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.