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National Brownfields Conference

The National Brownfields Conference is one of the largest educational events sponsored by the U.S. EPA, attracting over 6,000 participants and featuring over 100 dynamic educational sessions, networking and business development opportunities, mobile workshops, walking tours, and volunteer activities to see redevelopment at ground level.


National Brownfields Conference

Since 2003, ICMA and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have jointly organized the National Brownfields Conference, regularly attracting local government leaders, developers, end-users of redeveloped brownfields sites, and investors. 

What are brownfields and why are they important?

Brownfields are rural or urban industrial commercial sites that are abandoned or underused because of real or perceived contamination. Communities across the country face the challenge of putting these idle sites back to work, from old industrial cities with thousands of acres of abandoned factories to rural villages built around derelict mines or timber mills. Brownfields are a valuable community resource that, through redevelopment and reuse, could easily bring important benefits to many economically depressed communities or serve as the centerpiece in comprehensive redevelopment strategies.

The EPA has estimated that there are several hundred thousand brownfield sites around the United States, many of which are inhibiting neighborhood and community revitalization. The National Brownfields Conference is designed to bring all affected stakeholders together to seek out solutions, strategies and redevelopment options for moving more of these abandoned properties back into productive uses.

ICMA's role

A partnership between the U.S. EPA and ICMA has developed the National Brownfields Conference into the premier international forum focused on redeveloping America’s brownfield properties and promoting environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment. In its 16-year history the conference has grown from being a relatively low-key event into being the hub of information sharing and networking for a wide variety of topics related to sustainability. Specifically, ICMA manages the conference's educational program which includes over 125 educational sessions, mobile workshops, films, the Poster Gallery and the Economic Redevelopment Forum.

Brownfields 2015

In 2015, ICMA will work in partnership with the EPA to deliver key aspects of the conference including communication and outreach to potential attendees, educational programming and special events.  ICMA will also organize a conference trade show and exhibit hall as well as a sponsorship program.

Features of the National Brownfields Conference added by ICMA include:

  • Marketplace roundtable discussions that provide more free flowing audience interaction than traditional PowerPoint driven panel sessions
  • An environmental film series
  • The Economic Redevelopment Forum (formerly the Brownfields Transaction Forum), which brings together site owners, investors, developers, end-users, and state and local economic development officials to lay the groundwork for potential revitalization deal-making.

Information regarding the past National Brownfields Conference, including sessions, presenters, keynote speakers, activites and more is available at www.brownfieldsconference.org, a site managed by ICMA.

Follow the conference on Facebook or Twitter: @Brownfields2015

Brownfields Information on ICMA.org

Funder:  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Contact:  Andrea Fox (afox@icma.org)