Article

Brownfields Regulatory Reform and Policy Innovation in Practice

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Abstract

In this paper, we explore innovations in brownfields policy in the United States and their nexus with planning, using the state of Wisconsin as a study area and the broader literature on regulatory reform as guideposts for our analysis. We examine the innovations from four vantages: (1) statewide initiatives; (2) the efforts of Wisconsin cities to promote brownfields redevelopment across their neighborhoods; (3) project-specific uses of institutional, regulatory, and financial innovations to encourage revitalization; and (4) local planners' perceptions of the innovations. Throughout the paper, we focus on the role of economic incentives, regulatory flexibility, regulatory structure, and the behavioral culture of brownfields stakeholders. We base our work on interviews of nearly 70 individuals from public, private-for-profit, private-nonprofit, and tribal organizations and a survey of over 100 Wisconsin planners and economic development specialists.

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... For example, scholars and practitioners routinely identify brownfield redevelopment as a source of neighborhood improvement, a mechanism to increase property values, a source of sustainable development, a means to reduce urban sprawl, a path to an improved environment, and a source of new jobs (De Sousa, 2006;Greenberg, Lowrie, Solitare, & Duncan, 2000;Leigh & Coffin, 2005). Not surprisingly, brownfield policy has come to be seen as a major community development tool of state and local governments (see Bjelland, 2004;Thomas, 2002;Wernstedt & Hersh, 2006;Whitney, 2003). Interestingly, the question of whether brownfield redevelopment policies increase the total number of sites being cleaned or the level to which sites are cleaned is less often explored. ...
... However, not all scholars agree about the effectiveness of such brownfield programs. Wernstedt and Hersh (2006) note that voluntary brownfield programs can lead to a poor-quality redevelopment. The authors argue for additional state oversight and community involvement in redevelopment projects. ...
Article
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This article explores the impact of a brownfield redevelopment initiative in the state of Michigan. Although such programs are often perceived as having a positive impact, there is remarkably little evidence beyond anecdotal examples to support such claims. The reported analysis is based on a 5-year project to create a database capable of assessing the impact of the Michigan program. Findings indicate that a viable market for brownfield redevelopment has been created since the change in Michigan brownfield law. On average, brownfield sites have shown a decline in quality over time; however, many sites demonstrated significant improvement.
... Why then does the Brownfields Program attract so many applicants? Beyond the immediate financial support and the tacit public commitment to a project that such support may suggest (Wernstedt & Hersh, 2006), local actors pursuing Brownfields grants respond to a variety of professional and organizational values. Winning a Brownfields award symbolizes and perhaps even motivates local attention to revitalization issues. ...
... The role of local governments in promoting brownfields reuse and, in some cases, taking an assertive role in regulating environmental cleanup is welldocumented. Empirical research points to local knowledge, connections to state and federal agencies, support from local politicians, and civic engagement among the factors influencing redevelopment success (Lange & McNeil, 2004a;Wernstedt & Hersh, 2006). Fortney (2006) contends that locally run cleanup programs can benefit from the infusion of local knowledge, promoting the safe reuse of contaminated lands. ...
Article
This article examines social, economic, and political factors influencing the distribution of resources to local governments under the EPA Brownfields Program, an innovative federal effort to encourage the remediation and redevelopment of contaminated properties. Signed into law in 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act provided the program with a congressional mandate, new tools to promote reuse such as liability protections, and increased funding up to a level of $250 million per year. This article contributes to research on environmental regulatory reform with an analysis of successful and unsuccessful local government applicants for EPA Brownfields Program support between 2003 and 2007. Building on prior research, we develop a series of expectations and an empirical model, and estimate the influence of program priorities, government and civic capacity, interest group pressures, and institutional politics. Results point to significant relationships between program priorities and award patterns. Contrary both to EPA's explicit commitments to equity and to analysis of pre-2003 award patterns, however, we find negative correlations between the proportions of local populations that are nonwhite or low-income and the likelihood of receiving an award. In addition, better-resourced governments and several dimensions of political representation show strong associations with the likelihood of winning awards. We conclude by discussing implications.
