As America looks to reclaim its blighted lands and build economies from within, Downstream Strategies stands at the ready to help guide sustainable visions from idea to reality.
A brownfield is a property having real or perceived environmental conditions that limit its use and redevelopment. Such properties often occupy prime locations in core business districts, in industrial zones, or along waterfronts. Restoring blighted industrial and commercial properties can have a transformative effect on communities evolving from past economies.
The first part of the brownfield redevelopment process is to identify whether contamination is present at a property, and if so, to accurately assess its extent. Based on the initial assessment, remediation can be performed and funding can be secured to support final redevelopment.
Brownfield redevelopment relies on strong coordination among stakeholders including community leaders, government agencies, private parties, and nonprofit organizations. Downstream Strategies has worked successfully with communities and stakeholders to implement their visions to successfully transform properties into public parks, private business enterprises, and affordable housing.
- Phase I and II environmental site assessments (ESAs)
- Infrastructure assessments
- Case studies
- Economic impact and market assessments
- Brownfields and community revitalization: asset-based community visioning
Project implementation and management
Putting plans into action, our team helps communities, nonprofits, and other partners implement high priority projects. Our staff works closely with clients to bring to life projects developed through careful and inclusive planning.
- Request for proposal/quote management
- Construction oversight
- Project management and reporting
- Trail building
- Stream and wetland restoration
Mine land reuse
Appalachia is home to tens of thousands of acres of formerly mined land, much of which is capable of supporting innovative, sustainable, and job-creating economic activities. Our team has proven experience working with community stakeholders to realize the full potential for some of these sites. Our creative re-envisioning process utilizes GIS, stakeholder input, qualitative research, and other technical resources to inform how best to approach the challenge of redevelopment at each mine site.
- Landscape assessment
- Site identification
- Opportunity analysis
- Site mapping
Healing Our Land, Growing Our Future: Innovative Mine Reclamation in Southwest Virginia
Downstream Strategies worked with Appalachian Voices to profile 14 candidate projects for RECLAIM Act funding in southwest Virginia. The RECLAIM Act is focused on reclaiming abandoned mine lands to put them back into productive use, and it offers a vehicle by which communities and entrepreneurs can revitalize the economy of the Appalachian region. Downstream Strategies worked closely with community members and local officials to identify sites and projects that could benefit from RECLAIM Act funding; the project team also compiled information, facilitated connections between key players, and provided support. This report describes these projects in detail and lays the foundation for ground-up economic redevelopment by the residents of southwest Virginia.
Many Voices, Many Solutions: Innovative Mine Reclamation in Central Appalachia
In Southwest Virginia, a group of nonprofit and community action agencies, colleges, state agencies, planning district commissions, and other interested citizens and businesses seek to develop a solar energy industry cluster. Development of some or all aspects of the solar industry value chain—from component manufacturing and sales to engineering and installation—will not only grow the local economy, but also provide new businesses with renewable energy. This report explains this potential economic boon to help lawmakers and energy industry officials scale up the region’s renewable energy sector.