Urban regeneration: Community engagement process for vacant land in declining cities

Gunwoo Kim, Galen Newman, Bin Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Vacant land presents many challenges for older financially distressed cities. Community engagement is a very important element to solve the urban vacant land problem and assist in long term regeneration. This paper reviews what plans, policies, implementation methods, and community engagement process were developed to overcome barriers and challenges to vacant land projects. Most studies reveal that the importance of community engagement process in terms of understanding the problems and potential value of vacant land, redevelopment process, financial support, regulation, and neighborhood organizations participation for vacant land projects. To encourage community engagement to repurpose vacant land, municipalities should have to provide adequate information about vacant land conditions and their potentials in terms of ecological and social value. Code enforcement and tax foreclosure are efficient ways to control vacant land and the abandoned building problem. Tax incentive systems, such as high taxation rates on land but a low rate or no tax at all on infill development on vacant land, tax credits on vacant land forest structure, and rehabilitation abatement on abandoned buildings can increase public investment in vacant land. Local governments should support such efforts by creating community involvement groups, such as neighborhood coordinators, civic leaders, CDCs (Community Development Corporations), and other community-based nonprofit organizations. Community engagement is not specific planning, but it is part of an ongoing process in planning strategies to urban regeneration and renewal vacant land.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102730
StatePublished - 2020 Jul


  • Community engagement
  • Planning strategies
  • Shrinking cities
  • Urban regeneration and renewal


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