Spring 2019

The Historical, Scientific, & Policy Dimensions of "Brownfields"

Spring 2014
Course Number: 
ENVS 643 660
Monday 5:30pm-8:10pm


Primary Program: 
Master of Environmental Studies
Course Note: 
Fulfills: MES Concentrtion in Policy/MSAG Elective Env Geology
Course Description: 

This course gives an overview of the development of policies and programs that encourage the redevelopment of brownfields – “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) Especially over the last 20 years, these programs have cleaned up and reinvested in such properties in order to protect the environment, reduce blight, and take development pressures off green spaces and working lands. The course will place the Brownfield problem in the broader context of the growth and decline of industrial base cities like Philadelphia. Students will study the general constitutional and statutory framework within which we approach the problems of orphan, polluted sites and the disposal of contemporary solid wastes. They will also analyze the principal actions that have been taken by federal, state, and local governments to address remediation and redevelopment of abandoned industrial sites. In addition, the course will explore environmental equity issues and link the redevelopment of these urban sites to the broader challenge of controlling urban sprawl.