Why is an area-wide planning approach to brownfield reuse beneficial, especially to former manufacturing communities? How have communities successfully nudged their brownfield-affected neighborhoods toward renewal? How can area-wide planning create lasting outcomes?
Since 2014, Groundwork USA practitioners have worked with EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (BF AWP) grantees to help build capacity around core project themes, including sustaining community engagement and managing planning processes with an eye toward implementation. In 2017, we reviewed final plans that emerged from EPA-funded brownfield area-wide planning projects and interviewed dozens of project managers, elected officials, project officers, and other local stakeholders affiliated with each project.
Drawing on our study and conversations, we’ve developed this report to help practitioners learn from and implement best practices for an area-wide planning approach in their own brownfield-affected communities, regardless of the source of funding supporting it.