Carnegie Mellon University

Current Projects


Pictured above from left to right: Student researcher Lauren Hudock, Professor Joel Tarr, and WPBC Executive Director Deb Lange. 

The Western Pennsylvania Brownfields Center is currently involved in many exciting projects ranging from creating redevelopment tools for local governments to developing curriculum for middle school students using brownfields as a platform.  

Environmental Technician Training: With funding from the USEPA Brownfields Program and in collaboration with the Heritage Community Initiative in Braddock, the WPBC has developed and implemented a curriculum for un- and underemployed residents in an old industrial corridor near Pittsburgh.

Assessing Brownfield Sustainability: An USEPA Brownfield Training Research and Technical Assistance Grant to develop decision support tools and mechanisms for communities.

Brownfield/Greenfield Life Cycle Comparison Tool: A tool to compare the impacts of brownfield developments versus comparable greenfield developments. The tool estimates annual cost savings between residential brownfield and greenfield sites, as well as annual greenhouse gas emission savings, based on user inputs.

Charitable Trust Fund Model: Exploring creative ways to approach 'mothballed' sites.

Site Selection Tool: Provide local governments a transparent and rational  tool for prioritizing brownfields for assessment and remediation.

Site-Focused Workshops: Bring together national experts and local stakeholders to create plans for developing brownfields and spurring economic development.

School Outreach Programs: Engages middle school students in an interdisciplinary curriculum using brownfields as a platform.

Carnegie Mellon University Course: Demonstrates to Carnegie Mellon students the potential and challenges inherent in each brownfield. 

Demographic Effects of Redevelopments: Studies the reciprocating affects of brownfield developments on their surrounding neighborhoods.

Mapping Brownfields: Maps old industrial sites, using information from historic maps and directories, in an effort to identify potential brownfields.