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Fostering Sustainability

EPA's Land Revitalization Initiative is also helping to promote sustainability through a variety of efforts across EPA, and through partnership with other organizations. EPA's programs and partners are protecting human health and the environment by promoting sustainable redevelopment through enforcement policies, and through the use of green building and greenspace designs in property redevelopment and reuse.

Green Buildings
As the environmental impact of buildings becomes more apparent, a new field called green buildings is arising to reduce the impact at the source. Green or sustainable building is the practice of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance, and demolition.

Smart Growth
Through EPA's Smart Growth Program, EPA is helping states and municipalities better understand the impacts of development patterns. "Smart Growth" seeks to preserve greenfields and encourages infill development where pre-existing infrastructure supports reuse.

The Green Buildings on Brownfields Initiative: Pilot Projects (PDF) (3 pgs, 140K) is an EPA effort designed to promote the use of green building techniques at brownfield properties in conjunction with assessment and cleanup. Through several pilot projects, EPA is providing communities with technical assistance to facilitate the development of green buildings on their brownfields. Building environmentally-friendly buildings on what was once contaminated (or perceived to be contaminated) land can be symbolic of a new, environmentally-sound direction for communities, as well as tangible growth for their economies.

Get more information on EPA’s Green Buildings efforts.

Greenspace and Economic Redevelopment
In 2001, EPA published a report developed under a cooperative agreement with The George Washington University (GWU) which focused on a number of issues related to the redevelopment of brownfields, including the extent to which brownfields redevelopment reduced developmental pressures on undeveloped suburban or rural areas ("greenfields"). The study found that for every acre of Brownfields redeveloped, over four acres of greenspace are saved. The study also focused on the economic benefits that are induced by the redevelopment of brownfields. View the GWU report Exit EPA Disclaimer

Other Partnerships to foster sustainability in reuse decisions.

Environmentally Responsible Redevelopment and Reuse (ER3) Initiative
EPA is encouraging, through an Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance (OECA) led initiative, the incorporation of principles and practices of environmentally responsible redevelopment and reuse (ER3) at contaminated sites.

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