With funding from both public & private sources and the help of many volunteers, the Land Use Management Department’s focus is the transformation of abandoned vacant lots into clean and green open spaces.

We use a land stabilization process of removing trash and debris, leveling the ground, adding top soil, and planting grass seed.  Trees and post or rail fencing are added to some lots. After stabilization, the lots are managed under a monthly maintenance plan, which includes cutting the grass, removing trash and debris, tree-trimming, and mulching.

In partnership with the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ TreeVitalize program, Land Use Management works with local block groups to plant multiple trees on their blocks.  Since Fall 2005 we have planted more than 300 trees on neighborhood blocks using this process.

Working with several city agencies, our sideyard program assists area residents in the title transfer of adjacent vacant lots to the homeowners.  Thus far, over 100 lots have been transferred to property owners.

The Wharton School Land Use Study
In 2004 Susan Wachter of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School published findings from her research in the NKCDC service area. With support from the William Penn Foundation, her research is part of a larger study that evaluates the benefits of community investment within Philadelphia. The findings show our work has a tremendous impact in our service area (more info and a New York Times article referencing the study).

For more information regarding vacant land management, please contact Marlene Buck at 215-427-0350 x 122 or mbuck@nkcdc.org.