FSU research team receives $500,000 grant from EPA program to revitalize former industrial land

A collaborative, interdisciplinary team with researchers from Florida State University’s College of Social Sciences and Public Policy was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Revitalization Anti-Displacement Strategies (BRADs) Program.

A brownfield is a property where expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.

The BRADs Program is a national resource and technical assistance hub for dealing with brownfields. The program provides guidance and training in developing and applying equity-centered and economically inclusive anti-displacement strategies.

Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning Kelly Kinahan will lead FSU’s portion of the project.

“The BRADs Program represents an important expansion of the EPA’s commitment to minimizing displacement and gentrification resulting from brownfields reuse, and more generally thinking about the relationships between brownfields and environmental justice,” Kinahan said. “Our interdisciplinary team of researchers from engineering, sociology and urban planning is excited for the opportunity to help communities build practical knowledge related to anti-displacement strategies and work toward maximizing the benefits of brownfields redevelopment for historically marginalized groups.”

The team’s project includes three objectives:

  1. Conducting research on gentrification issues and anti-displacement policies relevant to brownfields communities and local and regional brownfields programs.
  2. Developing guidance on anti-displacement strategies for various decision-making levels that consider local context.
  3. Providing direct technical assistance and capacity building on anti-displacement gentrification practices to brownfields communities of practice, prioritizing those serving and working with underserved and overburdened communities.

Researchers from FSU and the University of Louisville will lead the literature reviews and qualitative analyses related to the first two objectives and will provide support for technical assistance and capacity building related to the third objective.

Nefeli Bompoti, assistant professor at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, serves as the project’s principal investigator. She will partner with Lauren Heberle, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Louisville; Kelly Kinahan, associate professor of urban and regional planning at Florida State University; and FSU urban and regional planning graduate students Sahari Walker and Onyeka Ugochukwu.

The BRADs Program is funded through a cooperative agreement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Land and Emergency Management.

To learn more about FSU’s Department of Urban & Regional Planning, visit coss.fsu.edu.