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Equitable development is a comprehensive process of planning and investments that tackles deeply entrenched community issues of poverty, economic barriers, environmental quality and health. Economic opportunity is a cornerstone of equitable development, particularly within communities facing the additional challenges associated with contaminated, vacant or distressed properties. Where there are opportunities to clean up and sustainably re-use these types of sites, the timing is ripe to integrate and invest in equitable development.

This is a process that involves residents, property owners, workers, local businesses, planners, government officials and developers cooperatively engaging in decisions and investments in order to address past inequities, while simultaneously creating a new vision for a sustainable future. The foundation for creating strong, economically resilient and livable communities is increasingly built upon a spectrum of place-based activities that develop improved community revitalization tools and strategies.

EPA Equitable Development Webinar:
Brownfields Renewal and Community Anti-Displacement Models 

Tuesday, October 14, 2015, 2:00pm to 3:00pm EDT

The October 14th webinar focused on two highly successful equitable development models of community ownership and wealth building. This was a hands-on opportunity to learn from local leaders, and gain an insider’s view of pioneering community building strategies, practical tools and know-how. Participants learned about Evergreen Worker Cooperatives, flourishing for-profit green businesses, and ways that these companies are building equity and retaining financial resources in their communities. Participants also learned about Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative’s Community Land Trust, Dudley Neighbors Incorporated, and the challenges of creating a thriving urban village with permanent affordable housing, a community greenhouse and farm, and other amenities. View the full webinar by following the link below.

Details can be found here. (PDF)

View the webinar here.



For the past 16 years, the biennial US EPA National Brownfields 2015 Training Conference has been the premier conference and trade show focused on economic redevelopment and environmental revitalization. The Brownfields Conference attracted thousands of stakeholders to Chicago for 3 days of business development, training and networking. Since 1995, this Conference is the most important stop on the calendar for everyone who is working to transform communities by redeveloping underutilized and contaminated properties. Sustainable Community Development Group is no exception through the years. This year, we hosted a full-day Conference Training Workshop, the Local Government and Equitable Development Roundtable and we contributed to several additional exciting conference events.


September 1, 2015

Equitable Development Workshop:
The Role of Brownfields Renewal, Workforce Strategies and Entrepreneurship

From 9:00am-3:00pm, a multi-stakeholder audience joined us for the Brownfields 2015 Conference Equitable Development Workshop: The Role of Brownfields Renewal, Workforce Strategies and Entrepreneurship. This was a hands-on learning opportunity for local leaders working to foster pathways to economic stability for communities historically affected by issues of poverty, unemployment and brownfields. Sustainable Community Development Group organized the workshop and established a strategic training team of government officials, economic development practitioners, employers and entrepreneurs at the cutting edge who shared practical tools and strategies. Participants gained in-depth knowledge about governmental programs, public-private partnerships, resources, funding and financing.

“How many people can say that they facilitated an all-day conference meeting where the attendees voted to grab lunch and come back and work through? That was my BEST session of the conference!”
-Tracey Nichols
Director of Economic Development
City of Cleveland

Details can be found here. (PDF)
Workshop Agenda (PDF)
Session Materials.
Winifred Curran. DePaul University (PDF)
Mollie Dowling. OAI (PDF)
Mike Tilchin. EPA (PDF)


September 2-4, 2015

Local Government Equitable Development Roundtable:
Policy, Strategies and Community Best Practices

Small and rural towns, suburbs, and big cities are unlocking barriers to health, sustainability and economic opportunities. Local governments are designing, planning and implementing public policies and community best practices aimed at understanding neighborhood needs and priorities in low income communities. They are addressing environmental quality, land revitalization, affordable housing, transportation and job creation. Over 50 participants seeking to partner with local government learned about municipal best practices and strategies that connect populations of color and low income with the social, health and economic benefits of brownfields redevelopment. Urban, suburban and small community mayors and city managers shared approaches to investments as well as the how-to’s of designing, planning and implementing effective public policies.

Details can be found here.
Roundtable Agenda (PDF)