Toward Local Brownfield Regeneration: Factors Affecting People's Attitude and Preference of Brownfield Landscape
Kim, Eujin Julia
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Planning and design of brownfield landscapes are not straight forward due to invisible, potential contamination. The dilemma occurs to designers in dealing with brownfield landscapes, because they are unknowingly able to deliver deceptive information regarding the site safety. If the designers and planners are given the information about factors affecting people's reaction to different characteristics of brownfield landscapes, this would help them to be better prepared for ethical issues. For this study, visual preference survey for neighborhoods along the rail yard in the City of Roanoke was conducted. A dimensional analysis found six brownfield landscape types. First of all, historical landmark and maintained landscape types received the highest ratings regardless of the participants characteristics and backgrounds. These types may be viewed less critically and are thus likely to mask potential harms. Second, scruffy vegetation and modest rundown building types that made up the second preferred group revealed more ambivalent feeling. People were highly flexible in switching between change or preservation options in their thinking, thus it would be easy to lead people to focus on certain aspects according to the designer's purposes. Lastly, the two industrial remnant types were the least preferred group. Participants tend to associate these types with toxic pollutants that are likely to adversely affect the health, thus, it would be important to reassure people regarding safety concerns. The expert interviews with brownfield program managers of many localities (Roanoke, VA; Portland, OR; Toledo, OH; Pheonix, AZ; Lewisville, TX; Arlington, TX; and New Bern, NC) were conducted to determine whether the current approaches are effective and develop recommendations. The interviews found that the effectiveness of program is greatly challenged by normative site assessment required by federal government. While the procedure provides necessary information about site safety, it also attaches a stigma to sites regardless of actual contamination level. Based on the findings, it is recommended to include assessment criteria that reveals reuse potentials of brownfields for balanced approach. The results provide useful information for program managers, planners and designers regarding important factors that should be considered for site prioritization and preparation and presentation of designs for brownfield reuse.
- Doctoral Dissertations