“Environmental justice and Brownfields are inextricably linked; the inescapable context for discussion of the Brownfields issue is environmental justice and urban revitalization. At the core of an environmental justice perspective is recognition of the interconnectedness of the physical environment to the overall economic, social, human, and cultural/spiritual health of a community. The vision of environmental justice is the development of a paradigm to achieve socially equitable, environmentally healthy, economically secure, psychologically vital, spiritually whole, and ecologically sustainable communities. To this end, Brownfields redevelopment must be linked to helping address this broader set of community needs and goals. It should be noted that revitalization, as we define it, does not lead to displacement of populations through gentrification that often results from redevelopment policies.”
– Report on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Public Dialogues on Urban Revitalization and Brownfields, EPA Report No. EPA 500-R-96-002 (July 1996)
Brownfields, vacant and other distressed properties are common in neighborhoods where low income populations live, work and play. These are environmental challenges that provide opportunities for community revitalization, improving health and quality of life, creating jobs, generating tax revenues and producing renewable energy alternatives. Redevelopment planning, property cleanup and investments that involve and engage all of the community’s stakeholders will pave the way to reversing negative social, economic and environmental trends.