development
  • Housing stabilization
  • Institutional and private sector partnerships
  • Land banks and land banking
  • Mortgage and tax foreclosure
  • Planning, data, and evaluation
  • Property maintenance
  • Rehab and reuse of buildings
  • Reuse of lots and land
  • State and federal policy and programs

In addition to traditional conference sessions, mobile workshops take participants into neighborhoods to experience revitalization strategies firsthand. Through these onsite learning experiences, leaders learn from those who are working to reclaim and revitalize vacant properties.

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

Who should attend

RVP attracts a mix of 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, community organizers, developers, representatives from lending institutions, urban policy experts, and more. RVP consistently attracts people from 35-40 states, representing urban, suburban, and rural communities, including both places experiencing population loss and widespread abandonment as well as growing communities where some neighborhoods find themselves left behind.

Credit: Alice Achterhof Photo Courtesy of Choose Chicago

Conference History

Established in 2007 and typically held every 18 months, RVP has traveled to Pittsburgh, Louisville, Cleveland, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Atlanta. Featured speakers have included The Warmth of Other Suns author Isabel Wilkerson, artist Theaster Gates, Evicted author and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond, Congressman Dan Kildee, and other leading changemakers throughout the United States.

About the Host

Founded in 2010, the Center for Community Progress is the national leader for building strong, equitable communities where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties are transformed into assets for neighbors and neighborhoods. Today, Community Progress has affected change in more than 48 states and seven countries through leadership education and collaborative systems, policy, and practice reforms. Simply, we work to transform “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.” For more information visit www.communityprogress.org.

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