11.370 | Fall 2005 | Graduate

Brownfields Policy and Practice


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 2 hours / session

Course Description and Objective

There are several hundred thousand Brownfield sites across the country. The large number of these sites, combined with the fact that a majority of these properties are in urban and historically under-served communities, dictate that Brownfield redevelopment stands to be a common theme in urban planning for the foreseeable future.

Successful Brownfields redevelopment requires the coordinated and collected efforts of myriad stakeholders, including but not limited to: residents and civic organizations, environmental professionals of several specialties, financial and legal experts, developers, politicians, regulators and the media. Given the complex nature of the redevelopment process, the risks involved and the number of players, there is no such thing as a “Brownfields expert” and this course is not designed to make you one.

Rather, by participating in “Brownfields Policy and Practice,” interested students will come away with a grounded understanding of the Brownfield lifecycle: how and why they were created, their potential role in community revitalization and the general processes governing their redevelopment. Using case studies and guest speakers from the public, private and non-profit sectors, students will develop and hone a suite of skills to enable them to effectively address the problems posed by these inactive sites.

“Brownfields Policy and Practice” will provide background for IAP site visits and is a functional pre-requisite for a spring semester course devoted to field-based Brownfield redevelopment projects.

Course Requirements

Students are expected to come to class having read the required materials and prepared to discuss the issues raised through the readings. In-class participation will, therefore, comprise 40% of the student’s grade. Performance on two papers and an accompanying presentation, on a topic to be agreed upon between you and me, will count for the remaining 60%.

In-class Participation 40%
Office Hour Meetings 10%
First Paper 20%
Second Paper 20%
Final In-class Presentation 10%


The Course Text will be: Greenstein, Rosalind, and Yesim Sungu-Eryilmaz, eds. Recycling the City: The Use and Reuse of Urban Land. Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, 2004. ISBN: 155844159X.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2005