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COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery

Use city land-use powers to support more equitable growth


  • Uses one of the strongest municipal powers to draw investments in a way that is aligned with economic development goals
  • Relatively low cost for a city (e.g., fee reductions may have some costs)
  • Leverages existing planning, or current planning processes that can be implemented quickly
  • Accelerates digitization of review processes and permitting already underway due to COVID
  • Recoups taxes or puts properties back on tax rolls for revenue creation


  • May require disruption of existing planning processes
  • Can perpetuate economic disinvestment in low-income areas, if not thoughtfully considered
  • Can be time-consuming and require considerable buy-in from stakeholders and community
  • May require supporting legislation from the state or county

Impact: Medium
Implementation time: Slow (if no city council approval required), M (if required)
Cost: Low. Some FTE are required to administer the program, but the actions are centered around powers and property the government already owns.

Learn more about the Toolkit

COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery

Activate Vacant Buildings


In this way, you will support local businesses and create short-term construction jobs as well as good, neighborhood jobs, and fill a long-time vacant building.

Learn more about the Tactical Guide