Vacant Spaces to Vibrant Places

Economically vibrant and resilient communities often share a common set of traits that enhance residents' connection to the place they live. A recent study by the Knight Foundation found “connection to place” to be the leading indicator of the prosperity of a community. The higher levels of civic engagement promoted by this sense of connection can result in measurable increases in community wealth.

Research by groups including Preservation Green Lab are beginning to identify and quantify these community traits. Smaller buildings and historic districts play important roles in supporting more livable, socially diverse, and economically resilient communities. In addition to their unique character, these neighborhoods with more diverse building stock can also be more attractive due to their generally greater walkability.

Several key measures of vitality, diversity, and economic performance are significantly associated with the presence of smaller buildings and with diversity of building age. The measurably higher economic performance and livability of areas with this type of urban fabric argue for their preservation where they exist, and their enhancement through infill and redevelopment opportunities. Often, however, adaptive reuse policies at the city level can act in opposition to economic development goals. The result can be the destruction of vintage-modern buildings and a stifling of business development.

This ULI webinar will outline the economic development benefits of locally-funded, smaller-scale, infill neighborhood development. The program will also provide examples of how city-level policies can unwittingly work at cross-purposes and will suggest solutions for building comprehensive, cooperative real estate and economic development policies.

Program Highlights

  • Quantifying the impact of local economy work and preservation
  • The link between preservation, infill development, and economic development
  • Spatial characteristics and economic development and resilience
  • Aligning real estate and economic development policies for job creation and talent retention
  • The business case for adaptive reuse of buildings
  • The importance of community banks in financing unique urban spaces

Program Information
Date Presented:
March 03, 2016 12:00 PM Eastern
1 hour
Vacant Spaces to Vibrant Places
Speaker Information
Kimber Lanning   [ view bio ]
Individual topic purchase: Selected
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