Brownfields

Brownfields remain of the highest priority in the regeneration of the inner city. Defined as an \”abandoned, idled or underused industrial or commercial facility where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination\”* these derelict sites can at once ease land shortages. In addition they can redirect growth to areas and sites passed by due to liability concerns and clean up costs, and create more balanced regional and local growth patterns. In 1996, the U.S. General Accounting office estimated 450,000 brownfields to be found in the nation, listing 7,733 in the State of Massachusetts and 395 within the City of Boston. The central objective of this course is to survey the changing climate of Brownfield reuse and to explore potential planning and design agenda\'s where private and community development concerns are replacing regulatory and economic factors as a driving force. The class will examine economic, environmental, community, public health, regulatory and development conditions surrounding Brownfields, including discussions with stakeholders from federal, city and community agencies, as well as other professionals from the legal, financial, planning, engineering, project management and risk assessment industry\'s. Class trips will visit brownfields in located in Somerville and surrounding communities near Boston.Enrollment is open to all students in graduate standing as well as undergraduate environment concentrators from Harvard College. In the last two years the class has included landscape architects, architects, urban planners and designers from the GSD and MIT.