... That the economic dimension predominates in cleanup programs throughout the United States may reflect the fact that many publicly led efforts at contaminated properties are housed in local development entities, rather than in public planning agencies. In fact, a survey of roughly 80 representatives of public planning and economic development agencies in Wisconsin (see Wernstedt and Hersh 2006) indicates the different objectives of the two groups. AsTable 1 highlights, individuals in planning agencies appear to emphasize reducing environmental and health risks, while those in economic development agencies value more efficient use of 1 Although the general emphases on neighborhood revitalization, tax and job augmentation, and environmental cleanup may fairly represent the objectives of the survey respondents, the U.S. Conference of Mayors' numerical results are problematic. ...
... The 126 program participants actually contacted in Virginia yielded 27 responses, for a 21 percent response rate. This compares favorably with response rates (11–12 percent) from two previously published studies that report results from surveys of private parties on the redevelopment of contaminated properties (Wernstedt and Hersh 2006; Wernstedt et al. 2003) and the response rate (10 percent) reported in a recent survey of public officials about the conversion of contaminated properties to parks (Siikamäki and Wernstedt 2008). respondents. ...
Article
Nearly every state in the United States has developed one or more voluntary cleanup programs (VCPs) to support an alternative approach to cleanup of contaminated sites. Thousands of sites have entered into these programs. Yet, despite the ubiquity of VCPs and the number of enrolled properties, we know little about the factors that influence voluntary action at these sites. This paper reports results from interviews of state officials involved in VCPs in all states, and from a survey of VCP participants in several states. It has two objectives. First, at an application level, the interview and survey results can be used to help improve policy and practice in voluntary cleanup programs. Second, the paper furnishes a unique study to the general literature on environmental voluntary behavior, contributing an empirical, survey-based study of volunteers engaged in cleanup.
... The two initiatives represent the only state-level efforts in the country that have come to fruition that we are aware of, and the principal purpose of the vignettes is to highlight features to explore in the nationwide survey described below. For each state we identified an initial contact based on our extensive prior brownfields work in the region (Wernstedt and Hersh 2006). From this initial contact, we generated a snowball sample of policy and project-level stakeholders (from both the public and private sector), which we then contacted to schedule interviews. ...
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This study employs interviews, document review, and a national survey of local government officials to investigate the factors that influence the success of efforts to convert underutilized contaminated properties into greenspace. We find that the presence of contamination continues to be a concern despite federal and state efforts to ease liability fears but also that site and project features can overcome this hurdle. In particular, jurisdictions appear more likely to convert distressed properties into greenspace if recreational parks, rather than open space, are planned, sites are already owned rather than available only through tax foreclosure, and the state is perceived as being supportive of the conversion. In addition, mixed public-private funding and site locations in residential areas are more likely to attract community support for conversion projects.
... However, it is difficult to define the financial risk due to uncertainties of social responsibilities under land reuse plans (Alastair et al., 2000;Prato, 2007). These uncertainties, along with inflexible regulations and a lack of economic incentives for brownfield redevelopment policies, have created challenges for land management (Hammond, 1998;CLARINET, 2002aCLARINET, , 2002bMcCarthy, 2002;Nijkamp et al., 2002;Wernstedt and Hersh, 2006;Thornton et al., 2007;Luo et al., 2009). ...
... Wernstedt and Hersh pointed out that different stakeholder had different purposes in brownfield redevelopment conflict [7] . Chang and Sigman described brownfield redevelopment as a "prisoner's dilemma" and indicated that the personal or mutual interests leaded to the conflict [8] . ...
