The shifting role of public–private partnerships in vacant property redevelopment


This study introduces a typology of public–private partnerships formed to redevelop vacant property in response to varying levels of tension between the public and private sectors. Nonprofit, Resident, Public, and Private-driven reinvestment cases are identified in the context of urban shrinkage with diverging paths of collaboration with the land bank in St. Louis, Missouri, the first city-run land bank in the United States. Contractual relationships and partner participations are evaluated in cases where publicly owned property played an instrumental role in the land reuse projects in the mid-2010s, when the land bank began to diversify its processes of redevelopment. Based on partnership typology, this paper analyzes four impactful developments during this time period and compares project initiation, complexity, and outcomes while assessing the role and intensity of land bank involvement. Through sharing the risks and costs of land ownership with project partners, the land bank intends to see the land returned to its original urban function and achieve value for money. This study demonstrates that the result of partnerships depends on stakeholders’ perception of what productive land reuse means for a community.

Publication Title

Land Use Policy