1999 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 11:04:15 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: Re: Good Examples of Bad Examples -Reply

I have one example for you off the top of my head, although I don't have
all the details.  In Alexandria, VA (just outside of Washington, D.C.), the
former Richmond & Potomac Railyard is being developed.   As you would
expect concerning a former railyard, there was a variety of
contamination -- metals, ash, petroleum, asbestos, etc.  The yard is
located on the north end of Alexandria (it actually spans two
jurisdictions, Alexandria and Arlington County), just south of Reagan
National Airport and between the George Washington Parkway (a
federal area under control of the Park Service) and a
commerical/industrial/residential area.  

The original proposal, pushed by the then Governor, was the new
Redskins stadium.  Alexandria opposition, especially from the
neighborhood, killed that proposal.  Then came commercial development,
and now a mixed use commercial/shopping/residential area.  Alexandria
has approved the zoning required, but there is real neighborhood
concern over traffic impacts, etc.  There are some recent articles in the
Washington Post you should  be able to find on line.

>>> "Robert G. Paterson" <rgfp@mail.utexas.edu> 09/23/99 08:51am >>>

This will probably cause a little stir, but here goes......

I'm interested in hearing about the other side of the brownfield
redevelopment game--brownfield redevelopment projects that were *not*
great idea, or which started out as a good idea but from a community
standpoint *failed.*  For example, a moderately contaminated site that
posed little or no immediate health/environmental hazard is quickly
approved for redevelopment as a brownfield effort, but ends up
completely de-stabilizing the neighboring community because the
intensity of development was incompatible and/or off-site impacts were
not adequately mitigated (or you may describe other reasons why it was
bad idea/effort). 

If anyone is uncomfortable responding to the whole list with examples,
please send your ideas to me, and I'll keep the source confidential. I'm
using this info for a classroom discussion---we can often learn a lot
from failures or mediocre projects with some critical reflection.


Dr. Robert G. Paterson, Associate Professor
Graduate Program in Community and Regional Planning
School of Architecture, University of Texas
Austin TX 78712-1160
512-471-0734 -- FAX 512-471-0716

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