Every day, Philadelphia’s 40,000 vacant lots drain the City’s resources and tax revenue while fostering crime and blight. Back in February, our cover story looked at the effort to establish a publicly managed land bank that would potentially mitigate these problems. The land bank – an effort of community organizations and City Council – would gather the city’s disparately held vacant lots into a single entity, bringing efficiency and transparency to the process for developing this land and putting it to better community use.
As the land bank bill comes under consideration in City Council, the Philadelphia Association of Community Development, Next Great City and Penn Future have created a new website, PhillyLandBank.org. The site is designed to help Philadelphians track the legislative progress of the proposed land bank and serve as a loudspeaker for community members to declare their support and take action in favor of the legislation. There are also fact sheets, studies and examples of successful land banks and vacant lot redevelopment efforts throughout the country.
Take a look for yourself at phillylandbank.org. And show your support for the bill by sending an email to City Council and the Nutter administration asking them to pass this legislation.
ALEX JACOBS is the Grid intern for spring 2013. He is a junior history major at Haverford College.