Posted January 11, 2021
Written by Johanna Roth, Master’s of Public Health and Master’s of City Planning Candidate, U.C. Berkeley
While brownfields lie idle, they have the potential to negatively impact public health by polluting local air and groundwater supplies, which burdens local neighborhoods with health challenges. Further, they may deplete local tax bases, decrease surrounding property values, and attract illegal activity. Living in proximity to derelict and disinvested sites may also affect mental health and a sense of safety for community residents. With brownfields disproportionately burdening marginalized, low-income, and high minority neighborhoods, it is important to redevelop them in a timely manner, to focus on beneficial and equitable reuse of sites, and to recognize the potential they hold for transforming communities and increasing community health.