When Opponents Claim Site Cleanups Can Never be Complete
Barry Hersh, Clinical Associate Professor, NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate
Redevelopment near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn New York is complicated. The canal itself is a superfund site, nearby land has a variety of contaminants; there is a very active community, a major proposed rezoning and a strong real estate market. A substantial redevelopment, including both affordable and market-rate housing as well as retail, has been proposed on an MGP site by a consortium of private and non-profit development organizations. While this presentation will include an overview of the technical approaches being used at the MGP site and adjoining canal, the main focus will be on how can you convince residents that the cleanup can and will be effective. The community itself has a varied constituency, from troubled public housing to long term homeowners and renters, to more affluent newcomers, some but by no means all of whom oppose the project concept. The presentation will include how to explain the techniques and metrics of MGP remediation, how to separate the site from the adjoining superfund canal cleanup now underway, and how to insure that new residents will be safe.
Barry F. Hersh, AICP is Clinical Associate Professor at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, chairs the graduate development program and teaches courses in sustainable real estate and land use and environmental regulation. Mr. Hersh has been directly involved in brownfield redevelopment as a consultant, regulator, and researcher, including developing over 50 brownfields projects around the US as Vice-President of Dames&Moore/Broookhill. Mr. Hersh is the author of Urban Redevelopment: A North American Reader, published by Routledge in 2017 and a NAIOP study of Waterfront Brownfields. He led NYU graduate student studies of the New York State Brownfield Tax Credit and Brownfield Opportunity Area Programs 2014-18. His New York City Brownfields study was recognized for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement and utilized in PlaNYC 2020. Mr. Hersh has been involved with brownfield efforts in New York City, the Northeast, as well as nationally and globally; including Newtown Creek and Staten Island; Toledo, Ohio, Big Bend California, Ostrava, Czech Republic and Auckland, New Zealand. Mr. Hersh also conceived and teaches, as a partner in Vita Nuova LLC, the “What Regulators Need to Know about Redevelopment” course in all EPA regions, and taught the Market Analysis course for New York State Department of State; all well received. He has written numerous articles including “Brownfields is a Movement”, “Rheingold Brewery Redevelopment” 2019, a peer selected case study published by Lincoln Land Institute and American Society of Planning Schools. While in High School it was the Gowanus Canal that began his interest in environmental cleanups.