In Economic Revitalization: Cases and Strategies for City and Suburb Fitzgerald and Leigh answer the need for a text that incorporates social justice and sustainability into how we think about and practice economic development. It is one of the first to talk about how revitalization strategies are implemented in both cities and suburbs, particularly inner-ring suburbs that are experiencing decline previously associated only with inner-city neighborhoods. After setting the context with a brief history of economic development practice and its shortcomings, Fitzgerald and Leigh focus on six economic development strategies: sectoral strategies, Brownfield redevelopment, industrial retention, commercial revitalization, industrial and office property reuse, and workforce development.

The Brownfield Redevelopment Challenge

The brownfield redevelopment challenge

Introduction to the Brownfield Problem

Brownfields pose one of the most significant forces for unleveling the economic development playing field between, on the one hand, central cities and older suburbs and, on the other hand, young suburbs, edge cities, and the exurban fringe. Defined as previously used parcels of land where knowledge, or merely the suspicion, of contamination hinders future redevelopment potential, the label “brownfields” distinguishes such sites from never-before-developed sites, or, greenfields (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], 1995; Bartsch, 1996; Leigh, 1996).

Knowledge and suspicion of a site's contamination typically results in its no longer being considered for redevelopment and can even taint prospects for contiguous sites. This is due to the liability that owners of a contaminated site ...

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