Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy


Entrepreneurial development of contaminated or blighted land, commonly referred to as “brownfield,” carries significant enterprise risk. When considering competing opportunities, capital tends to flow in an adverse direction from higher-risk activity where outcomes are less certain. In addition, a complicated regulatory landscape can increase transaction costs which further limit the desirability of these projects. Often, that leaves the remediation of environmentally compromised property in the hands of the public sector. Yet, in industrialized nations with significant brownfield presence, government is often unable to solely cure defects due to limited fiscal resources and competing policy imperatives. One solution to the problem is to employ a public/private redevelopment partnership along with corollary legal remedies to incentivize brownfield redevelopment, minimize transaction costs, and limit enterprise risk exposure.