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Polluted and Dangerous
America’s Worst Abandoned Properties and What Can Be Done About Them
Justin B. Hollander

2009 • 332 pp. 30 b&w illus. 9 maps. 37 tables. 6 x 9"
Ecology & Environmental Studies / Urban Studies

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"Valuable for those in urban studies, city planners, and civil leaders . . . Recommended."—Choice

A probing and timely look at how American cities can achieve sustainability in the face of decline

Blighted, contaminated, and abandoned property mars nearly every major American city. Justin Hollander conducted primary research in twenty urban centers containing such “brownfields” or, in the most serious cases, “HI-TOADS” (High-Impact Temporarily Obsolete Abandoned Derelict Sites). His goal was to study the sites and the official handling of them through the lenses of sustainability, urban planning, redevelopment, and environmental justice. In Polluted and Dangerous, he scrutinizes specific sites in five of the affected cities: New Bedford, Massachusetts; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; Trenton, New Jersey; and Youngstown, Ohio. Hollander poses the serious questions that local planners face when dealing with issues related to HI-TOADS. For instance, to what degree do planners recognize and acknowledge the problems? Do they see intervention as necessary, and, if so, to whom do they assign the responsibility for it? What measures are undertaken, and how successful are these? In his timely, topical study, Hollander lists common implications of living with and rehabilitating HI-TOADS, and he puts forward specific policy recommendations for redressing the critical issues that are raised. At a time when we are ever more concerned with the intersection of the built and natural environments, this book is not to be missed.

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Reviews / Endorsements

Polluted and Dangerous is a welcome and timely contribution to the literature in urban affairs and environmental studies. His work ably demonstrates both the potential and utility of interdisciplinary work in the social sciences. Few scholars have studied the long-term impacts of brown fields on people and place. Polluted and Dangerous is an important first cut at filling this gap in the literature. This is not only a book for libraries — it should be read by planners and advocates alike who care about the future of abandoned property.”—Environment and Planning

“Once icons of our industrial prowess, a select group of brownfield properties are now referred to as Toads because of their ugliness and the blight they impose on surrounding neighborhoods. While the brownfields community has focused on more up-beat stories about marketable sites in more popular locations, Hollander employs rich case studies to address the worst brownfields and understand the problems they inflict, as well as the strategies employed to redevelop them - warts and all.”—Christopher De Sousa, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee and Co-Director and Founding Member, Brownfields Research Consortium, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

”Justin Hollander is one of the rising stars of American planning. His debut book offers a field guide to a nasty new set of land-use amphibians, HI-TOADS (read the book), showing how and why they are not about to go extinct. He traces their natural history, explores their ecology and describes how they can evolve—with help from their planner-keepers—into more benign creatures. "Polluted and Dangerous" is not just stylishly written. It presents outstanding analysis: passionate, practical, sharp-eyed and hopeful.”

—Professor, Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University and Visiting Professor, Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University

JUSTIN B. HOLLANDER is assistant professor at Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. From 2000 to 2006 he was a Community Planner for the U.S. General Services Administration, Public Buildings Service. He has published a number of peer-reviewed articles and has won many awards and honors for his work.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:49:31 -0500