Brownfield Redevelopment Justice





Published date: 

June, 2015


Tsuey-ping Lee


Brownfield redevelopment is meant to correct environmental
injustice but the redevelopment process and benefit distribution could result
in injustice again. However, brownfield redevelopment justice has rarely
drawn public attention because people wrongly believe that a revitalized
brownfield site indicates that justice has been served for pollution victims.
To evoke discussions on brownfield redevelopment justice, this paper
focuses on justice issues involved in processing brownfield revitalization,
including the application of several main justice perceptions, as shaped
by Bentham, Nozick, Kant and Rawls, on brownfield practice, and the
examination of the justice perceptions held by the authors of the current
brownfield redevelopment literature. This paper finds that the justice
presented in the current literature can be classified into two categories.
There is that literature which believes in utilitarianism and laissez-faire
which emphasizes an efficient redevelopment process. There is also
other literature that believes in freedom and equality, which emphasizes
distributive justice, including the equal distribution of redevelopment
opportunities among brownfield communities and the equal distribution of
redevelopment benefits among stakeholders. In addition, there is procedural justice, with its focus on meaningful public participation in the decisionmaking
process. This paper contends that the justice perceptions that are
discussed are not contradictory to each other when applied to brownfield
redevelopment and concludes that a human-respecting justice perception
should be developed for brownfield redevelopment embedded in a specific
Taiwanese social context.