Last week, nearly 650 people gathered in Pittsburgh, PA for Reclaiming Vacant Properties, the first ever national conference on the topic. The conference was the culmination of years of dreaming and working by the National Vacant Properties Campaign. Over 500 people were registered before the event, but the large number of walk-up registrants Monday morning nearly filled it to capacity, resulting in a packed ballroom for two days in the Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. Needless to say, we were thrilled with the turnout.
There were a large number of participants from Cleveland, Akron, Dayton, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and other Rust Belt cities that have struggled with the issue in large numbers for many years, but participants of all stripes came from all over the country to learn about the issue and pool their knowledge.
Over the next few weeks, you’ll be able to download powerpoints and MP3’s of some of the presentations, as well as a full speaker list on the conference website. We took plenty of photos of the conference and parts of the city during one of the mobile workshops, which you can access through the slideshows below. If you were at the conference or want to use some of the photos for non-profit use, you can find permission info and contact information with the album online.
There was some good local news coverage as well, including a nearly three-minute piece on one Pittsburgh network’s evening news.
Click on the right corner of the
slideshow to view them on the web