Urban Regeneration through Environmental Remediation: Valuing Market Based Incentives for Brownfields Development

EPA Grant Number: R829607
Title: Urban Regeneration through Environmental Remediation: Valuing Market Based Incentives for Brownfields Development
Investigators: Meyer, Peter B.
Current Investigators: Meyer, Peter B. , Wernstedt, Kris , Alberini, Anna , Heberle, Lauren
Institution: University of Louisville
Current Institution: University of Louisville , Resources for the Future , University of Maryland - College Park
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: March 1, 2002 through February 29, 2004
Project Amount: $277,388
RFA: Market Mechanisms and Incentives for Environmental Management (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice


This project will examine the relative importance to developers of different market-based mechanisms and other incentives (MM&I) for promoting the remediation and reuse of brownfields, i.e., previously used and potentially contaminated urban sites. Location-based development incentives have been used for decades, but their actual contribution to real estate investment decisions and to improving environmental quality and stimulating infill growth in urban areas has not been systematically measured. This research will contribute to the design of more efficient and effective interventions by determining the preferences of developers for three dominant MM&I tools for promoting brownfields redevelopment-liability relief, regulatory flexibility, and direct financial aid.


This research will use developer surveys to determine the value that developers place on each of these tools. Researchers also will also survey state and local economic development and environmental agency officials to find out what they believe the preferences of developers to be. Researchers will develop and deploy a survey instrument asking respondents to engage in conjoint choice experiments. Specifically, real estate developers will be asked to indicate which choice they prefer among (hypothetical) residential redevelopment projects described by site conditions (contamination and prior/current uses) and by government intervention attributes, including relief from liability for cleanups and environmental damage, more flexible cleanup standards, and direct financial incentives. The researchers will use the responses to these choice tasks to infer the rate at which developers trade off various MM&I measures, the value of marginal changes in the attributes, and the value of a proposed policy package. This research will study redevelopers operating in four cities chosen to cover a range of property market conditions. In each of these cities, the sample will be as representative as possible of the universe of real estate developers active in urban residential infill. Their preferences will be examined and then compared with how public officials think real estate investors value incentives, to determine if public policies provide needed market inducements.

Expected Results:

The study will provide a clearer picture of the value of a set of widely used, but under-examined, MM&I incentives. The interventions most likely to induce developers to invest in reclamation of brownfields will be identified. The survey instrument developed will be replicable for further generalization.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 31 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 3 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

CERCLA, infill, investment decision-making, regulatory relief, liability, risk, uncertainty, cleanup, remediation, real estate development, sprawl, sustainable development, building permits, homebuilders, local economic development, state economic development, regulatory reform., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Remediation, Economics, Brownfields, Urban and Regional Planning, Market mechanisms, Social Science, financial mechanisms, market-based mechanisms, market incentives, brownfield sites, effects of policy instruments, urban regeneration, policy making, impact of federal policy instruments, policy incentives, government intervention, decision making, environmental remediation, socioeconomics, community based, Brownfield site

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2002 Progress Report
  • Final Report