As part of Unused Terrain, I regularly follow initiatives by organisations whose purpose is to revitalize, recycle, or re-use vacant lots. 596 acres, an organization based in New York and founded by Paula Z. Segal, first started activating vacant land when Paul came across a spreadshees of all the publicly owned vacant land in Brooklyn and created a map of it to distribute (easier said than done, if our experience in Vancouver is to be relied on!) The map was designed to be a tool to “let people know about the unharnessed potential hidden in plain sight throughout the city’s neighbourhoods.” Since then, 596 acres creates tools that aid citizens access and activate vacant city-owned lands. Their goal is to change the way people see vacant land in their neighbourhood and empower relationships and connections with land. Many of the tools created by 596 acres help citizens understand what is happening with vacant lots and promotes community development and education about sustainable land use. An admirable goal and something to aspire to!
For more information check out 569 Acres