The E.P. Systems Group, Inc., is are pleased to announce that, under the leadership of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech and the Center for Environmental Policy and Management at the University of Louisville, we have received a $1,000,000 award under the EPA’s Brownfields Training, Research, and Technical Assistance grant program. Together with partners from Lazarus LLC, we will develop and pilot test a Brownfields Community Benefits Assessment Tool Kit (BCBAT) over the next five years. This project is unique in that it will re-examine and augment traditional economic benefit models for redevelopment and in-fill 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. The tool kit will be based on an easy to use portable app linked with a web-based desktop portal. The system will use accessible national, state, regional and local data and hyper-local data as the foundation for benefit calculation formulas we develop.
The goal of this project is to enhance community decision makers’ capacity to measure and track the benefits of redeveloping brownfields and thus expand the number of abandoned, vacant, and under-utilized properties that get cleaned up and considered community assets. Our pilot community will be Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government, a community that has made huge strides in successful brownfields redevelopment, implemented policies on open data, and developed innovative tracking of vacant, abandoned and brownfields properties.
In addition to Dr. Peter B. Meyer, EPSG President and Chief Economist, our team include:
Joe Schilling, J.D., LL.M., Senior Fellow and former Interim Director of the Metropolitan Institute, Virginia Tech.
Dr. Lauren C. Heberle, Associate Professor of Sociology, Director of the Center for Environmental Policy and Management, University of Louisville.
Chris Harrell, J.D., M.P.A., Founder and Director of Redevelopment for Lazarus Group LLC of Indianapolis, and Lazarus LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary based in Louisville, KY.