Environmental and Economic Impacts of Brownfields Redevelopment

Washington, DC (July 1, 2008)- The Northeast-Midwest Institute has completed a new report entitled, “The Environmental and Economic Impacts of Brownfields Redevelopment.” The paper summarizes established quantifiable impacts of brownfields redevelopment in the areas of environmental, economic, community, and fiscal effects. On the economic development side, there are employment gains, leveraged investment, and revitalized neighborhoods. Fiscal impacts include generating new sources of local revenue derived from previously unproductive land and lowering requirements for investment in infrastructure to accommodate growth. On the environmental side, brownfields redevelopment, when compared to greenfields development, saves land from the negative externalities associated sprawl, reduces air emissions and greenhouse gases, improves water quality through reduced runoff, and generally accommodates growth in an environmentally responsible fashion.


Based on empirical data as well as case studies of brownfields sites, the report estimates:
* Every $1 of public investment in brownfields leverages $8 in total investment.
* Jobs are leveraged with a ratio between $10,000 and $13,000 of new public investment needed to create/retain one job.
* Every 1 acre of redeveloped brownfields corresponds to 4.5 acres of preserved greenfields.
* Redevelopment of brownfields sites reduces vehicle miles traveled by 20 to 40 percent compared to sprawl development while simultaneously reducing air emissions and greenhouse gases.
Related Resources:
Northeast-Midwest Institute
The Environmental and Economic Impacts of Brownfields Redevelopment