The fifth annual Ohio Land Bank Conference, hosted by Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s Thriving Communities Institute, is returning to Cleveland after a two-year run in Columbus. The 2015 conference will take place Sept. 21-23 at the downtown Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square.
The conference has become a must-attend event for those in the public and private sectors who are interested in addressing the issue of blight in their communities. Attendees typically include county land bank professionals, government officials, nonprofit organizations and citizens.
More than 250 people are expected to attend this year’s event.
“We are excited about this event as it is being held in Cuyahoga County, where the county land bank movement started in 2009, and because we are able to share the best practices of the 22 land banks now operating in Ohio,” said Jim Rokakis, vice president of the Land Conservancy and director of Thriving Communities Institute. “The progress of many of these land banks is impressive – and this will give them a chance to share their stories.”
The conference will feature 15-18 sessions covering issues such as the repurposing of vacant and abandoned properties, building community support and methods of acquiring properties and then getting them into the hands of responsible owners, according to Robin Darden Thomas, land bank program director for Thriving Communities Institute. A first-day session will focus on the basics of land banking. There will also be mobile workshops to view actual projects rejuvenating blighted properties.
Conference updates are available at www.thrivingcommunitiesinstitute.org.