Data-Driven Organizing: A Community-University Partnership to Address Vacant and Abandoned Property

Journal Article by Samantha Teixeira, John M. Wallace
October 2013

University Center for Social and Urban Research   (Pittsburgh)

Vacant and abandoned properties adversely affect the physical, mental, social, and economic health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. This article describes a community–university partnership that combined a multimethod data collection strategy with a novel community-based participatory intervention research model (i.e., data-driven organizing) to address the vacancy problem. The project assessed the conditions of over 1,500 properties in an economically disadvantaged, predominantly African American neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and mobilized residents to use an existing policy mechanism to ameliorate the impact of property vacancy in the community.