Equitable and sustainable land reuse projects empower marginalized communities in shaping how land is used to address inequity and support community assets. The goal of equitable brownfield reuse is to identify, clean up, and reuse the vacant and potentially contaminated sites within a community to create usable buildings and beneficial infrastructure, that advance equity, promote health and wealth, and build resilient communities.
Brownfield reuse also provides the opportunity to address and mitigate climate change risks such as flooding and extreme heat, and helps build more sustainable communities by ensuring homes, jobs, amenities, are built where people already are.
Land reuse practitioners are constantly innovating to find, develop and implement new ways to offset the negative impacts generated during redevelopment and bring value to communities impacted by brownfields. This work is vitally important as our society grapples with the challenges of climate change, inequality, and environmental destruction and degradation.
CCLR is here to assist with:
- Training on green revitalization.
- Renewable energy siting and development.
- Understand innovations in the reuse space, such as phytoremediation and mycoremediation.
- Reduce water, energy and materials used during the remediation or construction process.
- Innovative use of recycled or reclaimed materials or bioremediation.
- Design and material use that will conserve resources throughout reuse.
Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation, and Resilience:
- Minimizing emissions and air pollutants during the remediation and construction process.
- Walkable and transit oriented development (TOD).
- Adapted design: passive cooling and heating, water capture and reuse, and extreme climate resilience for fire, flood, and other natural disasters.
Ecosystem and Land Use Conservation:
- The restoration or improvement of existing open space such as invasive species removal or species reintroduction that improves the quality of open space for humans/habitat.
- Protection of ecosystems through land swaps, protection agreements, or pledges that save greenfields from development in exchange for infill.
- Native support and biodiversity: bioremediation, use of local species, programs to protect or reintroduce local species, education and jobs surrounding the local ecosystem.
Brownfield Reuse Benefits
- Remove legacy contamination that may be leading to negative health outcomes in the community through air, land and water pollution.
- Replace idled land that is not contributing to neighborhood wellbeing with new uses that provide benefits.
- Create jobs and opportunities at every step of the process from remediation and construction jobs to long-term employment.
- Space for amenities your community needs: open space, housing, employment, health services, etc. Brownfields can be reused in a variety of ways to suit your community’s unique needs.
- Opportunity to hear from the community regarding needs and to address those needs through land reuse.
- Build climate resilience through uses that mitigate climate risks such as: parks that serve as flood water retention basins, or passive-cooled buildings that reduce local heat island effect.
- Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by locating jobs, homes and amenities where people already are.
- Preserve open space and habitat for local species by prioritizing reuse of existing sites.
- Support the creation of new, green, power close to population centers through the siting of solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects.
How CCLR Helps
- Plan and facilitate community involvement activities including Vision to Action workshops.
- Develop community engagement plans.
- Help practitioners communicate the reuse process, risks, and benefits to community stakeholders.
- Translate your collateral into the languages spoken in your community.
- Connect and convene the community with other relevant stakeholders and practitioners including agency officials, consultants, attorneys, and more.
- Environmental justice training.
- Help design a process to collaborate with vulnerable populations.
- Assistance in identifying ways to reduce or eliminate redevelopment impacts on neighbors.
- Assistance with job training grants to employ community members.
- Green jobs training programs or job creation.
- Local business support using local contractors, spaces developed for local businesses, and programs to help local businesses stay in the area.
- Community benefits: improving access to local food, health and recreation facilities, assistance to keep residents in the neighborhood, unique partnerships with nonprofits and community groups to provide ongoing benefits.
- Actions that protect vulnerable populations.
- Anti-gentrification methods, placemaking and placekeeping awareness.
Senior Program Associate
Devyn serves as a project lead for various programs at CCLR, including the USEPA R9 Vacant to Vibrant outreach effort and an equity-focused learning module with Groundwork USA. She supports CCLR’s land-reuse TA delivery for EPA R9 and as a partner to the Center for Community Energy and Environmental Justice (CCEEJ). She has coordinated many CCLR-led webinars and workshops for events including the National Brownfields Conference. Devyn is passionate about CCLR’s environmental justice work!
Nicole Lang | Senior Program Associate
Nicole manages the Equitable Community Revitalization Grant (ECRG) and Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) programs for DTSC. An intersectional environmentalist, she is passionate about protecting both people and the planet. Previously, she managed an urban forestry program at an environmental nonprofit, overseeing the planting of over 1,200 trees and engaging 5,000 community members. Nicole is driven by the desire for her work to have a positive impact!
Sheryl Gonzales | Senior Brownfield Consultant
Sheryl has dedicated more than three decades to community betterment. She has held executive-level positions in government and nonprofit organizations, with expertise in planning and implementation, encompassing various projects, including strategic plans, marketing plans, fund development, parks and recreation master plans, economic development initiatives, and community outreach programs. She is committed to the health and wellness of a community, ensuring long-term sustainability through collaboration and partnerships.
Norman Wright | Senior Technical Consultant
Norm, former local government executive, led planning, economic development, and redevelopment efforts for 18 years across diverse locations in the “Lower 48.” His teams achieved national recognition, receiving awards from industry groups like the American Planning Association and Urban Land Institute. Norm holds a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from Clemson, specializing in spatial modeling through Geographic Information Systems.
Sebastian Harrison, PE | Brownfield Revitalization Specialist
Sebastian joined CCLR with 7 years of experience in Chemical Industry helping to clean-up and redevelop contaminated sites. He has expertise in sustainability, including brownfield revitalization, waste management, environmental policy, solar implementation, and life cycle analysis. He played a key role in managing the Equitable Community Revitalization Grant, aiding applicants and grantees in planning and executing brownfield projects. Sebastian assists in designing budgets aligned with remediation success and provides expertise on Sustainable Remediation.