The Brownfield Area Benefit Estimator (BABE)

 

The Center for Environmental Policy and Management at The University of Louisville is the proud recipient of a five-year, $1,000,000 research grant from the EPA's Brownfields Training, Research, and Technical Assistance Grants program.  Together with partners from the E.P. Systems Group, Inc., Symbiont, the Urban Institute and Lazarus Group LLC, we are developing and pilot testing a Brownfield Community Benefit Assessment Toolkit, recently renamed Brownfields Area Benefits Estimator (BABE). This benefits calculation toolkit is designed to be used by communities to better project and track a wider variety of community benefits associated with brownfields redevelopment than has previously been possible.


What is BABE?
The toolkit will be based on an easy to use, mobile app for baseline property condition data (Brownfields Tracker) linked with a web-based desktop analysis portal Brownfields Assessment Tool (BAT).  The system will use accessible national, state, local and hyper-local data as the foundation for benefit calculation formulas. In addition there will be a handbook that describes our data, research based formulas and assumptions, and ways to use each component of the toolkit.

This project is unique in that it will re-examine and augment traditional economic benefit models for redevelopment and in-fill development to include a broader set of indicators that have until recently been difficult to systematically measure.  It will also explore the efficacy and value of including hyper-local community collected data in these models now that technological advances open the door to systematic and consistent collection of that level of information. Importantly, the user will be able to define any area of interest and receive a report with estimates based on geo-interpolated data at the appropriate unit of analysis. This toolkit will help users ask and answer questions about 'to whom' the benefits of redevelopment accrue. The changes that result from redeveloping brownfields can benefit existing residents in their proximity. This tool contributes to discussions that specify those benefits.

 


Team Leaders

Key Staff and Partners

CEPM:

 

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