1998 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: cbartsch@nemw.org
Date: 27 Jan 1998 10:09:18
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: Re: Brownfield Benchmark Research
 With only a quick scan of your proposed benchmarks, I think you're 
hitting the right targets re:  impacts.  I will give this some more thought when 
I'm less distracted.  I did want to point out that Arthur Anderson is doing some 
sort of a quantification or indicators project for EPA, and they might be a good 
source as well.   

On Mon, 26 Jan 1998, Richard Hoffman <Rhoffman@urbandevelopment.com> wrote:
>I am conducting research on brownfields for the Council for Urban
>Economic Development in D.C.  My project is an attempt to develop a
>methodology for benchmarking brownfield projects and to gather this
>direct, measurable data for approximately 50-100 sites.   I would be
>grateful for any advice or resources that the members of this newsgroup
>could provide with respect to the benchmarks I have proposed, efficient
>ways to collect this data, and sources for more information.  
>Below are my initial thoughts on benchmarking.
>Thanks in advance for your thoughts,
>-Rich Hoffman
>Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED)
>I have used three categories of benchmarks:  1) economic, 2)
>environmental and 3) social, while recognizing the overlapping nature of
>these benefits.  Our focus will be on economic benefits.  Hopefully,
>measuring the impacts of brownfield redevelopment will provide economic
>development practitioners and other decision makers to weigh investments
>in brownfields with other economic development options.
>In this section, I will use traditional tools of quantifying economic
>1. Public Sector Contribution
>How much money did the public sector contribute for each component of
>the project (e.g. site acquisition, remediation*, infrastructure,
>redevelopment)?  What mechanisms were used (e.g. loan guarantees, bond
>financing, tax increment financing)?  
>2.  Private Sector Contribution
>How much money did the private sector contribute for each component of
>the project? How was the funding raised?   
>3.  Leverage of Funds 
>An essential measure is the amount of private funding leveraged by
>public investment. 
>4.  Jobs
>Define a "job" as a person who has been employed for at least 6 months
>in a full-time capacity. 
>a.  Quantity
>For each project, only measure direct jobs, both created or retained. 
>Direct jobs are those that are associated with the project itself.  I
>may also choose to consider indirect jobs when evaluating the aggregate
>figures.  Indirect jobs are those that result from (or spin off from)
>the direct jobs and private sector investment.  Because of the
>difficulty in obtaining this number, we rely on a standard multiplier.
>b.  Quality
>Characterize the quality of the jobs by using average salary as a
>proxy.  Derive this figure by obtaining the total payroll and number of
>employees from each employer.  I may also use criteria such as job
>longevity, turnover, and % of employees above minimum wage.  
>c.  Job Attribution
>Calculate the cost to the public sector of job creation.   For this
>statistic, I will use DIRECT jobs and ALL public funding.  I can also
>calculate jobs created per primary public funder to compare with other
>5.  Tax base
>The total cost of the project minus the remediation costs will serve as
>a proxy for the increase to the local tax base.  
>I will use the public and private sector investment in remediation (from
>data above) as a gauge of the  amount of environmental clean up.  Our
>assumption is that the more money spent on clean up, the more
>remediation is accomplished.  I will need to factor the land's end use
>into this equation to get an accurate picture (e.g. industrial use will
>not require same amount of remediation as residential).
>Where available, I will apply an EPA risk measurement (e.g. incidence of
>cancer/1 million people).  Any suggestions for this?  
>Another important measure is the creation of amenities, such as parks. 
>We will discuss this if applicable.    
>One of the benefits of brownfields projects is to serve as a catalyst to
>distressed communities.  While it will be impossible to quantify such
>vital qualities as a renewed sense of hope and empowerment, the
>following measures will serve as indicators of these benefits:  
>% of jobs from local residents (we will cull this data from the total
>jobs statistic above), with a comparison to % of local jobs of a
>greenfield project if available.    
>>From this data, I may calculate commute cost savings if any supporting
>studies have been completed (e.g. from the Federal Mass Transit
>Administration, EPA or Transportation Research Board) to give us insight
>into the attendant environmental and economic benefits of increased
>usage of existing infrastructure and avoided highway costs (e.g.
>accidents, congestion).   
>I will collect demographics data to provide a portrait of the local
>community in which the project is based and indicate whether these
>communities are benefitting from the project. 
>Data will include: whether or not the neighborhood is in a specially
>designated zone (e.g. Enterprise Zone), labor force characteristics such
>as unemployment rate, population and per capita income; and
>socioeconomic characteristics such as % below poverty level and %
>Another social benefit of brownfields projects is to serve as a catalyst
>for neighborhood revitalization.  Data on tax base improvement, public
>investment in infrastructure, and indirect jobs created can be a proxy
>for this measurement, although imperfect because of the difficulty in
>isolating the impacts of a brownfield project from other economic
>The percentage of local residents hired for jobs may offer insight into
>the issue of gentrification and the extent to which the project is
>helping the local area. 
>Finally, I will collect the following information:  
>1.  Location and neighborhood demographics
>2. Major players (public, private, and non-profit sectors). I will
>assess whether the project is driven by the public or private sector.  
>3. Date project completed and date of survey/data 
>These figures will determine the "measurement window" of each project, a
>critical number as the benefits of public investment often increase
>dramatically with time.  
>4. Description and size of project.
>5. Key factors (e.g. new owner signs a covenant not to sue) and gauge of
>the importance of public sector involvement.  
>Thanks for your help!

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