Partner Feature: City of Cleveland Land Bank

While new development and urban gardens receive the most press when it comes to the beneficial reuse of vacant land, a large majority of recent applicants to the City of Cleveland’s Land Bank are homeowners who are interested in purchasing an adjacent parcel to expand their own property.  In the city, where vacant and dilapidated houses once stood, residents are turning parcels of grass into landscapes that bring striking natural beauty to new open spaces to remake the look of city neighborhoods. As the City and Cuyahoga Land Bank coordinate demolition to remove blight in the community, homeowners seeking larger yards are benefiting.city_logo
The City requires applicants to draw rough site plans that describe what they intend to do on the land that they want to purchase ($200 for a parcel), and this provides a remarkable opportunity to see what Clevelanders aspire to create around their homes. And, for the most part, these applicants are not content to put down grass seed and enclose their lawns with fences. Instead, their plans show future parcels of fruit arbors, swing sets for their children or grandchildren, vegetable gardens, pergolas, benches, garden waterfalls and ponds.
Certainly not every wish of the aspiring land-owner will come to fruition. However, the yard expansion plans taken as a whole communicate a real desire among Clevelanders to create places where they may engage with the land and with their community. The collaboration between the City of Cleveland Land Bank and the Cuyahoga Land Bank has strengthened neighborhoods not just through new houses and market gardens, but by making the everyday lives of Clevelanders better, one yard at a time.

Comments are closed.