... Instytucje publiczne (rządowe, samorządowe) mogą się stać "zakładnikami" deweloperów, których pozycja jest na tyle mocna, że pozwala im na dyktowanie warunków, co zazwyczaj kończy się realizacjami przynoszącymi inwestorom konkretny wymiar ekonomiczny, ale niekoniecznie służy realizacji wysokiej jakości zabudowy oraz jest zgodna z oczekiwaniami okolicznych mieszkańców. dlatego też apeluje się o większy udział władz centralnych i lokalnych na każdym etapie realizacji konkretnych przedsięwzięć, a nade wszystko -o wzięcie pod uwagę głosów lokalnych społeczności (Wernstedt, Hersh 2006). ...
Article
An important problem of post-industrial cities, resulting from the economic changes, is their heritage in a form of often degraded and unused post-industrial areas. They are mostly situated in central districts. Thus, it is obvious that local authorities consider them as perspective and priority in spatial development. The revitalization processes that should revive the city, usually run two ways: through the modernization of existing buildings or the implementation of new, often large-scale projects. Neo-liberal city management typically produces profits their implementers, but also can disrupt spatial order, and – through progressive processes of gentrification – existing social structures.
... A C C E P T E D ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT 3 indicates that approximately 70% of brownfield reutilization areas were industrial sites, and approximately 5-10% of brownfields are located in urban renewal areas [2]. According to a survey conducted by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (TWEPA), Taiwan has approximately 120,000 abandoned factories that are potentially contaminated; approximately 60% of the land at these factory sites already exceeds the control standards of the Soil and Groundwater Pollution Remediation Act (known as the Remediation Act) [3]. ...
Article
An integrated management strategy that considers the competing relationships between land values and associated risks in the process of land-use conversion is needed to assess and manage the reutilization of brownfields. However, the often large number of individual brownfields renders it difficult to conduct a completed risk assessment for all sites, and a streamlined risk screening method would facilitate prioritization of the redevelopment of those factories. This methodology takes into account the spatial heterogeneity of contaminated lands and produces risk mapping that compiles complex risk-related information. Using abandoned factories in Taiwan as a case study, the method considers 40 points (50% accumulated probability) as the threshold of acceptable risk. Emergency risk should be over 90% of accumulated probability. For the sustainability of brownfield reutilization in Taiwan, this research uses a risk matrix to identify the low, middle, and high risk for brownfield reutilization. It can indicate zones with a high risk level or low economic incentive as areas of concern for future decision making. In Taiwan, high-risk sites with high incentive account for only 21.3% of the sites. In contrast, the sites with the lowest incentive and low risk account for 57.6% of the sites. To avoid failure in the brownfield market, three strategies are suggested: (1) flexible land management with urban planning is a feasible option for protecting the receptor’s health; (2) the government could provide the tool or brownfield funds to reduce the uncertainty of investment risk; and (3) risk monitoring and management can reduce the possible pitfalls associated with brownfield reutilization.
... Instytucje publiczne (rządowe, samorządowe) mogą się stać "zakładnikami" deweloperów, których pozycja jest na tyle mocna, że pozwala im na dyktowanie warunków, co zazwyczaj kończy się realizacjami przynoszącymi inwestorom konkretny wymiar ekonomiczny, ale niekoniecznie służy realizacji wysokiej jakości zabudowy oraz jest zgodna z oczekiwaniami okolicznych mieszkańców. dlatego też apeluje się o większy udział władz centralnych i lokalnych na każdym etapie realizacji konkretnych przedsięwzięć, a nade wszystko -o wzięcie pod uwagę głosów lokalnych społeczności (Wernstedt, Hersh 2006). ...
... A total of 134 postgraduates responded to the survey giving a response rate of 11.2% which is congruent with voluntary online survey response rates (Siikamaki &Wernstedt, 2008;Wernstedt & Hersh, 2006). Using data provided by the University, the respondents" names were matched to their supervisors" names, this then enabled the number of candidates with "fast track" and "normal" supervisors to be determined. ...
