The Case of the Lagoon of Venice
The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development
Edited by Anna Alberini, Paolo Rosato and Margherita Turvani
Chapter 8: What is the Value of Brownfields? A Review of Possible Approaches
Stefania Tonin 8.1 INTRODUCTION Brownfield redevelopment is currently considered to be one of the key factors for urban regeneration. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), the term brownfield site means 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 (US EPA, 2001). Implicit in the word brownfield is the need to consider whether the land can be reused. Cleanup and redevelopment of these areas can contribute to creating new employment opportunities, maintaining or enhancing the quality of life, improving recreational opportunities, and enhancing environmental quality and other public goods. Acquiring, cleaning up and reusing old – and often abandoned – industrial sites can be an expensive and time-consuming undertaking (Bartsch, 2001). In many situations, private developers and financial institutions are not able, or willing, to act on their own to ensure that the full economic potential of site reuse will be achieved. Also, strict liability regimes and the possible adverse effect on human health and on the surrounding economy create hurdles to cleanup and reuse of brownfields. Contamination may affect the value of a site through three pathways: i) cost of cleaning up or containing the contamination; ii) the stigma factor which may persist even after the area is cleaned up; and iii) liability over future cleanup costs. All of these factors will be broadly examined in the remainder of the paper. The remainder of the chapter is organized as follows. Section...
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