GGP Seminar: Dr. Sarah Coffin - "Brownfield Redevlopment as Economic Development: Re-examining Goals, Objectives and Outcomes"

GGP Seminar: Dr. Sarah Coffin - "Brownfield Redevlopment as Economic Development: Re-examining Goals, Objectives and Outcomes"
Date and time
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM, February 11, 2022

A brownfield is a property where the threat of contamination (real or perceived) exists. At issue, is how potential contamination might cause human and environmental harm, triggering an often-costly clean-up. While brownfield responses should require an immediate focus on human and environmental health, the economic impacts often drive clean-up efforts. Thus, economic considerations primarily determine future property use.

At the local level, brownfield redevelopment projects in many communities have become routine; a growing part of a larger revitalization strategy. Noxious sites are cleaned and replaced by attractive, new development. A former warehouse sector becomes a mix of commercial and residential spaces.

Generally, brownfields are no longer a major barrier to redevelopment. Yet many brownfields remain unaddressed in low-resourced, communities where the capacity to market brownfields properties remains limited. Attracting private investment can prove a daunting task for any municipality struggling with the challenges associated with brownfield properties. For smaller, disadvantaged communities the challenges can become unsurmountable. Dr. Coffin will present work she has done in this area, focusing on how low-resourced communities can create their own redevelopment tools.

Dr. Sarah L. Coffin, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, is an associate professor and program director of the Master of Science in Urban Planning and Development at Saint Louis University. She has an extensive background in brownfield research, publishing work that examines the impacts of brownfields, vacant properties, and more recently development incentives on weak market economies. Dr. Coffin also spent two years at the University of Louisville working for the U.S. EPA's Environmental Finance Center, Region 4, as a post-doctoral researcher. While there, she developed a brownfield information system for the Metro Louisville Government's brownfield program. She holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master's in Urban Planning Design and Development from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, and a B.S. in Business Administration from Lake Erie College.

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