Public Works Expo 2018

MD18 - From Bust to Boom: The Ten-Year Great Recession Recovery of Failed Residential Subdivisions

Aug 27, 2018 2:00pm ‐ Aug 27, 2018 2:50pm


The City of Durham, North Carolina was faced with 50 subdivisions with infrastructure (streets, sidewalks, water, storm sewers, and sewers) in various stages of completion because of the Great Recession’s impact on developer corporations. The City was able to leverage various policies, partnerships, and relationships to complete work in 90% of the subdivisions with no cost to the city and residents and with profit to the new developers that stepped in to assist with the recovery. Attend this session and discover:

  • how to anticipate economic conditions that could lead to failed developments,
  • facilitate and negotiate public/private partnerships to complete unfinished infrastructure,
  • develop policies and procedures to monitor and prevent future failed developments,
  • anticipate and mitigate budgetary impacts of development plans.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, you will be better able to: 

  • Identify trends, triggers, policies, and processes that can lead to failed developments
  • Recognize and use the power of public/private partnerships for completing infrastructure projects
  • Examine the costs of completing infrastructure and develop an assessment of the true value to a city for rescuing failed developments.


  • Tasha Johnson, PE, CPM, Assistant Director, Engineering Division, City of Durham, NC
  • Robert Joyner, Civil Engineer V, City of Durham, NC
  • Daniel Vallero, PE, Right of Way Management Group Supervisor, City of Durham, NC

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