Land banks have existed in the U.S. for more than four decades, but as recently as 2010, they were still a relatively unexplored community development tool. This guide provides clear historic context about the development of land banking and elucidates the rapid evolution of land banking.
Practitioners will also find an expanded trove of practical resources, including extensive guidance on creating and operating a land bank in Part II and a detailed look at ensuring a strong future for land banks in Part IV.
Land banking is one of many tools that can be used to address vacant and abandoned properties. As its title suggests, this publication is focused squarely on land banks. But it also highlights the many important links between this tool and other systems that govern the use and reuse of land, including, perhaps most critically, property tax enforcement. In addition, it explores in what context a land bank is likely to be most impactful and when a community might be better served looking to other tools, entities, or strategies.
One of the most valuable lessons contained in this edition is the recognition that each community’s challenge is a little different and that the first step in any community’s fight against vacancy and blight must be to understand and diagnose the problem. Only then will it become clear which tools or strategies, including land banking, need to be part of the solution.