September 24, 2013


The roundtables are an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to come and assess practitioners’ challenges, brainstorm future research questions, and develop action agendas. As of today, we have had roundtables around the following topics:

  • Urban greening
  • Strategic code enforcement
  • Public health

If you are interested in participating in one of these roundtables and/or  have any ideas, facing a challenge, and/or want to learn more, please send us a message here or email

Past Roundtables

June 2015

Strategic Code Enforcement Roundup

Urban Greening Roundup

During the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference– Senior Fellow Joe Schilling convened two strategic roundtables titled: Building the Case for Strategic Code Enforcement and Strengthening the Case for Greening Legacy Cities.

Building the Case for Strategic Code Enforcement

Communities are asking their code enforcement agencies and frontline inspectors to do more in an era of fiscal constraint in neighborhoods with ever changing conditions, markets and local conflicts. As an emerging concept, strategic code enforcement would allow communities to deploy their legal remedies and policy tools in a more effective/efficient way—targeting the right response to the right place at the right time.

Strengthening the Case for Greening Legacy Cities

Urban greening in Legacy Cities refers to the applications of diverse treatments and interventions for reclaiming vacant and abandoned properties. Urban greening positively impacts communities by stabilizing neighborhoods, improving social and public health, and addressing environmental/ecological concerns (e.g. combined sewer overflows, climate change), and benefiting local wildlife.

Despite its multiple benefits, there are many unanswered questions that require more research. Some of these questions-identified during the 2015 roundtable-include: more research on transdisciplinary collaboration, ways measure the interactions of all distinct variables that urban greening impacts, identification of the right blend of greening strategies, and research on the social dimensions.

September 2013

The MI facilitated a special workshop at the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference in Philadelphia. VPRN Board Member Robert Beauregard moderated the opening panel which explored the research partnership between local scholars and their examination of the PHS city wide vacant land management program. Participants shared their thoughts about potential research topics organized according to MI’s Vacant Property Policy Cycle.

July 2013

Research Fellow Joe Schilling hosted a Shrinking Cities Research Café before the ASOP-ACSP international planning schools conference in Dublin, Ireland. Several VPRN Advisory Board Members were present, including Robin Boyle from Wayne State, Maggie Cowell from Virginia Tech, and Dennis Keating from Cleveland State. This informal gathering of international scholars examined how to improve and enhance the art of comparative case studies from Europe and the United States as a way to illuminate the complexities of developing and implementing strategies to address the impacts of urban shrinkage. During the Conference MI Director Joe Schilling participated in a panel discussion on the state of US research and practice in the regeneration of legacy cities.

May 2013

As part of the National Brownfields Conference, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, St. Louis University and Ryerson University facilitated a discussion among 45 practitioners and policymakers around the latest developments in Brownfields research as well as discussed the challenges and opportunities for future collaborations.