USCM releases brownfields report
Redevelopment of brownfields — abandoned properties left empty due to environmental concerns — can drive downtown development and increase tax revenues by up to $3.8 billion for some cities, according to a survey released Thursday by the Washington-based U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM). More than 200 cities are included in the report generated by the survey, “Recycling America’s Land: A National Report on Brownfields Redevelopment.”
The report is the seventh USCM has conducted on brownfields, and it aims to quantify the benefits and problems of reviving brownfields. “Many cities are experiencing a renaissance and residential boom in their downtowns and center city where there is a renewed interest and demand by residents to live closer to the hub of the city,” said Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Patrick McCrory, chairman of USCM’s Environmental Committee. “Brownfield redevelopment can fuel this boom and is an essential component to the economic and environmental growth of a modern city.”
While officials in 155 cities said they redeveloped nearly 1,600 brownfields in their communities, 3,282 sites in 150 cities were “mothballed,” meaning the owners have no intention of redeveloping or selling the property. Brownfield revitalization also has created 187,000 new jobs, and more than 46 percent of the survey respondents said that, if their brownfields could be redeveloped, they could bring in between $1.3 billion to $3.8 billion in additional tax revenue. The report is available at http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/home.asp.