NSI News

Season of change for elections, brownfields

We’re headed into another season of change when it comes to elections. Brownfield development may not be on the tip of the politicians’ tongues, but those close to the issue in both the public and private sectors must get the conversation going. Now.

First, the brownfield community needs to understand the ramifications of the political environment and how that affects brownfield redevelopment. To that end, I plan to cover current activity within the state legislatures and the outlook for upcoming state elections in a session titled Political Outlook — The Hills, the Halls, and the Street at the National Brownfield Association’s The Big Deal: Atlanta 2010 on March 23 and 24 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

The Atlanta event is the flagship summit offered by the NBA, known as the premier association for government, businesses and individuals involved in the sustainable redevelopment of brownfields, and connecting green building to brownfield sites. This year’s summit will focus on the theme of energizing brownfield development.

Polls indicate discouragement with the status quo in state government, which will likely mean a changeover in governor seats in many elections and a learning curve for the candidate taking over the reigns. Regardless of a particular candidate’s political leaning, the brownfield community has an opportunity to build relationships and educate candidates now that will serve their cause down the road.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program creates many benefits for local communities. For example,• Projects leveraged $18.68 per EPA dollar expended• Leveraged 61,023 jobs nationwide• Stormwater runoff from brownfields redevelopment is 44 to 88 percent lower than alternative greenfields scenarios• Can increase residential property values 2 to 3 percent when nearby brownfields are addressed• Promotes area-wide planningI don’t know of any candidate in any party who would think these are bad ideas for their communities. But they might not know about them.

To hear more, join me and 25 other presenters and hundreds of attendees at next week’s event. Check out the full press releasehere.Now’s the time to prepare for working with new leadership come 2011.

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For more information, please contact Heather Sabharwal at hsabharwal@kglobal.com or 202-349-7016.