Building Capacity for Community-Based Brownfields Remediation and Redevelopment
Start Year: 2013

Building Capacity for Community-Based Brownfields Remediation and Redevelopment: An Innovative Technical Assistance Model

Thousands of unaddressed brownfields sites remain in our nation’s poorest urban neighborhoods, despite almost two decades of federal and state attention to cleaning up and redeveloping these sites. Many of these neighborhoods have active community-based organizations (CBOs) whose mission it is to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged residents whose lives are negatively impacted by these decaying, contaminated properties. Under the assumption that greater involvement of community organizations, specifically community development corporations (CDCs), would help to spur increased attention to and progress toward remediating these sites, we developed a pilot technical assistance program to build CDC capacity to facilitate or actually undertake brownfields redevelopment projects. This article describes the process of development and the program’s content and structure and evaluates the program based on a pilot test conducted with two CDCs in a major US city. Future prospects for expansion of this type of program are discussed. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.