Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy Summary
Brownfields are prevalent throughout the region, and although they present challenges, they are often in desirable locations with great potential for redevelopment. Federal, state, and local governments have recognized this, as well as regional non-profit groups and private investors, situating our region at the forefront in creative brownfield redevelopment strategies and partnerships.
Despite this progress, there is much work to be done to clean-up brownfields region-wide. Therefore, this strategy report attempts to illustrate how many potential sites are in the region, in comparison to what's been cleaned-up thus far. It also includes a review of federal and state policies and programs, as well as a taste of local programs and partnerships. Most importantly, the report attempts to understand the multiple layers of benefits – economic, environment, and social – brownfield redevelopment can offer the region.
A sample of findings:
- All 7 counties in the region have brownfield sites, with a majority in Cook County and older communities
- Remediating brownfields can bring significant return on investment - a median return of $16 in total investment for every $1 of state investment (IIRA 2005)
- A national survey of municipalities found that 64 communities determined that local tax revenues generated from redeveloped brownfield sites totaled $233 million (US Conference of Mayors, 2006)