Building a movement at the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference

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Streetview of Downtown - Detroit, MI-Credit Luke Telander-2014In just a few months, Detroit will play host to community development leaders from across the country for the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference (RVP), charting the course for the emerging movement to reuse our nation’s vacant properties.

After visiting five other cities over the last eight years, we could not be more excited to bring the sixth RVP to our home state of Michigan on May 19-21, 2015.

With at least 50 sessions in the works, as in years past, you’ll have the chance to learn the latest strategies for combating vacancy from the nation’s leading experts. In 2015, however, RVP will be more than just a place to learn the tricks of the trade. There will be opportunities for us to dream big about coming together to help the children, families, and neighbors whose lives are harmed by problem properties.

That’s why RVP is themed “Beyond Blight: Building a Bold Movement.” We’ll explore what it means to work together as a movement across departments, town lines, counties, or even states to make sure communities have the tools to reclaim their vacant properties. We’ll explore this not only through panels, tours, and trainings, but also using social media and an exciting on-site participatory installation. We’ll invite everyone to be part of defining what success looks like at the end of the day, and how we can get there.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg captured it well at the last RVP when he reflected, “To spend time in a broader community of people who are all dealing with the same issues […] It gives us a chance to realize that we’re part of a movement and not all alone out there trying to deal with this problem. It’s not a South Bend Problem. It’s not a Philly problem. It’s an American problem, and working with others on coming up with uniquely American solutions–and uniquely 21st century solutions to this problem–is just an exciting space to be in.”

We’re working hard to create a Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference that will equip you with the practical skills, research, and inspiration to do the important work you do – and to do it even better.

Please save the date of May 19-21, 2015, and visit our website to register for the conference and dive into lots of information about our sessions and activities. I hope to see you in Detroit!