ABSTRACT. Public controversy concerning public and environmental health risk issues and community access to the decision-making process surrounds brownfields redevelopment in the United States. Brownfields redevelopment is a smart growth urban policy program mainly intended to revitalize blighted urban cores and produce beneficial outcomes that ultimately enhance citizens’ quality of life. Traditionally, brownfields projects successes have been lauded mainly from developers and municipal authorities’ perspectives and exclude “grass roots” peoples’ perspectives. In three case studies, one hundred and twenty nine citizens residing near three redevelopment projects in three municipalities survey responses were analyzed, to determine the relationship between their perspectives of access to the decision-making processes and project acceptance. The criteria for approval are based on the achievement of social goals. Statistical results revealed differences in respondents’ a) perception of access to the decision-making process; b) their acceptance of the projects. Mostly, respondents did not feel empowered in the decision-making processes. This affected their support of the outcomes. Those who felt more empowered to access the decision-making process supported the redevelopments’ outcomes more than those who felt less empowered. Perception of access to the decision making processes is impacted by psychological/social factors which are reinforced by perspectives as to how, and the degree the municipality engaged them in community participation exercises and whether or not they could influence some redevelopment decisions. Mostly, individuals were concerned about gaining access because public officials’ decisions affect their quality of life. Interviews with local public officials revealed differing perspectives of success from those of the citizens. pp. 46–89
JEL codes: H23; K32; O13; P28; Q51

Keywords: community; environmental; redevelopment; participation; perception

How to cite: Letang, Shevon Jean (2017), “Citizen Access to the Brownfields Redevelopment Decision-Making Process and the Implication for Brownfields Redevelopment Success,” Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management 5(1): 46–89.

Received 13 February 2016 • Received in revised form 23 July 2016
Accepted 23 July 2016 • Available online 15 August 2016


Department of Earth and Environmental Studies,
Montclair State University

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