National Conference to Look ‘Beyond Blight’ in Detroit


tThe national Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, held every 18 months, will land for the first time in Detroit next May to explore the latest methods for combating wide-spread building vacancy and reducing neighborhood blight.

t“This conference will bring together leaders from around the country working daily to eliminate blight in their neighborhoods,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “We’ve got a lot to share about the great and exciting strides we’re making here to transform our vacant properties from liabilities into assets. We also look forward to learning from what’s working elsewhere.”

tCarrying the theme, “Beyond Blight: Building a Bold Movement,” the conference, expected to draw up to 1,000 professionals to the city, is a project of the Flint-based Center for Community Progress. Event organizers say they chose Detroit as the site for the event — held in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Cleveland in previous years — because of the city’s multi-sector approach to removing blight as well as its fresh approach to neighborhood reinvestment and green reuse.

t“Community Progress is proud of its roots in Michigan, and it feels great to bring the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference to our home state,” says Tamar Shapiro, president and CEO of the Center for Community Progress. “The 2015 conference will reflect the rising groundswell of national support for the hard work, innovation, and investment needed to move our communities beyond blight.”

tFor more information about the conference, to be held May 19-21 at the Marriott at the Renaissance Center, click here.