Seizing City Assets: Ten Steps to Vacant Land Reform

October 1, 2002


One of a city’s greatest assets is its available land for development. Unfortunately, many cities have land and properties that are vacant, abandoned, or under-used, with few policies and regulations in place to convert these assets into valuable, revenue-generating sites. This brief outlines ten action steps that state and local governments can follow to facilitate the development of urban land and buildings. Compiling an inventory of vacant parcels, planning for the assembly and reuse of land, and working to eliminate the many legal and administrative barriers to acquisition and development are just some of the actions the authors recommend for creating a more transparent, efficient, and effective system for private-market land development. The brief will discuss these and other proposed steps, and will highlight examples of successful practices implemented in states and localities throughout the U.S.