Sunday, October 2, 2011

How Brownfield Redevelopment Reduces Pollution

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has released a comprehensive research report demonstrating that redevelopment of contaminated industrial sites in inner cities brings substantial environmental benefits.  The agency studied 163 brownfield sites in five cities, comparing their impacts with those of sites where development was likely to go had the brownfields not been available. 
For over 90 percent of the sites, the brownfield locations were found to have superior environmental performance compared to the alternative locations.  In particular, brownfield redevelopment was found to produce 32-57 percent less carbon dioxide and other air pollutant emissions per capita relative to conventional development. Stormwater runoff for the redevelopment sites was determined to range 43-60 percent less than the conventional greenfield alternatives.  All of the sites had been cleaned up with EPA assistance and replaced with residential and commercial development that was completed or in progress at the time of the study.
The five cities included the following:
  • Seattle, WA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
  • Emeryville, CA
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
Most of the redevelopment sites were in inner-city areas conducive to compact development.  Most of the alternative locations, chosen based on prevailing development trends in each region, were in suburban or exurban greenfield areas, and would likely have been developed in a more spread-out pattern to capture the same amount of commercial and residential space.

similar posts:

Gentrification before Gentrification? The Plight of Pilsen in Chicago

Revitalization of Urban Areas through Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) – Trends and Expectations for Shrinking Cities


Implications of an Urban Renewal Based State-Led Gentrification Process in a Roma Neighborhood in Istanbul


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