Planners Training Service Two-Day Workshop

Tackling the Challenges of Vacant Properties

Chicago • November 8–9, 2013

Advanced Training for Practicing Planners

Vacant properties are everybody's problem. They blight neighborhoods, reduce property values, foster crime and disease, and never seem to go away.

Coming to closure on vacancies is a challenge for planners in older cities, inner-ring suburbs, even small towns and rural areas. How can you meet the challenge of vacancies in your community? Come to this invigorating new workshop and see how cities and towns across the country are handling the problem. You'll pick up fresh ideas plus the tools you need to turn vacant properties into community assets.

Registration is now closed.

You'll learn about:

  • Overcoming legal hurdles to dealing with vacancies
  • Motivating owners to get their properties in shape
  • Deciding when to fix up and when to tear down
  • Leveraging vacancies for economic development
  • Linking vacancies to neighborhood revitalization
  • Using vacancies to create green infrastructure, urban agriculture, open space, and more

Course Agenda

Download a draft agenda (pdf)

This agenda is subject to change. Workshop registrants will receive the final agenda after registration closes.

Certification Maintenance (CM)

AICP members earn CM | 14 credits for on-site participation in the full two-day workshop. Partial credit is not available for participation of less than two full days. The workshop will not be available in streaming media.


November 8, 2013

8 a.m.–8:30 a.m.

8:30 a.m.–noon

Noon–1 p.m.
Lunch (provided by APA)

1 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

November 9, 2013

7:30 a.m.–8 a.m.
Continental breakfast

8 a.m.–noon

Noon–1 p.m.
Lunch on your own

1 p.m.–3 p.m.


Alan Mallach, FAICPAlan Mallach, FAICP, is a recognized thought leader on urban change and housing policy. Currently, he teaches city planning at New York's Pratt Institute and serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress, and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. His books include A Decent Home from APA Planners Press andthe PAS report Cities in Transition, coauthored with Joseph Schilling.

Joseph SchillingJoseph Schilling is an author, attorney, and advocate for good planning. Currently, he serves as interim director of Virginia Tech's Metropolitan Institute and leads its Sustainable Communities and Urban Regeneration initiatives. The institute also is home to the Vacant Properties Research Network, which works to revitalize legacy cities. As part of the White House's Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative, Schilling helps manage a midcareer fellowship program for seven pilot cities. His field work serves as a living laboratory for research, service learning, and policy change.

Terry Schwarz, AICPTerry Schwarz, AICP, directs Kent State University's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. Her work includes neighborhood and campus planning, commercial, and residential design guidelines, and ecological strategies for vacant land reuse. In 2005 Schwarz launched the CUDC's Shrinking Cities Institute to address population decline and large-scale urban vacancy in Northeast Ohio. As an outgrowth, she established Pop Up City, temporary uses for vacant and underutilized Cleveland sites. She won the Cleveland Arts Prize for Design in 2009.