Brownfield Redevelopment : "A Tale of Two Cities"
Whitlock, Catherine E.
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Brownfields are defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as "abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination." Brownfields are abandoned gas stations, old factories serving as housing for the homeless, vacant, blighted plots of land, dilapidated warehouses, or deserted chemical plants. Brownfields wear many different masks, but below the surface they are all very similar--they are potentially contaminated plots of land, and no one wants to buy them. Brownfields dot the United States' cities, towns, and villages. By some estimates there are roughly 30,000 to 40,000 sites. The author reviews the United States industrial history and the development of laws and programs to redevelop these lands. The author compares brownfield redevelopment in a large city, Cleveland, Ohio, that has received federal grant money for its redevelopment plan with the redevelopment in a small city, Kalamazoo, Michigan, that has not benefitted from a brownfield redevelopment grant.