Vacant lot management should be approached on a site-to-site basis within the framework of a comprehensive neighborhood and city-wide vision. Understanding the neighborhood context, including social, economic, and environmental factors, can inform an appropriate course of action for a target neighborhood and guide the designs of specific sites within the neighborhood. Before initiating any sort of plan, it is important to consider the role of community engagement in realizing a sustainable solution, focusing on a “bottom-up” approach to implement changes in each neighborhood. Including community members in the conversation can help to leverage social capital and identify local resources for short-term and long-term care of these sites. Furthermore, the involvement of community members can promote neighborhood ownership and further stabilize the neighborhood by strengthening civic participation.
Keep Cincinnati Beautiful (KCB) has recognized the importance of community engagement and already has established relationships with community leaders. This section looks at ways to expand upon these efforts with initiatives led by the community leaders and members. This section includes a framework (S.E.E.D) to expand KCB’s existing community engagement efforts to include discussions about vacant properties. The four steps – SHARE, EXPLORE, EXECUTE, and DISCOVER – include what to do, when to take action, who will take action, and where to take action.