Transforming Brownfields into Urban Futures

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 7:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • The complex issues and opportunities surrounding prominent urban brownfield sites

  • The key steps in the transformational process from off-limits brownfield to successful redevelopment projects that unlock major economic, social, and environmental value

  • Current case studies from multiple firsthand perspectives, including the planner's, the engineer's, and the developer's for a holistic understanding of how brownfield sites can transform into vibrant innovation districts and livable mixed-income communities

Untouchable and therefore avoided, urban brownfields increasingly represent the most promising future (and fundamental challenge) for cities competing in the innovation economy and a new generation of urban lifestyles and values. These include some of the most strategic undeveloped sites left in urban portfolios, including decommissioned coal-fired power plants along downtown riverfronts, former chemical plant sites along transit corridors, and contaminated rail yards in downtown hearts. Especially in cities with nowhere else to build, these typically large and eminently well-located properties are the only downtown real estate available to establish high-demand innovation districts and add affordable housing.


Successful transformation from blighting void into innovation community requires a highly complex, integrated approach led by a partnership between pioneering private developers and an interdisciplinary team of urban planners, engineers and other specialized professionals. With a presentation and roundtable discussion led by members of Stantec’s Urban Places Group and pioneering brownfields redeveloper SunCal, this session will profile several current examples of once-in-a-generation brownfield redevelopment master plans, including downtown Sacramento’s district-scale Railyards to Somerville, MA’s seven-block transit oriented Union Square infill redevelopment, and the indispensable public-private partnerships and federal grant programs (like the Sustainable Communities initiative) crucial to unlocking these sites’ transformative potential.


Peter Johnson , Sleepy Hollow , NY (see bio)
Brett Sherman , SunCal , New York , NY (see bio)
Jeffrey Sauser , Stantec , Greenfield , MA (see bio)
Elias Rashmawi , Stantec , Sacramento , CA
David Dixon , Stantec's Urban Places , Boston , MA (see bio)