Boosting Productivity: Lessons from the Green Reuse and Vacant Land Maintenance Learning Exchange 

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Two cities that have been making a fundamental shift in their approach to vacant land maintenance and green reuse are Detroit and New Orleans. In January 2015, the Center for Community Progress convened a group of public and private community revitalization practitioners from these cities to share with each other how they have been shaping their strategies to meet important community needs and reduce public land maintenance through vacant land reuse.

During the learning exchange, participants presented a series of projects related to small- and large-scale land reuse and maintenance, and discussed successes, strategies, and challenges from their communities. This report presents key lessons from that learning exchange in four sections. The first three highlight specific programs and lessons learned. The final section is a resource list that links to programs mentioned throughout the learning exchange. The four sections are as follows: Small-Scale Disposition, Maintenance, and Alternative Land Use; Large-Scale Alternative Land Use; Outreach and Engagement; Resources

We hope that this document serves as a useful reference not only for New Orleans and Detroit, but also for individuals in other cities seeking ways to maintain and reuse vacant land.