The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

The Economic and Social Impacts of Brownfield Redevelopment - Case Study: Illuminating the Impacts of Brownfield Redevelopments on Neighboring Housing Prices in Cuyahoga County, Ohio


On the surface, brownfield remediation in the context of engineering practice seems like a relatively straight-forward scientific issue. In practice, scientists and engineers who work in this field must have a strong handle on the far reaching social and economic impact these sites have on the surrounding community. To effectively help private and public interest groups work together to navigate the landscape of brownfield remediation, both environmental scientists and engineers must work in the framework of local and national brownfield policy. They are required to consider the cost of cleaning up brownfield sites, while also looking out for the interest of the communities as required by funding sources. This paper aimed to lay out the basics behind brownfield policy using Detroit, Michigan, as a backdrop. This paper looked at how public-sector involvement in brownfield remediation can help communities grow economically and socially. The complex impact brownfield sites have on communities are demonstrated by looking at case studies. Without understanding the context of how these sites came to be, the often-disadvantaged communities in which these sites are located, and the plans local communities have for their future, both environmental scientists and engineers cannot advise private-public partnerships effectively on how to go about redeveloping these lands.

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