Steel Town to 21st-Century City

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Certification Maintenance

CM | 0.75

Learning Outcomes

  • Consider a wide variety of partners that can be important in making a regional and community-wide project successful.
  • Use and match various public and private funding sources to fund a long-term, phased, multiyear project from planning through clean-up and construction.
  • Approach significant brownfield cleanup projects with greater knowledge and the ability to work with both public and private owners to reuse a site.

Course Details

The bankruptcy and closing of Bethlehem Steel devastated the City of Bethlehem's financing and development on many levels. This case study highlights how Bethlehem came together as a result of the closing to revitalize and enhance the entire community.

Although "The Steel" was a friendly property owner, the bankruptcy created a significant amount of uncertainty in the community. Bethlehem needed to take the lead in envisioning and guiding the property's reuse in a way that best met the city's needs. Its guidance included developing a long-range vision, redeveloping brownfields, building partnerships, connecting and engaging communities, and considering design. Presenters provide detailed examples of strategies to enhance economic development initiatives, arts and culture, design, historic preservation, and community interaction and engagement.

Reasonably, the community was concerned that the site would become a big box development unconnected to the city or its history. Presenters share examples of steps taken to ensure the site is connected to the community and remains an asset to residents.