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Case Studies, Guidelines, and Best Practices - Overview
Websites containing collections of guidelines and best practices can provide useful starting points when researching aspects of land use law. Start with the guidelines and best practices, and then you can often work back to the municipalities that are using those development tools. Often these these websites will also contain case studies in addition to other materials, such as links to relevant municipal ordinances.
Case Studies, Guidelines and Best Practices A - M
Center for Community Progress: Take It to the Bank: How Land Banks Are Strengthening America's Neighborhoods
The report looks at land banking in the US, including " in-depth portraits of seven diverse land banks" and examples of "land bank policies and other core documents."
Center for Community Progress: Turning Vacant Places into Vibrant Places
The Center for Community Progress is a "national resource for policy, information, capacity building, and training regarding the redevelopment of vacant, abandoned, and problem properties." The Center "partners with federal, state, and local officials and non-profit organizations that are charged with repositioning vacant, abandoned, and problem properties." Click on the Publications tab to access case studies, toolkits, reports, research papers, conference presentations, policy briefs, trade and news articles, and other publications.
Gaining Ground Information Database This link opens in a new window
From the Land Use Law Center at Pace Law School, this database "includes a collection of exemplary federal, state, and local ordinances; commentaries; research papers; and research aids." The focus is of the collection "is on local laws and practices and the state and regional policies, laws, and programs that guide, direct, and enable local action." The first time you search the database you will have to create a login and password.
HousingPolicy.org: Online Guide to State and Local Housing Policy
"HousingPolicy.org is an online guide to state and local housing policy developed and maintained by the Center for Housing Policy, the research affiliate of the National Housing Conference." The website includes "information on a broad range of state and local policy tools, as well as guidance on how to put them together to form a comprehensive and effective housing strategy." Materials in the Toolkit can be searched by topic, or by state. Click on Building a Strategy for a list of case studies.
How Can Municipalities Confront the Vacant Property Challenge?
BPI (Business and Professional People for the Public Interest) is a "public interest law and policy center that addresses issues of social justice and quality of life in the Chicago region." Their 2010 publication "How Can Municipalities Confront the Vacant Property Challenge?" includes a toolkit discussing best practices and providing links to further information.
ICMA: The Revitalization of Vacant Properties: Where Broken Windows Meet Smart Growth
Written by J. M. Shilling and published by the International City/County Management Association, this PDF contains a policy discussion and two case studies.
Illinois - Bensonville Neighborhood Stabilization Program
This presentation from the ILCMA 2014 Winter meeting is a case study.
LISC Local Initiatives Support Corporation: Helping Neighbors Build Communities
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is "dedicated to helping community residents transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity." LISC has a searchable database of case studies, guidebooks, topical reports, research and conference papers, and trade articles documenting their work.
National Community Stabilization Trust
"The National Community Stabilization Trust is a national nonprofit organization working with the nation’s largest financial institutions and local housing providers across the U.S. to reclaim neighborhoods hard hit by high levels of foreclosure and abandonment."
Infill Development: Completing the Community Fabric
This webpage from Washington State's MRSC has numerous links to guidebooks, toolkits, best practices, etc. Not limited to Washington State materials.
Case Studies, Guidelines and Best Practices N - Z
Smart Growth America: From Vacancy to Vibrancy: A Guide to Redeveloping Underground Storage Tank Sites Through Area-Wide Planning
This March 2012 publication, by Elizabeth Schilling and Mara D’Angelo, addresses brownfield redevelopment. Available in PDF format.
Stablecommunities.org is a website of NeighborWorks America, a "national nonprofit organization created by Congress [that]... provides financial support, technical assistance and training for community-based revitalization efforts." This website includes information about strategies that can be used to help stabilize communities, as well as links to additional, relevant websites.
Stablecommunities.org: Scattered Site Rental Toolkit
The Scattered Site Rental Toolkit is written in outline form for use by an affordable housing owner/investor looking to gain community support for such projects. Includes a useful list websites at I.E. Scattered Site Rental Resources.
United States Conference of Mayors
Search the United States Conference of Mayors website to find numerous reports about vacant, and distressed properties.
Urban Land Institute (ULI) Development Case Studies
Case Studies published 2013 - current can be viewed/dowloaded for free. Archived Case Studies can be purchased from the Urban Land Institute.
Vacant Property Research Initiative: A Research Initiative from the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech
Click on Links for a "current list of websites and blogs that feature initiatives, programs and policies on vacant properties, cities in transition, shrinking cities, sustainability, and urban generation." Click on Inventory for a "comprehensive bibliography of articles and reports on topics relevant to regenerating distressed cities, reclaiming vacant properties, and revitalizing neighborhoods."
Vacant to Vibrant: A Guide for Revitalizing Vacant Lots in Your Neighborhood
This PDF publication focuses on strategies for purchasing and "greening" vacant lots in Pittsburgh, PA.
Policy analysis and reports often includes statistical data and references to other useful sources.
Foreclosure-Response.org (Urban Institute)
Delinquency and foreclosure data and proposed response strategies for preventing foreclosures.
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy focuses on "key issues concerning the use, regulation, and taxation of land." The website contains numerous reports and working papers.
Smart Growth America's Policy Analysis: Vacant Properties
This website has a group of reports published by the Vacant Properties Campaign prior to 2010, at which time the Vacant Properties Campaign became part of the Center for Community Progress.
Vacant Properties: Growing Number Increases Communities’ Costs and Challenges
This 2011 report from the General Accounting Office "reviews the costs that foreclosed and unattended vacant homes create for local communities and the strategies state and local governments are using to address problems associated with unattended vacant properties. Specifically, this report addresses (1) trends in the number of vacant properties and how they relate to the recent increase in foreclosures; (2) the types of costs that vacant properties create and who bears the responsibility for these properties and their costs; and (3) state and local government strategies for addressing vacant properties and the federal role in assisting these efforts."
NARC: National Association of Regional Councils
NARC works with regional planning organizations on issues including transportation, economic and community development and the environment.The NARC website includes policy materials, case studies, and links to regional councils of government and metropolitan planning associations.
Special Focus: Code Compliance
MCS Code Compliance Legislation Database
Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS) provides a variety of services including property inspections, property preservation, REO property maintenance, and valuation services. MCS has a searchable Code Compliance Legislation Database. Use the Property Registration Report search tools to find property registration ordinances in this database.
Special Focus: Vacant Property Registration