Using Green Infrastructure and Land Banking to Right Size America’s Shrinking Cities

Washington, DC (February 7, 2008)- Communities large and small are grappling with shrinking populations and surplus of vacant and abandoned properties. Without a conscious “right-sizing” policy or plan to readjust a shrinking city’s physical and built environment to, surpluses of infrastructure and vacant properties are likely to persist for years to come, thereby perpetuating a dysfunctional economic market.

This session examines how green infrastructure initiatives, in combination with land banking and innovative design, can together form the nucleus of any effort to right-size a shrinking city. Panelists will draw on their experience to explore the outer limits of planning policy – how to right-size America’s shrinking cities.
Moderator Joe Schilling will use examples from his report, Blueprint Buffalo, a regional plan that calls for right-sizing through green infrastructure. Blaine Bonham (PHS) the Architect of Philly Green, the city’s nationally acclaimed urban greening program, will discuss the power of urban greening as an essential element in the recovery of shrinking neighborhoods. Dan Kildee, Chairman of the County Land Bank Authority will speak about land banking and their experience in Flint Michigan to acquire and control vacant and abandoned properties. Terry Schwartz with the Urban Design Center of Northeast Ohio will share her design ideas for a new Transect for Shrinking Cities.
Joseph Schilling, Professor in Practice, Metropolitan Institute, Virginia Tech
J. Blaine Bonham, Jr., Executive Vice President, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Terry Schwarz, Senior Planner, Urban Design Center of Northeast Ohio
About New Partners for Smart Growth
The 2008 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Washington, DC, hosted attendance of more than 1300 people from across the country for three full days of presentations, discussions, and information sharing. The conference was produced by the Local Government Commission (LGC), with support from a very impressive and multi-disciplinary group of partners and sponsoring organizations, agencies and companies.
Related Resources:
7th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy, and Livable Communities