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2013 Brownfields Plans

City of Greater Sudbury, Ontario

Reclaiming Our Urban Places — Brownfield Strategy and Community Improvement Plan

Population: 160,770
Project duration: 2008‒2011
Total project value: Internal project

The City of Greater Sudbury aims to stimulate brownfield redevelopment with its first brownfield strategy and community improvement plan, Reclaiming Our Urban Places. The strategy and plan tackle market barriers to brownfield redevelopment identified by the local development community, including tax arrears, absentee property owners, contamination and up-front remediation costs.

Reclaiming Our Urban Places has four parts: a marketing strategy to attract investment in brownfields; local awareness and capacity-building strategies; a municipal failed tax sale procedure to help resolve tax arrears and ownership issues associated with brownfield properties; and four incentive programs to help reduce up-front costs. The city built on extensive research and information obtained through stakeholder engagement that took into account the environmental, economic and social aspects of brownfields.

The project has sparked a growing interest in brownfields in Sudbury. A new interdepartmental brownfield team will better equip the city to address the issue and achieve environmental, economic and social benefits through more brownfield remediation and redevelopment projects.

Results

Environmental

Economic 

Social

  • Developers have acquired two former gas station sites and initiated remediation for mixed use redevelopment
  • New municipal failed tax sale procedure brings greater certainty to remediation and redevelopment processes
  • Four financial incentive programs reduce up-front costs of brownfield redevelopment
  • Greater public awareness and support for brownfield remediation and redevelopment
  • Greater capacity to revitalize and improve communities

Challenges

  • The city did not have an inventory of its brownfield sites and had to conduct a comprehensive land use survey.
  • Property owners, developers and the public were not aware of the redevelopment potential for brownfield sites, particularly the economic benefits.
  • The plan had to be flexible, long-lasting and city-wide to avoid creating an area-based "winners and losers" system.

Lessons learned

  • Conduct a comprehensive local land use survey to better understand local brownfield sites and tailor the strategy.
  • Build internal and external awareness slowly and carefully to ensure support.
  • Partner with other organizations to benefit from their knowledge and experience with the community.
  • Allow time to share the story with other municipalities through trade articles and conference presentations.
  • Generate interest by having a brownfield property developer announce that it will use the city's financial incentives.

Partners and collaboration

Resources

Page Updated: 21/12/2015