Backing Brownfields

Across the U.S., thousands of brownfield properties have been redeveloped; however, there are likely hundreds of thousands more to go in large and small communities.

Nov 30, 2017 | ARTICLE

Brownfields redevelopment has an excellent history. “It can be argued that one of the most innovative and successful outcomes to emerge from the past 30 years of sustainability are the policies, programs, public-private partnerships, and more that have been created to help clean up and reuse brownfields,” writes Tad McGalliard in the December PM article “Brownfields as a Mainstream Investment.”

Local governments are advocates. Community redevelopment goals help with local planning and citizen engagement, and financial tools help support redevelopment goals.

McGalliard shares that ICMA survey data (forthcoming Brownfields and Local Government 2018 Survey Report) show managers have these reasons to believe communities should invest both human and financial resources in brownfields actions:

  • Protect the environment as well as the public health of local and regional residents.
  • Eliminate blight and increasing local tax bases.
  • Create jobs and economic opportunity.
  • Prep land for new commercial activities to develop.
  • Create more livable communities.

Find out more specifics on brownfields redevelopment and the value of investing in it, along with other management initiatives, in the December issue. Interested in more information on local government management issues? Subscribe to Public Management (PM) magazine.


For more than 20 years, ICMA has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to present the National Brownfields Conference. The 2017 Brownfields Conference is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, December 5–7.



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