Wisconsin Brownfield Redevelopment Impact Study

What is the impact of brownfield redevelopment?
That is a deceptively simple question.
An absurdly simple answer: “Impact that matters.”

Wisconsin passed the “Land Recycling Law” in 1994. Statewide efforts to leverage the law over the subsequent years have gained national attention for “consistently appearing at the forefront of brownfield redevelopment activity” (International Economic Development Council).

Through approximately $162 million in local, state and federal grants and incentives since 1998, Wisconsin’s public investments have generated impacts like these:

2015 Impact Study Findings of ROI on Past Brownfield Investments
Economic Output:
$7.6 billion in direct and indirect
Employment: 53,800 in direct and indirect permanent jobs
Distressed Areas:
66% of assisted sites located in low-to-moderate income census tracts
Local Fiscal Benefits:
Post-redevelopment assessed values exceed pre-development values 3.5 to 1
State Fiscal Benefits:
$208 million in direct and indirect revenues (14-fold ROI)
Greenhouse Gases:
Reduced by 16-28% relative to alternative growth patterns
Land Preservation:
12,000 acres preserved relative to alternative greenfield development
Environmental Remediation:
4,713 acres of contamination assessed and / or cleaned up
Public Open Space:
43 sites totaling 340 acres redeveloped as parks / open spaces
Neighborhood Revitalization:
7,900 dwelling units redeveloped / built new

Source: Economic and Fiscal Impact of Wisconsin’s Brownfield Investments. UW-Whitewater’s Fiscal and Economic Research Center and Redevelopment Economics. November 2015.

Get the full details, methodology and figures of this report commissioned by the “Wisconsin Brownfields Study Group” here:

  1. Economic and Fiscal Impact of Wisconsin’s Brownfields Investments – Summary Results
  2. Economic and Fiscal Impact of Wisconsin’s Brownfields Investments – Full Report

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