The U.S. EPA defines brownfields as "idle real property, thedevelopment or improvement of which is impaired by real or perceivedcontamination." The authors of Principles of BrownfieldRegeneration argue that, compared to"greenfields"—farmland, forest, or pasturelands thathave never been developed—brownfields offer a more sustainableland development choice. They believe that brownfields are central to asustainable planning strategy of thwarting sprawl, preserving orregenerating open space, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, andreinvesting in urbanized areas.
This is the first book to provide an accessible introduction to thedesign, policy, and technical issues related to brownfieldredevelopment. After defining brownfields and advocating for theirredevelopment, the book describes the steps for cleaning up a site andcreating viable land for development or open space. Land use and designconsiderations are addressed in a separate chapter and again in each offive case studies that make up the heart of the volume: The Steel Yard,Providence, RI; Assunpink Greenway, Trenton, NJ; June Key CommunityCenter Demonstration Project, Portland, OR; Eastern ManufacturingFacility, Brewer, ME; and The Watershed at Hillsdale, Portland, OR.Throughout, the authors draw on interviews with people involved inbrownfield projects as well as on their own considerable expertise.
Intense interest in brownfields has produced many technical books on remediation. Principles of Brownfield Regeneration (its title a nod to John Lyle's regenerative approach) aims to be 'a brief, concise, clear primer' to guide professionals, officials, and activists in planning brownfield projects. For the most part. it succeeds very well…. Several landscape architecture firms are making good livings from brownfields; some are consultants, while others buy and remediate not-too-toxic sites suitable for regeneration via planting and soil treatment. Many more landscape professionals could get involved, but lack the basics to take the plunge. This book provides a real service, an economic opportunity in hard times…. Without explicitly saying so, Principles of Brownfield Regeneration is an extremely timely condemnation of bottom-line values, lacking creativity or civic conscience, that accept land dereliction as a nonnal cost of doing business.
What does it take to turn a brownfield into something useful? Patience, time, money, and information about how the process is likely to work and what the pitfalls are. The last topic gets particular emphasis in Principles of Brownfield Regeneration: Cleanup, Design, and Reuse of Derelict Land…. Anyone who needs to get up to speed on brownfields will wear this book out.
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