New York City Brownfields Program Clean But Flawed

A citywide brownfields recovery program in New York City has been cleaning up polluted sites, allowing new developments to move in on formerly vacant areas. But some worry the program is fueling gentrification.
June 1, 2011, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Until now, the city has relied on federal and state funding for brownfield development. But PlaNYC called for the city to establish its own brownfield program, and it set a goal of redeveloping all 7,000 acres by 2030. According to the PlaNYC 2030 update, released last month, the city will distribute $10 million over the next few years to help developers pay for brownfield redevelopment, especially in low-income areas.

However, as brownfield programs in other parts of the country come to fruition, some question how much they actually serve low-income communities in the long-term. An independent study conducted in 2010, for instance, found widespread gentrification and displacement in conjunction with brownfield projects across six of the federal Environmental Protection Agency's ten regions. Will the city be able to build a better brownfield program?"

This article from the Gotham Gazette looks at the program's downsides, which include a seeming bias towards for-profit ventures.

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Published on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 in Gotham Gazette
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