Residential brownfield redevelopment: A case study of Hickory Woods
Babinski, Jill M
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Brownfields are becoming more prevalent among our urban landscape. Due to a shift from industry to service oriented business, acres of land have been left vacant with the possibility of reuse. Noting that this land still possessed some value, governments across the globe began to redevelop these areas as not only lots for new businesses, but residential use as well. In some parts of the world this has been very successful while in others, failure has tarnished the hopes of urban revitalization. In the late 1980s until 1998, the City of Buffalo built and rebuilt homes in Hickory Woods, a neighborhood adjacent to the LTV Steel State Superfund Site. With no regard to soil or water testing, Buffalo went ahead and created a community that was intended to revitalize the area. However, this plan went awry when a construction crew discovered a black tarry substance seeping from the ground. Immediately construction was halted and both the New York State Department of Health and the United States Environmental Protection Agency were called to the site, later to determine that the area was safe for residents. Currently, residents anger and concern has triggered the City of Buffalo to explore the possibility of buying out residents affected, paying them fair market value for their homes. However, a settlement has yet to be determined. It is hypothesized that inadequate planning resulted in the problems that occurred in the Hickory Woods neighborhood. If this assumption is correct, was this inadequate planning the result of oversight or due to established regulations and policies? This will lead into a discussion of possible alterations to the plan used for establishment of Hickory Woods. From this, remedies and solutions to the problems at Hickory Woods will be proposed.