Building better lives one block at a time

Building Blocks

Unhealthy neighborhoods with run-down lots and vacant properties equal unhealthy lives.

People in these neighborhoods live in stress – afraid to go outside and exercise – at risk of heart disease and drug use, along with violent crime.

Building Blocks will be a national movement providing the tools for communities to adopt and improve neighborhoods by cleaning and greening vacant lots, fixing abandoned buildings, and washing away graffiti using straightforward, reproducible strategies.

“If you have vacant lots, you can throw guns in overgrown weeds. It (revitalization) reduces the area for conditions for crime.”

John Stanford, Philadelphia Police Spokesman

Building Blocks team members have conducted research across the country and found that simple interventions such as bringing life to vacant lots and abandoned buildings improves public health, increases public safety, and sets the stage for better economic opportunity.

It's not just reducing negative health effects. Half of crime in the United States occurs in a small number of neighborhoods, where revitalization efforts have been proven to reduce crime and violence.