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Understanding and Repurposing Vacant Land in Muncie

In the spring 2022 semester, the Urban Planning 498 class worked with the Muncie Land Bank to find appropriate properties for the land bank to acquire. The mission of the Muncie Land Bank, Inc., is to acquire abandoned and blighted property, preserve it, and provide it to the public for strategic redevelopment. The class engaged the community in 1) Producing knowledge about vacant land in Muncie and 2) Proposing strategic reuse of abandoned properties. Faculty, students, and community partners will collaboratively publish the results of this immersive learning effort and share them publicly.

Over the course of the semester, the class achieved the following objectives:

  • Reported stories about the impacts of vacant, publicly owned land
  • Analyzed local data on abandonment (SCOUT Muncie) to answer practical research questions.
  • Defined community priorities for vacant properties
  • Sought community partners for achieving community re-use priorities.
  • Proposed plans for the reuse of vacant land.

An important feature of this immersive learning class was meeting ‘community consultants’ who attended class with the students and provided strategic input into their work. Community consultants were individuals who currently work in local government, philanthropies, or have personal experience with vacant and abandoned properties.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. John West, Department of Urban Planning

Students: Phillip Boadi, Lauren Bouslog, Adam Coleson, Lauren Doppke, Joe Fillenwarth, Andrew Kanwit, Kaelyn Leach, Alyssa Liebman, Ainsley Ludema, Taylor Matthews, Bryce Muller, Jessica Muncie, Matthew Pytel, Christian Terrell, Genevieve Zircher