Using contests to rehabilitate vacant lots

Center for Community Progress 5 September 2013

In the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, David Young had been running his Capstone Community Gardens for three years before he heard about the city’s PitchNOLA 2012: Lots of Progress competition. Young supplies free food from the Gardens to a dozen families in what he describes as a post-Katrina “food desert,” but had received many calls for fruit. Lots of Progress awarded him first place, including his choice of two among 49 lots controlled by the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) to plant an orchard of 30-plus fruit trees: oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, bananas and figs.