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This study explored the research experiences of postgraduates and determines their relationships with the supervisors’ training backgrounds and the student's psychosocial attributes. A total of 134 higher degree research students from an Australian university were sampled. The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) was administered online to gauge the research experiences of the postgraduates. Overall, the respondents’ ratings of their experiences in supervision, skill development, and goals of the research project were above average. Infrastructure and intellectual climate, however, were rated as average by the respondents. This study also found that the respondents’ research experiences differ according to supervisor's background and it was related to their psychosocial attributes.
... The premise behind these incentives is that they can enhance the market attractiveness to private investors of marginally attractive contaminated sites enough to stimulate redevelopment. Wernstedt and Hersh (2006), in an extensive case study of Wisconsin's VCP, highlight the evolution of the program's voluntary liability exemption process to encourage just such interest, including an innovative insurance mechanism to guard against reopeners. Indeed, Winson-Geideman et al. (2004) note that "[v]oluntary programmes are a common method of preparing sites for market re-entry." ...
Article
Nearly every state in the United States has developed a voluntary land cleanup program to support an alternative, more decentralized approach to the revitalization of contaminated and underperforming land. Yet, despite the ubiquity of such programs and the thousands of properties enrolled in them, we know relatively little about their formation and attractiveness. This paper reports results from interviews of officials in voluntary cleanup program in all fifty states, and from a survey of program participants in one state. It seeks to characterize attitudes about the desirability and performance of voluntary cleanup programs and to motivate further research into policies to improve their efficacy. Results suggest the primacy of economic redevelopment in motivating state officials to develop voluntary cleanup program, with improving environmental quality, promoting regulatory reform, easing political pressures, and improving the cleanup process also playing roles. Program participants in the state examined in detail indicated that gaining liability protection, decreasing cleanup costs, and facilitating property sales constitute the most important potential benefits of enrolling properties in voluntary cleanup programs.
... The mass movement from government to governance, with its associated flexibility and focus on entrepreneurialism provides another lens from which to look at how firms get involved in brownfields reuse planning (Benjamin & Nathan, 2001; Osborne & Gaebler, 1992). Regulatory innovation theory argues that a governance framework gives state and local regulators increased capacity to " strike deals " with property owners (Wernstedt & Hersh, 2006). These new deals can lay the groundwork for providing unprecedented incentives and enticements to private entities that have outstanding environmental liabilities, in a way that the old model of government would never have allowed. ...
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Because owners of brownfield sites are primarily interested in avoiding liability, they are rarely players in reusing planning of their properties. However, in some cases, private companies have taken a leadership role in reuse planning for their moribund sites. This article explores these unique examples of corporate responsibility through surveys of federal and state brownfields officials in the United States and in-depth case studies of reuse projects in three U.S. cities. The findings suggest that firms appear to be motivated for promoting the reuse of their brownfields in order to maintain a reputation in their community, establish an economic precedent for successful reuse, maintain control over potential future environmental liabilities, and as a manifestation of corporate social responsibility. Implication for public works managers and planners include a need to leverage third party liability rules to encourage greater responsibility and leadership by firms in the reuse of their contaminated sites.
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How many brownfield sites are there in the United States? Although numerous federal and state lists of contaminated lands are known—totaling more than 380,000 sites—there is no comprehensive estimate of unlisted or total brownfield sites. This article uses economic base contraction analysis to provide an estimate of the number and acreage of brownfield sites, by type and as a percentage of the land, in 31 large cities in the United States. This approach recognizes that brownfields are the outcome of years of decline in central-city manufacturing, trade, transportation, and residential uses. Using a moderately restrictive definition of brownfield, there are an estimated 75,000 formerly industrial brownfield sites in these U.S. central cities, on 93,000 acres. This is about 5% of the land area in these communities. Another 20,000 acres are present in these same cities in the form of residential brownfields. These findings imply that the overall number of nonresidential brownfields sites in the United States is at least 500,000 to 600,000 or more.
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This article examines the barriers to brownfield redevelopment through a case study analysis of four cities in two Great Lakes states. Four key barriers are identified and investigated: legal liability, limited information, limited financial resources, and limited demand for the properties. Perceived liability emerges as a dominant barrier, and one that compounds the other three barriers. The article analyzes how and why liability perceptions affect stakeholder behavior and provides lessons learned for promoting brownfield redevelopment.
