Community Participation

Garnering community support for the cleanup and reuse of Brownfield sites is critical to successful redevelopment.  Garnering such support involves educating communities and community groups early in the process and actively involving these entities throughout the process until ultimate redevelopment.  Each community is different, as are brownfield sites.  Each possesses a number of distinct characteristics which may dictate a variety of outreach methods. Community outreach efforts may change based on the development potential of the property and the type and extent of contamination located on the site. For instance, small sites with little contamination may only require education efforts on the redevelopment process and early solicitation of the potential reuses that would benefit the community for community support. On the other hand, community participation for larger sites with more serious levels of contamination may require a greater emphasis on environmental issues and the reality of what types of reuse are possible. In any event, the community should be educated and play an integral part in the development of the reuse plan.

One of the key components to the development of a successful Brownfields community outreach program is the establishment of strategic partnerships and collaboration.  Perhaps the most critical relationship is with the local municipality. A municipal partnership can be an important catalyst to ensure the success of redevelopment and reuse of a Brownfield site. Municipalities can encourage local neighborhood participation and help facilitate the education communities regarding cleanup issues and the redevelopment process.

Community outreach methods may include but are not limited to:

  • Identification of Stakeholders and their roles
  • Formation of a Steering Committee
  • Public Surveys
  • Information Workshops
  • Remediation Workshops
  • Publications and/or Webpage Chronicling Activities


by the New York City Office Environmental Remediation.

This video describes how community partnerships can drive brownfields redevelopment. 


Brownfield Site Contamination Investigation