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Large-scale brownfields: An issue and policy analysis

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Title: Large-scale brownfields: An issue and policy analysis
Author: Joyce, Nigel
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Capacity Development and Extension
Advisor: FitzGibbon, JohnCaldwell, Wayne
Abstract: Large-scale brownfields are more complicated and more difficult to develop than small-scale brownfields due to the different barriers to development that they have. Their barriers include: greater and more complex contamination issues, their increased size results in a more difficult remediation process, and they are often situated in areas and municipalities that are experiencing economic disinvestment. In order to develop large-scale sites these barriers need to be addressed. Looking at three sites, in Cleveland, Ohio, Buffalo, New York and Sydney, Nova Scotia, comparisons can be made between how the different barriers to development were addressed on each site. Each of the sites were well studied and planned, received aid in terms of funding and expertise from higher levels of government and employed some form of innovative practice to attract developers and make the site unique. Analysis of the Greenwich- Mohawk site in Brantford, Ontario reveals that Ontario's brownfield policies do not appreciate the complexities involved in large-scale brownfields. Ontario introduced new legislation to promote smart growth which identifies the development of brownfields as a priority; however they did not provide new policy tools to help municipalities accomplish these new goals. Two recommendations are offered: first to increase the amount of tax incentives that municipalities can offer in order to attract developers and entice them to adopt the risk associated with large-scale sites, second the province should have programs set up to provide funding and expertise to municipalities trying to develop their large-scale brownfields.
Date: 2016
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