Alexander is BigThink’s Expert on Declining Communities

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By Sam Lewis

Transforming vacant or abandoned properties from liability to asset is the big idea in CSLR Founding Director Frank Alexander’s recent video postings on, a global forum website that connects people and ideas.

“The key to a land bank is to change the property from being a liability into an asset—to take a piece of property which was hurting us all and make it into something that is productive for the neighborhood and the community.”

Alexander discusses the cycle of decline that gave rise to the mortgage crisis, our responsibility to care for land, and the tools we can use to be stewards of the land.  He outlines steps communities can take to fix the big picture, rather than simply focusing on individual problems with each house.

In addition to his role at CSLR and as Sam Nunn Professor at Emory Law, Alexander serves as general counsel and director of policy and research for the Center for Community Progress, a new non -profit organization focused on helping government develop the kind of strategy specific to the community that Alexander discusses in his videos.  “Turning vacant spaces into vibrant places,” is the tagline of the Center for Community Progress and it rests at the center of Alexander’s message.


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