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In order to meet the challenges posed by significant increases in population, the recycling of brownfields is essential. Recycling brownfields can also promote infill development which will, in turn, optimize population densities and can serve to reduce negative aspects of sprawl. Infill development can revitalize existing communities as idle or underutilized properties in urban centers will be used for residential, commercial and public purposes (schools, parks, hospitals). However, there exists a delicate balance in California, where urban density has increased, there is increased competition for buildable sites, particularly for public facilities, i.e., schools. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) developed a number of early initiatives to address brownfields problems, and, where available, complemented them with other related State mechanisms. Both legislative and administrative reforms were the cornerstones of these early tools. Additionally, DTSC views all types of cleanup projects as a potential reuse opportunity and seeks to work cooperatively with parties to meet this objective while ensuring that cleanups are conducted in an environmentally sound manner. This article will examine the origins of DTSC's brownfields programs, highlight key new programs enacted or proposed under the Administration of California's Governor Gray Davis (Davis Administration) and examine emerging brownfields issues for the State. This article presents an analysis which is in large part based on the authors' direct observations, interactions and interpretations.
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A survey was made of all municipalities in the state of New Jersey (N = 566) to determine how many had brownfields sites that caused property devaluation and land-use changes beyond the site boundaries. Most municipalities (80%, n = 450) replied; 10% indicated that brownfields sites caused neighborhood impacts, and 3% reported land-use and neighborhood impacts more than one-quarter mile from the site and multiple land-use changes as a result of a brownfield site. Typically, this last group of neighborhoods also had neighborhood problems such as unsafe conditions and inadequate services. Policy suggestions for this group of highly stressed neighborhoods are discussed.
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A survey was conducted with over 200 residents of a largely Hispanic census tract in the City of Perth Amboy, NJ, in order to identify their preferences for brownfield redevelopment and the extent to which residents want to participate in the redevelopment process. We found that residents preferred recreation, cultural and other community facilities, followed by new housing. They were less interested in industry and business. Three-quarters of respondents indicated a desire to participate in the redevelopment process. Those who were most interested in participation tended to be optimistic, less trusting of authority, distressed by brownfields and focused on providing opportunities for youth. In light of the fact that US brownfields redevelopment has been promoted as a way to bring industry and commerce back to inner-city neighbourhoods, the findings of this study imply that local government and business interests need to work closely with local communities to build support for commercial land uses. Alternatively, processes need to be developed that will fund the clean-up of brownfield sites to residential and recreation land-use standards.
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This study examines the role that land contamination plays in hindering central city redevelopment. The author tracked all sales and selling prices and the presence of contamination in one industrial area of about 5,580 acres in southwest Baltimore. The results indicate that after the mid-1990s, contaminated parcels have been selling and the market has adjusted to contamination by lowering prices. Out of 144 parcels that sold over the past decade, positive, market-clearing prices have been found for 45 parcels with either confirmed or historical-reasons-to-suspect contamination. Interviews with owners and brokers of parcels on the market for 2 years or more and analysis of the data indicate that sites with above-market asking price; that are small and oddshaped; with inadequate road access for modern trucks; that have outdated water, sewer, and telecommunications connections; and with incompatible surrounding land uses are the most likely to remain unsold after 2 years.
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This article examines three case studies of brownfield redevelopment in Baltimore, Maryland, to refine understanding of the boundary between privately and publicly initiated brownfield redevelopments. The cases range from Camden Crossing, a city- initiated project that promised to turn an abandoned and contaminated site into middle-income housing, to Crown Cork and Seal, a privately funded site reclaimed for industrial use. The cases suggest trade-offs between the following three conditions: (a) the strength of local market demand, (b) the level of contamination, and (c) new use. When market conditions are strong, contamination relatively minor, and land use is remaining industrial, the private sector is more likely to be the sole initiator and implementer of redevelopment. When a project calls for a transfer from contaminated industrial to residential use, faces weak market demand for the final project, and con- tends with a complicated cleanup, the greater is the required public subsidy.
