Progress-Western Pennsylvania Brownfields Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Project Progress

The following reports reflect the progress of the project since its inception in October, 2008. Summaries for each progress report are provided, which show the progress of the project in each of its three main activities.

Progress Report 1

Date: October 1, 2008 -- September 30, 2009

Activity-1
  • Project presentation in two of PDC's Main Street and Elm Street Managers meetings, PDC's Community Revitalization Academy, and PDC's annual conference.
  • Began work on PDC's brownfield website hub.
Activity-2
  • Utilized Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment (EIOLCA) tool to make site specific comparisons between a local brownfield and greenfield development.
  • Evaluated commuting behavior of people living in census tracks that contain brownfield development as compared to census tracks that contain greenfield developments, based on 2000 census data.
Activity-3
  • Developed a new strategy that includes more education and outreach to engage Main Street Managers.

Full report available here.

.

Progress Report 2

Date: October 1, 2009 -- March 31, 2010

Activity-1
  • Project presentation with more than 50 communities in Pennsylvania, in PDC's Manager meetings.
  • PDC brownfield webpage to be online before end of May, 2010.
Activity-2
  • Identified a set of 12 brownfield/greenfield developments (24 sites in total) across the U.S. for sustainability analysis.
  • In assessing commuting behavior of residents living in and around brownfield developments compared to greenfield developments, differences were found in modal shares, energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Near completion on detailed case studies on residential developments for two of the 12 brownfield/greenfield developments. Case studies assessed the environmental emissions associated with both the construction phase and residential use phase of the residential developments.
Activity-3
  • 'Brownfield Taskforce' created within the PDC, to work with Main Street and Elm Street managers to simplify inventory process of brownfields, as a precursor to understanding and employing the Site Prioritization Tool. Conducted first monthly meeting of 'Brownfields Taskforce' in January, 2010.

Full report available here.

.

Progress Report 3

Date: April 1 -- September 30, 2010

Activity-1
  • Project presentation with more than 96 communities in Pennsylvania, in PDC's annual conference and PDC's Community Revitalization Academy.
  • PDC brownfield webpage made available here.
Activity-2
  • Presented case studies' results at 2010 Business of Brownfield Conference.
  • Completed detailed case studies on two additional residential developments (one brownfield and one greenfield).
  • Created a methodology to collect site data required for case studies through publically available sources of data.
Activity-3
  • Revisited the format of the WPBC's Multi-Attribute Decision Making (MADM) tool and discussed function with potential stakeholders. Subsequently developed a revised implementation strategy for MADM tool that is inclusive of rewards to appeal to larger audience.

Full report available here.

.

Progress Report 4

Date: October 1, 2010 -- March 31, 2011

Activity-1
  • Project presentations in PDC's Managers meetings and PDC's Community Revitalization Academy.
Activity-2
  • Published a paper on comparison of the 12 brownfield/greenfield pairs (based on the research of Amy Nagengast) in the Journal of Urban Planning and Development, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in the September 2011 edition.
  • Producing a second paper, whose research used travel demand models and traffic analysis zones to examine the effect of residential brownfield developments on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reduction and the resulting costs (including the cost of driving time, fuel, and external air pollution costs).
Activity-3
  • Engaged the Keystone CORE (Community Oriented Real Estate) Services Group of PDC and initiated a plan for a test implementation of the MADM tool across eligible and interested PDC communities.

Full report available here.

.

Progress Report 5

Date: April 1 -- September 30, 2011

Activity-1
  • In the midst of creating a sub-set of the larger PDC membership network that had expressed interest in the project, to impart more advanced information to this real estate/brownfields network.
  • Project presentations in five conferences, PDC's Managers meetings and PDC's annual conference.
Activity-2
  • Published the second paper on the effect of residential brownfield developments on reduction of VMT and the resulting costs in the Journal of Urban Planning and Development, ASCE.
  • Producing a third paper on the analysis of residential brownfield developments if they are developed as LEED certified new developments and their impact on travel patterns. The third paper also further examines the cost effectiveness of brownfield developemnts as VMT reduction strategy in comparison with other VMT reduction strategies.
  • Preparing a spreadsheet-based tool to assess the environmental emissions associated with the remediation phase (for a brownfield) and the residential use phase (for both brownfield and greenfield).
Activity-3
  • Worked with the Keystone CORE Services Group of PDC, engaged 79 communities in a beta test of the MADM tool and evaluated the submissions for 23 pre-screened properties.

Full report available here.

.

Progress Report 6

Date: October 1, 2011 -- March 31, 2012

Activity-1
  • Developed a focus on real estate development through the creation of the Keystone CORE Services (KCS) program. PDC provides critical information to Main Street and Elm Street Managers while KCS evaluates their success on the basis of projects implemented.
  • PDC/Carnegie Mellon collaboration resulted in PDC's success retention of State funding that was targeted for recapture due to reductions in the operating budget of the state of Pennsylvania. 
  • Project presentations in PDC's Managers meetings and PDC's Community Revitalization Academy.
Activity-2
  • Ongoing research to involve expanding travel analysis to include retail facilities.
  • Third paper, on the analysis of residential brownfield developments if they are developed as LEED certified new developments and their impact on travel patterns, is going through revisions. 
  • Developed summary spreadsheet tool to assess environmental costs and cost savings associated with brownfield developments. Summary spreadsheet to provide a comprehensive tool allowing user to compare all aspects (i.e. infrastructure, utility, construction, travel patterns) of residential brownfield developments with greenfield developments.
Activity-3
  • Made 'awards' to sites that received favorable scores through the MADM process.
  • Revised data collection questionnaire to reduce ambiguity.
  • Presented results of MADM to Main and Elm Street Managers and responded to questions regarding future efforts to identify high potential projects using MADM tool.
  • Deborah Lange, the project's Principal Investigator, was invited to discuss MADM process and collaboration with PDC at a brownfields conference hosted by the Technical University of Ostrava (Czech Republic) and funded by the European Union.

Full report available here.

.