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Cityscape: Volume 2 Number 3


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Issues in Urban Environmental Policy

Volume 2, Number 3

Ann R. Weeks


Issues in Urban Environmental Policy

Advisory Board

Editor: Michael A. Stegman

Managing Editor: Ann R. Weeks

Guest Editors: David Engel, Edwin Stromberg, and Margery Austin Turner

Elijah Anderson
University of Pennsylvania

Roy Bahl
Georgia State University

Ann Bowman
University of South Carolina

Henry Coleman
Rutgers University

Greg Duncan
University of Michigan

Amy Glasmeier
Pennsylvania State University

Norman J. Glickman
Rutgers University

Harvey Goldstein
University of North Carolina

Jane Gravelle
Congressional Research Service

Bennett Harrison
Harvard University

Steven P. Hornburg
Fannie Mae Foundation

Helen F. Ladd
Duke University

Wilhelmina A. Leigh
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Laurence E. Lynn, Jr.
University of Chicago

Sandra Newman
Johns Hopkins University

John Tuccillo
National Association of Realtors

Avis Vidal
New School of Social Research

Don Villarejo
California Institute for Rural Studies

Susan Woodward
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research strives to share HUD-funded and other research on housing and urban policy issues with scholars, government officials, and others involved in setting policy and determining the direction of future research.

Cityscape focuses on innovative ideas, policies, and programs that show promise in revitalizing cities and regions, renewing their infrastructure, and creating economic opportunities. A typical issue consists of articles that examine various aspects of a theme of particular interest to our audience.

From the Editor

Michael A. Stegman, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research

This issue of Cityscape explores the controversies that arise when housing and community development policy meets environmental protection. In recent years, serious tensions have emerged between the housing and community development programs that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers and the environmental regulations administered primarily by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

I became acutely aware of these tensions in the fall of 1993, when I was invited to a conference on Housing and the Environment sponsored by the New York Housing Conference. Nonprofit community groups and low-income housing advocates, as well as for-profit builders and property owners, argued that many environmental regulations were endangering the economic viability of both the existing housing stock and the rehabilitation and new construction of low- and moderate-income housing. I was struck by the angry frustration being voiced by people who historically had supported environmental protection and I was disturbed by the implication that the goals of housing and community revitalization are inconsistent with protection of the environment.

In an effort to foster a more constructive dialog, I decided to sponsor a series of symposia on the impact of environmental mandates on housing and urban development. The four symposia, held between December 1994 and October 1995, were intended to inform the urban and environmental policy communities about conflicts between their respective mandates and to explore ways in which those conflicts might be resolved. The articles in this volume are based on the discussion papers prepared for each of the symposia. They are accompanied by summaries of the four day long sessions and a provocative introductory synthesis by staff of HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research. The sessions were hosted by nongovernmental organizations active in urban development and environmental protection, and I am grateful to them for helping to make the symposia possible.

Each symposium focussed on a different area of overlap between HUD's urban agenda and the environment. The first session addressed the impact of environmental mandates on inner-city revitalization, and Elizabeth Collaton and Charles Bartsch's paper on urban brownfields sparked a discussion about the challenges and opportunities of cleaning up contaminated industrial sites and returning them to productive use. In the second session, papers by Frank P. Braconi and Brock Evans prompted a heated debate about the impact of environmental regulations on the cost of housing maintenance, rehabilitation, and new construction. Session three explored the impact of environmental protection on urban growth and growth management, with an excellent paper on strategies for preserving wetlands and species habitat by Lindell Marsh, Douglas Porter, and David Salvesen. And the final session featured a paper by Nick Farr and Cushing Dolbeare on lead-based paint mandates and their implications for the preservation of affordable housing.

Today, both HUD and EPA are embarked on a course of significant reinvention and reform in their respective programs. This process, though sometimes painful, creates opportunities for urban and environmental advocates to rediscover common objectives and pursue joint initiatives. I am heartened by the fact that EPA, which has implemented major reforms in regulations governing brownfields cleanup, recently hosted a day-long meeting during which senior representatives from HUD and other Federal agencies with urban development responsibilities made a commitment to a long-term agenda of collaboration and support. Only by working together in this way can we hope to realize HUD's mandated goal of "a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family."

Toward a National Urban Environmental Policy
by David Engel, Edwin Stromberg, and Margery Austin Turner

Industrial Site Reuse and Urban Redevelopment-An Overview
by Elizabeth Collaton and Charles Bartsch

Summary of Symposium Discussion
by Diane Suchman

Environmental Regulation and Housing Affordability
by Frank P. Braconi

An Environmentalist's Response to "Environmental Regulation and Housing Affordability"
by Brock Evans

Summary of Symposium Discussion
by Diane Suchman

The Impacts of Environmental Mandates on Urban Growth
by Lindell Marsh, Douglas Porter, and David Salvesen

Summary of Symposium Discussion
by Diane Suchman

Childhood Lead Poisoning: Solving a Health and Housing Problem
by Nick Farr and Cushing N. Dolbeare

Summary of Symposium Discussion
by Diane Suchman



Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Subscriptions are available at no charge and single copies at a nominal fee. The journal is also available on line at http://www.

PD&R welcomes submissions to the Refereed Papers section of the journal. Our referee process is double blind and timely, and our referees are highly qualified. The managing editor will also respond to authors who submit outlines of proposed papers regarding the suitability of those proposals for inclusion in Cityscape. Send manuscripts or outlines to

Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of HUD or the U.S. government.

Visit PD&R’s website,, to find this publication and others sponsored by PD&R. Other services of HUD USER, PD&R’s research information service, include listservs, special interest and bimonthly publications (best practices and significant studies from other sources), access to public use databases, and a hotline (800–245–2691) for help with accessing the information you need.