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Owners are liable for the cleanup of contaminated properties regardless of their failure to contribute to the contamination. Consequently, investors avoid polluted brownfield locations. To promote redevelopment of such properties, Michigan has enacted legislation that specifies the state's interest and criteria for entering into a "covenant not to sue" (CNTS) with innocent purchasers of polluted sites (those not responsible for causing the contamination). By mitigating cleanup liability, CNTSs enhance redevelopment prospects. The state also has a site reclamation program that provides grants or loans to governmental entities for the cleanup of contaminated sites. A requirement for funding is that there be committed investors for future economic activity on the property.
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Brownfield development can be a "win-win" situation for the majority of the stakeholders that have an interest in the near- and Ion-term use of a currently unrealized asset. Further, brownfield development is a complex and time-consuming problem, only part of which is related to environmental concerns. Whereas there seems to be a flurry of brownfield development, both nationally and internationally. tools are lacking that can help to support complex decision making and ultimately expedite site remediation and development. In this research, we have collected data from 75 brownfields in the United States, analyzed the data to be able to distinguish "successful" from "not-so-successful" sites, and developed a logit model that may be used to estimate the probability of development outcomes. Much of the brownfield literature focuses on anecdote and qualitative descriptions of experiences. Therefore this research, which is based on empirical analyses, contributes to the literature by proposing a predictive model that may support rational decision making. Additionally, this research provides recommendations for application and improvement of the model.
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The redevelopment of former industrial sites can have positive impacts on the environment, economic development, and quality of life in a given community. The federal brownfields initiative of the 1990s was intended to encourage environmental remediation of properties that are typically less contaminated than Superfund sites. Additionally, states have adopted programs that limit environmental liability and allow for risk-based cleanup standards, both of which should encourage a Would-be investor or developer. Based on the statistical analysis of data collected from two nationwide surveys, this research shows that factors other than environmental concerns can impact the successful redevelopment of a brownfield. Analyses of the data using descriptive statistics, exploratory data analysis, factor analysis, and hypothesis testing indicate that the following are also influential factors: time to occupancy, total development costs, community support. proposed land use, condition of the local infrastructure, willingness of lending institutions to participate in the financing, support of local politicians, availability of financial incentives, and number of jobs to be created. These results support the idea that successful brownfield development cannot be accomplished by simply addressing the environmental issues.
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What planners do most is talk and interact; it is through communicative practice that they influence public action. This paper contends that communicative planning requires a new concept of information and how it influences action—namely, a concept of communicative rationality, supplementing instrumental rationality. Drawing on the author's research on the role of information in policy processes, and on Habermas's views of communicative action and rationality, the paper makes three main points. First, information in communicative practice influences by becoming embedded in understandings, practices and institutions, rather than by being used as evidence. Second, the process by which the information is produced and agreed on is crucial and must include substantial debate among key players and a social process to develop shared meaning for the information. Third, many types of information count, other than “objective” information. A concluding note urges planning researchers and educators to put more emphasis on this broader concept of information in practice, and warns practitioners that being technically right is never enough to influence action.
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Economic Development practitioners increasingly confront environmental concerns and the added costs associated with site contamination. This report seeks to bring this knowledge to local officials who are struggling to increase economic activity in their communities. This guidebook offers detailed information on state and federal regulations and programs. It will help practitioners understand the problems, opportunities, and available tools needed to thoughtfuly integrate environmental cleanup into the economic development process. The report is laid out in five parts: (1) Framing the Issue, (2) Environmental Considerations, (3) Financing Tools, (4) Environmental Program Tools, and (5) Success Stories.
