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ULI Emerging Leaders Forum: Leaders of Tomorrow Learning from Leaders of Today!
February 5, 2020
Vacant and blighted properties pose a problem in cities across the United States. A blighted lot is not just unsightly; it can attract petty crime, depress the value of nearby properties, and even pose a threat to the health of the local environment. In 2016, the city of Saginaw, Michigan, gained a new, if nontraditional, partner in addressing blight: the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy (SBLC). Land conservancies, also called land trusts, are nonprofit organizations dedicated to preserving, remediating, and monitoring sites of natural beauty and ecological importance to ensure their survival in perpetuity. Many of these organizations work primarily in rural communities, managing large, remote areas set aside as preserves. In October 2019, the Center for Community Progress sponsored “Bringing Nature to Communities: The Role of Land Conservancies in Addressing Vacant Properties,” a webinar in which SBLC staff members discussed their organization’s nontraditional decision to pursue urban work and highlighted the conservancy’s positive impact on remediating blighted and vacant properties.
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