Let’s Use Vacant Land To Build Our Economy and Community.
Philadelphia has over 42,000 vacant lots that attract illegal dumping and discourage community development costing Philadelphian taxpayers millions of dollars each year. Let’s create programs to activate these vacant lots for community and economic development to clean our city and strengthen our city!
As part of Circular Philadelphia’s policy development process, the Vacant Land Working Group has developed this flyer that explains to the public in a simple and straightforward way how we can create a transparent and easy to use system for businesses that want to use vacant lots to increase economic opportunity and community groups that want to improve quality of life in neighborhoods. In time, the working group will turn the below information into a white paper that will examine the information in depth, develop potential policy and strengthen the case as to why Philadelphia legislators and operating departments need to address this issue.
Did You Know?
- Philadelphia City government spends almost $10 million a year cleaning illegal dumping on vacant lots.
- A UPenn study found that gun violence can drop by almost 29% when a vacant lot is cleaned and greened.
- There is no City policy to allow community groups and local businesses to use vacant land for short term usage.
The Policy Concept
– 1 –
Create an up-to-date inventory system of all publicly owned vacant land that is not utilized by the local community or is being acquired through the Land Bank.
– 2 –
Create a checklist of every requirement a business or community group would need to comply with for different uses such as community spaces, outdoor dining and circular materials management.
– 3 –
Create a simple, transparent and publicly accessible process and designate one office in City government that would process all temporary use requests.
– 4 –
Establish a monitoring mechanism to monitor if these short term activations reduce illegal dumping and other crimes while also increasing community and economic development.
Why This Is Possible and Can Be Successful:
We’re Already Doing It:
Philadelphia already has a template on how to do this with temporary garden agreements and other policies in the Land Bank.
We Have Widespread Interest:
Many Philadelphia community groups have been using vacant land for decades and many start up businesses, especially business that recycle and reuse materials, need land to grow their businesses.
We Need Change:
We can no longer look at these publicly owned vacant lots as liabilities. Let’s look at them as opportunities to improve Philly’s economy and communities.
But to make this flyer become real policy, we need to hear from you! Please fill out this form to voice your support for this legislation, get on our mailing list for future action and leave a comment with your thoughts or questions on the proposed legislation and information.
Together, we can make Philly better—one lot at a time!
Voice your support and feedback for this issue.
Please use this form to voice your support for this policy, get on our mailing list for future action and send us your thoughts and comments on the proposed policy and information.