Working Paper

The Brownfields Phenomenon:Much Ado about Somethingor the Timing of the Shrewd?

Nov 24, 2004 | Kris F. Wernstedt, Lauren Heberle, Anna Alberini, Peter Meyer


This paper provides an overview of the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated propertiesknown as “brownfields.” It has three principal parts. First, we introduce the brownfields phenomenon andits drivers, drawing on the body of available empirical evidence to discuss characteristics of individualbrownfield redevelopment projects. Second, we present findings from a recent study we have conductedthat examines the relative attractiveness to private developers of public interventions to promotebrownfields redevelopment. Third, we briefly summarize some of the problems with brownfieldsdevelopment and policy and propose an approach to promote wider societal benefits of brownfieldsdevelopment. We conclude with several broad questions about brownfields policy and practice.