Building Capacity: Brownfields Redevelopment
Publication Year: 2008

Building Capacity: Brownfields Redevelopment for Community-Based Organizations


Building Capacity: Brownfields Redevelopment for Community-Based Organizations, April 2008.

This program handbook is intended for use by government, nonprofit or academic organizations and agencies that want to work with community-based organizations, building their capacities to become active players in brownfields redevelopment. Many brownfields are small or oddly-shaped sites scattered throughout the residential neighborhoods of older industrial cities. These sites are not often addressed by private development, nor are they high priorities for city development agencies. Yet they can dramatically impact the health and economy of the nearby communities.

Many community-based organizations (CBOs) , often organized as Community Development Corporations (CDCs,) work in these neighborhoods to improve the quality of life in a variety of ways. Some larger and more developed CDCs have achieved great success by purchasing brownfields and redeveloping them to meet community
needs, such as affordable housing. Others are poised to become more active participants in addressing brownfields, but because of limited staff knowledge and resources, coupled with the complexities of brownfields, have refrained from involvement.

This program is intended to work with these organizations to build their knowledge, preparing them for meaningfully participate in brownfields redevelopment decisions affecting their neighborhoods. CDC leaders can be advocates or facilitators, drawing at tent ion to sites, collecting information, educating residents and helping to market sites. The CDCs can also monitor the condition of the sites and actively help inspect any engineered controls placed on the sites once redevelopment has occurred to assure the controls remain protective. Finally, CBOs, equipped with new understanding and skills, might actively pursue the purchase of brownfields sites and redevelop the
sites for product ive uses to benefit the community.

The overall result of this capacity building program will mean redevelopment of more brownfields in distressed neighborhoods where CBOs are often the leading voice for revitalization.

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