The Federal Government as Agent for Promoting Collaboration in Local Planning and Redevelopment: An Evaluation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Facilitation Pilot Program
29 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2009 Last revised: 24 Apr 2014
Date Written: June 15, 2009
While of significant benefit to many stakeholders and communities, Brownfield redevelopment requires cooperation amongst stakeholders and often generates conflict. This research assesses whether, and under what conditions, mediation-based facilitation improves community revitalization efforts; the contextual, procedural, and substantive variables that contribute to effectiveness of such efforts; and the impact of a federal agency, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, in altering these variables. The research examines an experimental program implemented by the USEPA to systematically foster collaborative decision making within brownfield redevelopment efforts, comparing 12 nationally initiated processes with 12 locally initiated processes. Overall, locally initiated collaborative processes incorporate a wider range of facilitations, attract stronger local support, and lead to more substantial outcomes. At the same time, the national program, which assisted already stalled projects, were able to overcome some degree of impasse present in two-thirds of the cases, while catalyzing significant change in a quarter of the cases.
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