Urban Planning Students Claim National Award

Innovative project on managing tax-reverted properties in Detroit wins AICP Award

A group of nine students from Taubman College’s Master of Urban Planning program won the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Student Project Award for Applied Research.

The students; Rob Linn, Oana Druta, John Drain, Pramoth Kitjakarnlertudom, Daniel Stern, Kate Coenen, Te-Ping Kang, Jordan Twardy, and Greg Holman completed the 142-page winning project under the guidance of Taubman College faculty advisors Margaret Dewar and Eric Dueweke.

The project titled, “From Revenue to Reuse: Managing Tax-Reverted Properties in Detroit,” suggests a framework for effectively using existing resources, forming strategic partnerships, and lobbying for legal changes which would assist the Treasurer’s Office and improve the disposition process in ways that increase revenues, decrease costs, and increase positive reuse of property.

“The work was innovative on many levels as no recent analysis of outcomes of tax-reverted property sales existed and because the students analyzed differences in outcomes across the city, a perspective that vacant property policy analyses neglect,” added Professor Dewar.

The team worked with the Wayne County Treasurer to analyze auctions of Detroit tax-reverted properties with the goal of helping the Treasurer’s Office reduce its revenue shortfall over time and help stabilize neighborhoods.

The team also received support from the Detroit Vacant Property Campaign, an initiative of Michigan Community Resources. The student team will receive their award and recognition during the American Planning Association’s National Conference in Chicago April 13-17, 2013.

To see the announcement on the APA website, visit:

The AICP Student Project Awards recognize outstanding class projects or papers by a student or group of students in Planning Accreditation Board-accredited planning programs that contribute to advances in the field of planning in the categories of Applied Research, Application of the Planning Process, and Contribution of Planning to Contemporary Issues.

AICP is the American Planning Association’s professional institute, providing recognized leadership nationwide in the certification of professional planners, ethics, professional development, planning education, and the standards of planning practice.