1999 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Emery Graham <"egraham"@ci.wilmington.de.us>
Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 13:19:41 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: Re: "The Economic Benefits of Open Space"
What seems to be emerging is the notion that how a change in land use is
or valued, depends on the context of the change. In poor urban ghettos with
relatively high unemployment, crime, disease, low educational levels, and low
property ownership,  I wouldn't expect the orientation toward changes in
land use
to be the same as those in middle income, highly educated, high ownership,
employment, communities. Might there be a continuum of contexts that tend
to frame
the orientation and approach to the open space and brownfields debate?

One of my concerns, as an urban practitioner, is the assumed linkage between
reclaimed brownfields and the economic well being of the families that have
in the brownfield area. The Brownfields Assessment Grant program contained all
sorts of suggestions about the need for reclaiming brownfields as a means
to spur
local economic development and to provide jobs and business opportunities
for the
residents of the brownfields area. That vision is a bit premature and
for a lot of fairly obvious reasons, e.g., relatively poor, uneducated, and
unhealthy people aren't good entrepreneurs or employees. At the same time, the
families in Mountain View might prefer that their brownfields be reclaimed
as open
space, while the more secluded members of adjacent communities might want the
brownfields to continue to remain as a barrier to unwanted tourists and

As we advance further in our social understanding of the relationships
between our
productive activities and their impact on our natural environment and
ourselves, I
think that we're going to have to face the "how much is too much,"
question. If we
are really up against a parametric constraint in the capacity of our natural
environment to absorb any more industrial waste, then how does this get
into the terms of the land use issues at hand? Is each income group, in each
social class, there seems to be an emerging sense of a reckoning. I sense
it in
the flow and content of the postings on this listserv. Hopefully we can
the emergence of the reconciling paradigm as we continue to explore the
range and
scope of this problem.


In this context

cpeo@cpeo.org wrote:

> I don't think everyone got this message from Alex Lantsberg yesterday.
> Tony
>      -----Original Message-----
>      [mailto:owner-cpeo-brownfields@igc.org]On Behalf Of Emery Graham
>      Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 1999 12:04 PM
>      It becomes increasingly apparent that one of the attendant impacts of
>      efforts to preserve open space is an increase in the value of land in
> other
>      existing uses. As our efforts to spur economic development succeed,
>      who are existing land owners will find themselves the beneficiaries of
>      windfall profits and rents driven by government supported programs.
>      What happened to "environmental justice.?
> i hope that community based develoopmnet is a part of any economic
> development strategy nd that the reuse of the sites ties back into
> communtiy needs and actual community development.
> a lot of the surrounding property in my neighborhood is owned by the
> residents themselves so i dont see anything wrong with property values
> going up. considering that government largess has gone to enhance the
> profits of those who already have a great deal, then wheat is the problem
> of including those who have often been cut out? the challenge is to make
> sure that the existing community continues to receive the benefits of this
> development. this is actually shifting into a discussion about
> gentrification. as long as newcomers dont start moving in capitalizing on
> the changes on the ground and excluding those who have paid the price of
> pollution and blight, then the open space and land reuse is doing just what
> we want to see--improving the neighborhood and the lives of those who have
> and continue to live there.
>        _____
>      Alex Lantsberg, Project Coordinator
>      Southeast Alliance for Environmental Justice
>      744 Innes Avenue, San Francisco, CA  94124
>      ph: 415/824.4102              fax: 415/824.1061
>      alex@saej.org                             www.saej.org

  Prev by Date: How Important is the Working Definition of "Justice?"
Next by Date: Re: All Open Space Is Not Equal -Reply
  Prev by Thread: Re: "The Economic Benefits of Open Space"
Next by Thread: Re: "The Economic Benefits of Open Space"

CPEO Lists
Author Index
Date Index
Thread Index