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Sustainable Redevelopment of Brownfields

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Climate Adaptation and Brownfields

Our climate is changing and we need to adapt to make sure our cleanups are still protective of human health and the environment now and into the future. To ensure that cleanups remain effective as the climate changes, EPA created a checklist to help cleanup and revolving loan fund recipients address changing climate concerns in an analysis of brownfield cleanup alternatives (ABA).

Environmental Impacts of Brownfields Redevelopment

Case studies indicate that brownfield redevelopment can offer significant environmental benefits when compared with alternative development scenarios. Estimates of air and water quality impacts of brownfields reuse for multiple revitalization projects in five municipal areas indicate that daily vehicle miles traveled per capita are 32 -57% lower and stormwater runoff is 43 - 60% lower for brownfields than conventional alternative or greenfield sites.

Green Buildings on Brownfields Initiative

The Green Buildings on Brownfields Initiative 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.

What Is Smart Growth?

Smart growth is development that serves the economy, the community, and the environment. It changes the terms of the development debate away from the traditional growth/no growth question to "how and where should new development be accommodated."

Brownfields redevelopment is an integral component to smart growth. By redeveloping a brownfield in an older city or suburban neighborhood, a community can remove blight and environmental contamination, create a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization, lessen development pressure at the urban edge, and use existing infrastructure.

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