Revitalizing Vacant Assets in the City of Baltimore

The U.S. Forest Service is part of a team developing a model for a land restoration economy in the City of Baltimore. The broader effort sought to: (1) identify priority outcomes of land restoration for key stakeholders in Baltimore; (2) use those priorities to inform a model for selecting land to restore in Baltimore to meet diverse outcomes; and, (3) work with community members to propose innovative design interventions to deliver these outcomes while serving the community. The priorities identified informed not only the designs themselves, but also the maintenance regimes and metrics for measuring the success of those designs. Those measurements of success also informed which design interventions best meet identified priorities.

EFC assisted in developing options for potential innovative funding mechanisms for a land restoration economy in Baltimore. Specifically, this included an analysis of funding mechanisms such as impact investing, innovative tax and fee mechanisms and Joint Benefit Authorities, as well as an analysis of alternative ownership models such as land bank models, community ownership, and private ownership of public space. The options for land restoration include incorporating biochar as a soil amendment in designs. Using biochar has the potential to improve cost effectiveness of a stormwater intervention and could also facilitate reuse of some of the wood and wood waste products available in Baltimore.

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