Environmental Practice


PERSPECTIVE: The Brownfield Professional Team

Kelly Tzoumis c1 and Susan F. Bennett

Successful redevelopment of lands with perceived or real contamination and left idle are commonly termed brownfield sites. These sites often require redevelopment that should consider the site's broader social, political, and economic setting. The parcel of land, which can range from a rural community to an urban neighborhood, is part of a larger ecosystem both scientifically and socially. Most of the urban brownfield literature focuses on the loss or underutilization of the property's function and resulting loss in economic value, sometimes neglecting this large social context of the location of the property.


c1 Address correspondence to: Kelly Tzoumis, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Public Policy Studies, DePaul University, 2352 N. Clifton Ave., Clifton 150 23, Chicago, IL 60614; (phone) 773-325-7715; (email) kellytzoumis@ameritech.net

Kelly Tzoumis is a professor at DePaul University where she serves as chair of the Department of Public Policy Studies which houses the environmental and urban studies concentrations. Before coming to DePaul in 2004, she was a professor at Roosevelt University from 1995–2004. As a consultant and later a government employee, she worked at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory and the Department of Energy's Chicago Field Office on Superfund projects and the preparation of various NEPA documents. She also has worked at the Department of Energy's headquarters office in Washington, DC. She has served as a congressional fellow for Senator Simon, and held the Distinguished Fulbright Chair for Environmental Studies. Her publications include articles on NEPA, wetlands, brownfields, environmental justice, and the Chicago River. Her 2001 book on congressional issue definition focused on wetlands, wildlife and the Great Lakes. She currently teaches in the areas of wetlands, environmental justice, brownfields, nuclear waste, Great Lakes, Yellowstone National Park, and environmental policy issues. Her doctorate is from Texas A&M University in Public Policy and Public Administration. Her masters graduate and undergraduate degrees are from Iowa State University.

Susan F. Bennett is currently an associate professor of public policy studies at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Prior positions include teaching fellow at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Warsaw, associate professor in the graduate Public Services program at DePaul University, visiting scholar of the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research at Northwestern University, and assistant professor at the School of Justice Administration at the University of Louisville. She received a PhD in political science from Northwestern University. Her research has focused primarily on program evaluations, particularly evaluations of community crime prevention and community policy programs. Her more recent research focuses on social and demographic changes in urban areas.