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The recent growth of urban brownfield redevelopment and green-field protection initiatives is a positive indicator of the redirected priorities of the public and private sectors to restore and regenerate sustainable places and spaces in the American landscape. Concepts such as "sustainable development" and "environmental stewardship" are universal ideals, achievable goals, and intergenerational necessities that have practical applications. This article suggests that brownfield redevelopment and greenfield protection are land use strategies that emphasize long-term sustainability goals rather than unrestrained economic growth and resource expansion. Brownfield initiatives are deeply intertwined with community economic redevelopment and job creation, and they are also important aids in health and safety issues, neighborhood restoration, and the reuse of urban space to counter suburban sprawl into green, open spaces. Planning processes such as "smart growth" and "urban infill" help to better manage development and slow down sprawl. Central to smart growth are brownfields and infill development, because smart growth strives to use underdeveloped areas within the urban environment more efficiently. Urban infill, such as brownfields redevelopment, holds the promise of enabling cities and communities to grow and evolve over time through many incremental changes. By creating places of enduring value and by restoring and reusing buildings and other urban spaces, we can build common ground between sustainability and historic preservation efforts, and provide alternatives to developing greenfield sites.
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Environmental justice strives for equal access for all citizens to a healthy environment, and refers to unequal exposure to environmental contamination due to locational variables. Human health is often compromised by this contaminant exposure. "Communities of concern" are frequently communities populated by people of color and/or low income. In addition to air, water, and soil pollution, specific problems include degraded structures, poor schools, unemployment, high crime, and poor roads and transportation systems. This article addresses some of these issues and makes policy recommendations for business leaders, local government leaders, and those otherwise responsible for enhancing the quality of life in affected communities.
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Regime theory starts with the proposition that governing capacity is not easily captured through the electoral process. Governing capacity is created and maintained by bringing together coalition partners with appropriate resources, nongovernmental as well as governmental. If a governing coalition is to be viable, it must be able to mobilize resources commensurate with its main policy agenda. The author uses this reasoning as the foundation/or comparing regimes by the nature and difficulty of the government tasks they undertake and the level and kind of resources required for these tasks. Political leadership, he argues, is a creative exercise of political choice, involving the ability to craft arrangements through which resources can be mobilized, thus enabling a community to accomplish difficult and nonroutine goals.
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Recently, many states have passed brownfields legislation to limit the liability of innocent property redevelopers, based on the assumption that pollution systematically affects land use and development. The goal of this study was to examine this assumption. The study area was an industrial area of Baltimore, Maryland, characterized by brownfields and recent economic development. Data from 1963–1999 for brownfield and non-brownfield parcels were collected and compared to identify variations in assessed land value, vacancy, sales, and redevelopment. The absence of a systematic relationship between pollution and land use variables suggests that other factors may also be involved in vacancy and underuse.
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The redevelopment of brownfields has become a central component of government efforts to revitalize many US cities. While the focus of these efforts has concentrated on promoting industrial and commercial redevelopment, some cities have started to also consider converting brownfields into parks and open space as part of a more comprehensive renewal strategy. Based on a survey of 20 case studies, this paper identifies and discusses: (1) the primary issues involved in brownfield greening projects; (2) the benefits of such projects; and (3) the specific planning processes involved. The overall conclusion drawn from the survey is that numerous renewal-oriented benefits can ensue from greening projects, if there is extensive stakeholder commitment devoted to deal with its financial and development-oriented challenges.
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This study provides evidence on the clean-up and development of properties in Cook County that have completed the two Illinois brownfield voluntary clean-up programmes (VCPs) since 1989. Real estate and environmental databases are merged to allow analysis of development trends for a sample of several hundred entering sites, which are followed through the programme and into the marketplace. Results show that over half of the sites entering the programme received a closure letter, and that a quarter used a residential standard when remediating property. One-third used caps or other engineering controls, and about 20% have received financing since obtaining the closure letter. These promising outcomes demonstrate the return of these properties to productive use.
