For immediate release
Contact: Kathy Dibling, 215-574-4119
HARRISBURG - The Fels Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, along with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, are holding a conference, "Vacant Property in Pennsylvania Cities and Towns: Reinvestment Strategies, Successes, and Challenges," Tuesday, December 7, 2004, at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel and Convention Center, Camp Hill, Pa.
One of the speakers will be landscape architect Peter Latz, who developed an abandoned factory site into the Duisberg-Nord 570-acre recreation complex in Duisberg, Germany. The Duisberg-Nord park is peppered with remnants of its past, including blast furnaces, gas tanks, and storage bunkers. Its gardens rise up from ore bunkers, and scuba divers explore an old gasometer. Latz says combining nature and industrial ruins to develop a recreation area makes reclamation practical and grounds visitors in reality.
During the conference, the Housing Alliance will release its latest publication, "From Liability to Viability: A Technical Resource Guide for Action," which provides hands-on information for local governments and communities about how to get vacant and abandoned property back into productive reuse.
Other speakers at the conference include Jane Golden, who will highlight the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program; Maiteyi Roy, of Philadelphia Green, who will discuss greening and maintaining vacant lots; and Mary Kay Echerode, of S&A Homes in York, Pa., who will examine how local government can attract new development and financing.
Pennsylvania State Representatives John J. Taylor, Jake Wheatley, Jr., and Thomas C. Petrone will talk about legislative achievements in vacant property reclamation during breakfast. During lunch, John Kromer of the Fels Institute of Government will moderate a panel of mayors, who will discuss vacant property reclamation initiatives.
Media may register by calling Katherine Dibling, Philadelphia Federal Reserve assistant media advisor, at 215-574-4119 or Katherine.Dibling@phil.frb.org by November 30, 2004.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia serves depository institutions in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. The Bank supplies cash to the banks and thrifts, supervises them, collects and processes about 5 million checks daily, wires money and securities nationwide, and participates in the broader objective of setting monetary policy.
The Community Affairs Office at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland supports community reinvestment, fair lending, and economic development in low- and moderate-income communities through a wide range of activities, including research, technical assistance, public programs, and education. The Cleveland Reserve Bank serves western Pennsylvania, Ohio, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.
The Fels Institute of Government in the University of Pennsylvania's School of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1937 by industrialist Samuel S. Fels, whose former home now houses the Institute. Fels offers the 12-course M.G.A. degree, a five-course certificate in public finance, and a five-course certificate in nonprofit administration. Fels alumni work throughout the country and the world at all levels of government, in nonprofit organizations, and in private firms that work closely with the public sector. Fels also runs a Government Research Service that partners the Institute's faculty, staff and students and government agencies and other organizations on research projects, such as MyVote1, that aim to improve government performance.
The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania was formed in 1985 to ensure that all Pennsylvanians, particularly those who are low income, have access to decent, safe, and affordable housing. The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(4) corporation that has over 450 members, most of whom are housing consumers, housing advocates, nonprofit housing producers, or local government officials. The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania joins the individual views of its members into a statewide voice to advocate for increased resources for affordable housing.