Evaluating Sustainable Land Revitalization Programs and Policies in the United States


  • Kelly Tzoumis
  • Colin Driehorst




Since the mid- to late-20th century, the implementation of land revitalization programs has become much more complex, expensive, and difficult to complete. In the United States, there are four major types of land revitalization programs, which overlap in some areas and clash in others. Over the last few decades, these programs have become increasingly ineffective as their budgets are decreased and the number of sites to focus on increase as well. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the Superfund program, a fund used for environmental cleanup efforts that was established in 1980 with the passage of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). The EPA also oversees the National Brownfields Program, which is devoted to revitalizing lands whose redevelopment may be impeded by potential pollution or contamination. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) oversees the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR), also created under CERCLA. The ATSDR provides risk assessment analysis of Superfund sites and also has its own goals related to brownfield development under its Land/Reuse Action Model. Individual states have enacted their own land revitalization programs, called Voluntary State Programs. Finally, the 2002 revision of the Superfund program sought to devote more resources to brownfield redevelopment, drawing from Voluntary State Programs for private sector incentives. This paper draws upon academic sources and government reports to provide an analysis of these programs and the unintended consequences on local communities which can include displacement from gentrification.

 Key Words: brownfields programs, bureaucratic behavior, public policy, organizational dynamics, environmental approaches




How to Cite

Tzoumis, K., & Driehorst, C. (2016). Evaluating Sustainable Land Revitalization Programs and Policies in the United States. European Journal of Sustainable Development, 5(4), 383. https://doi.org/10.14207/ejsd.2016.v5n4p383