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We employ a mail survey of private developers that uses conjoint choice experiments and Likert-scaled attitudinal questions to examine preferences for policy instruments and incentives intended to encourage brownfield cleanup and redevelopment. Our analysis suggests that developers judge public hearing requirements at brownfield redevelopments unattractive, but that they place a relatively high value on liability relief-from both cleanup costs and claims by third parties. Reimbursement of environmental assessment costs is not particularly attractive. We also find considerable heterogeneity among developers in the value they place on these incentives, depending on their experience with contaminated sites. © 2006 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
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This paper tries to evaluate the role of the market mechanism in environmental management and warns against reductionist views on the causes and remedies of environmental damages. According to some of these views, proper pricing of the environment and extensive use of market mechanisms in environmental management would solve environmental problems. But various conditions tell against such simplifications, namely: the complex causality behind environmental damages; the complexity of the functions and values of nature; as well as limitations of the market mechanism in coping with the functions and services of nature. Several of those limitations—the difficulties of defining and enforcing property rights to nature's functions and services; the pervasiveness of externalities conditioned by the public goods characteristics of many environmental functions and values; the difficulties in enticing, processing and using information about environmental goods; and the high transaction costs caused by all these circumstances—often rule out contracts and trading of environmental services. It is less known that the basic cause of market existence and extension, namely specialization and division of labour, have negative environmental effects. With respect to environmental policy, conceptual problems are analyzed. While all kinds of environmental management mechanisms have a regulatory function, only quantity mechanisms, as a subset of incentive mechanisms, are market mechanisms. The choice of relevant environmental policy instrument is conditioned by many considerations. The issue of the superior efficiency properties of market mechanisms in environmental management is not yet settled satisfactorily; extensive empirical tests are still lacking.
Article
Studies have found that severely contaminated properties, such as those on the U.S. EPA's National Priority List (NPL), reduce the value of nearby single-family homes. However, the vast majority of hazardous waste sites (HWS) are not so severely contaminated as those on the NPL. We also know little about HWS effects on other land-uses such as commercial and industrial properties, which may be of greater interest since these properties are more likely to be located near contaminated sites. Using data for Atlanta, Georgia, HWS are found to negatively affect the market value of nearby commercial and industrial properties. Although none of the HWS in this study are on the NPL, their impacts are estimated to be quite substantial in magnitude. Estimates of the total value losses caused by many of the sites are sufficiently large relative to the cost of remediation to justify tax-increment financing as a clean-up option.
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This article described three heuristics that are employed in making judgements under uncertainty: (i) representativeness, which is usually employed when people are asked to judge the probability that an object or event A belongs to class or process B; (ii) availability of instances or scenarios, which is often employed when people are asked to assess the frequency of a class or the plausibility of a particular development; and (iii) adjustment from an anchor, which is usually employed in numerical prediction when a relevant value is available. These heuristics are highly economical and usually effective, but they lead to systematic and predictable errors. A better understanding of these heuristics and of the biases to which they lead could improve judgements and decisions in situations of uncertainty.
Article
This article described three heuristics that are employed in making judgements under uncertainty: (i) representativeness, which is usually employed when people are asked to judge the probability that an object or event A belongs to class or process B; (ii) availability of instances or scenarios, which is often employed when people are asked to assess the frequency of a class or the plausibility of a particular development; and (iii) adjustment from an anchor, which is usually employed in numerical prediction when a relevant value is available. These heuristics are highly economical and usually effective, but they lead to systematic and predictable errors. A better understanding of these heuristics and of the biases to which they lead could improve judgements and decisions in situations of uncertainty.
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This paper summarizes the findings of a study comparing the environmental, social, and economic costs and benefits accruing to the public from redeveloping brownfields versus developing greenfields for both industrial and residential uses. With data taken from relevant projects in Toronto, Canada, four prototypical development scenarios were constructed for the purpose of a cost - benefit comparison. A quantitative model was then used to calculate the various public costs and benefits associated with the different scenarios. The findings shed light on the true costs and benefits involved in development and redevelopment projects, helping policymakers better assess the feasibility of brownfield redevelopment vis-à-vis greenfield development.