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Employment Effects of Brownfield Redevelopment What Do We Know from the Literature?


  • Marie Howland


The purpose of this review is to survey the literature addressing the employment effects of brownfield redevelopment. Economic development has emerged as a potential goal of the environmental cleanup process. The evolving literature (1) addresses the redevelopment and job creation that has followed the numerous cases of environmental remediation; (2) continues to debate whether brownfield redevelopment creates new jobs or leads to the spatial reallocation of existing jobs; and (3) documents emerging efforts to tie brownfield redevelopment benefits to local residents and the un- or underemployed. The existing literature highlights the difficulties of moving from site cleanup to neighborhood revitalization. The literature is clear: site cleanup alone is typically not enough to stimulate neighborhood regeneration in the most distressed neighborhoods. There are tradeoffs between financial feasibility and tackling the most contaminated sites in the most distressed neighborhoods, and the redevelopment in these neighborhoods generally required large government subsidies. The literature highlights many positive developments and experiments. Apparent successes involve large scale plans that integrate site cleanup with wider community plans, the growing tendency to link jobs on brownfield sites to local residents, increasingly sophisticated subsidies and incentives, and the importance of design that integrates redevelopment with the existing neighborhood. To steer clear of gentrification, redevelopment strategies should focus on attracting employers who will hire local workers.

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  • Marie Howland, 2007. "Employment Effects of Brownfield Redevelopment What Do We Know from the Literature?," NCEE Working Paper Series 200701, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jan 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200701

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jill J. McCluskey & Gordon C. Rausser, 2003. "Stigmatized Asset Value: Is It Temporary or Long-Term?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 276-285, May.
    2. Alberto Longo & Anna Alberini, 2006. "What are the effects of contamination risks on commercial and industrial properties? evidence from Baltimore, Maryland," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(5), pages 713-737.
    3. Robert A. Simons & William Bowen & Arthur Sementell, 1997. "The Effect of Underground Storage Tanks on Residential Property Values in Cuyahoga County, Ohio," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 14(1), pages 29-42.
    4. Kohlhase, Janet E., 1991. "The impact of toxic waste sites on housing values," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-26, July.
    5. Spencer Banzhaf & Eleanor McCormick, 2007. "Moving Beyond Cleanup: Identifying the Crucibles of Environmental Gentrification," NCEE Working Paper Series 200702, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jan 2007.
    6. Timothy J. Bartik, 2004. "Economic Development," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: J. Richard Aronson & Eli Schwartz (ed.), Managememnt Policies in Local Government Finance, pages 355-390 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    7. Marie Howland, 2003. "Private Initiative and Public Responsibility for the Redevelopment of Industrial Brownfields: Three Baltimore Case Studies," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 17(4), pages 367-381, November.
    8. Mendelsohn, Robert & Hellerstein, Daniel & Huguenin, Michael & Unsworth, Robert & Brazee, Richard, 1992. "Measuring hazardous waste damages with panel models," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 259-271, May.
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    land cleanup; Reuse; brownfields; employment effects;


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