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Fact Sheets

The Latest KOB News, Press Releases and Information

  • Keep Ohio Beautiful’s National Planting Day at the Ohio Statehouse is featured in Total Landscape Care at Total Landscape Care
  • Keep Ohio Beautiful – National Planting Day featured in the Keep America Beautiful Blog
  • Keep Ohio Beautiful is featured August 2014 ‘Non-Profit Issue’ of the Ohio Business Profile at
  • The Atlantic: Littering and Following the CrowdKeep Ohio Beautiful is mentioned in The Atlantic
    In “Littering and Following the Crowd,” posted on The Atlantic, Loretta Brown, a marine debris education and outreach specialist with the nonprofit Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, states, “The best way for people to become engaged and change their behaviors is not just to inform them of the problem, but to have them actively experience the problem. It’s about having the conversation—that really helps. It’s a behavioral change.” Whether it’s the coastlines of Alaska, California, Maine or Georgia, ocean currents continue to carry marine debris to our shores. The costs continue to mount.  To combat this blight on our coastal regions, education and the reinforcement of social norms remain at the forefront of changing people’s littering behavior. Read full article here.

 Addressing Community Impacts of Blighted Properties

National Literature Review, “Charting the Multiple Meanings of Blight,”
is First Phase of New Long-term Initiative
to Study, Measure and Combat Blight in Communities

Keep America Beautiful, the leading national nonprofit that envisions a country where every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live, today announced the release of “Charting the Multiple Meanings of Blight: A National Literature Review on Addressing the Community Impacts of Blighted Properties.” The report provides a contemporary snapshot of how researchers, experts and practitioners describe and understand the complex conditions that create blight and the many policy responses that communities are taking.

  • “Charting the Multiple Meanings of Blight” – Executive Summary 
  • “Charting the Multiple Meanings of Blight” – Final Report
  • For more information please contact Keep America Beautiful or Keep Ohio Beautiful

Prepared by researchers through the Vacant Properties Research Network (VPRN), a project of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, in collaboration with Econsult Solutions Inc., a Philadelphia-based consulting firm, the national report examines more than 300 academic articles as well as special policy and practitioner reports devoted to the concept of blight.

“The term ‘blight’ continues to evolve as communities confront different types of blighted properties from littered and vacant lots to foreclosed and abandoned homes,” said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “This research will contribute significantly to the understanding of blight, a critical environmental, economic and social issue Keep America Beautiful and our affiliates are strongly positioned to help address in urban, suburban and rural communities nationwide.

“The report will have an even broader impact because it will help us shape the development of measurement tools that will let us better assess and then prepare strategies to combat blight in all its forms at the community level,” concluded Jehn.

The primary authors outlined: 1) what recent articles and reports say about blight; 2) how policymakers and community-based organizations can leverage the report’s findings; and 3) how Keep America Beautiful and its network of community-based affiliates can build on this report to develop a blight cost calculator for community groups and local governments.  The report concludes with 10 overarching recommendations for policymakers, future research, and potential actions by Keep America Beautiful and its affiliates.

“Blight is a complex legal and policy concept with a long history,” observed Metropolitan Institute Senior Fellow Joe Schilling, a report co-author. “This pioneering synthesis of the literature will help local officials and community-based organizations, such as Keep America Beautiful and its affiliates, fashion more holistic strategies to address the community impacts of blighted properties and facilitate neighborhood revitalization.”

Report co-author Lee Huang of Econsult Solutions Inc. agrees.  “What we found in our work is that ‘blight’ looks like and means different things in different settings. Our review of the existing literature really underscores this point, and has yielded a very rich look at how various communities define and deal with blight.”

While considerable research has examined the history of blight in the United States, its role in national policy and the experience of communities living in blighted neighborhoods, little research has systematically examined the multiple meanings of blight across contexts. This project reviews and synthesizes knowledge about blight, broadly conceived, and draws together academic literature and practitioner reports to systematically assess:

  • The nature of blight;
  • The effects of blight;
  • The factors that have shaped its development; and
  • How understandings of blight have changed over time.

This literature review will benefit policymakers, particularly in understanding how different communities are addressing rising rates of vacancy and how property abandonment has come to be a common characteristic of contemporary blight. The research also provides new and beneficial knowledge for local communities by making the changing patterns of neighborhoods more transparent. Further, for underrepresented and disadvantaged groups and their advocates struggling with blighted neighborhoods, this research will underscore many of the factors affecting their condition.

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