Repurposing Vacant Properties as Green Infrastructure-Unger, 2012

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Thousands of acres of Great Lakes urban vacant properties can be turned from liabilities to assets as green infrastructure. We are working with water infrastructure agencies, land banks, non-governmental organizations working in urban neighborhoods, and analyzing the potential for green infrastructure to include social equity, economic growth, and ecosystem services.

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  • Cleveland 201, Toledo 209, Chicago 588, Erie 57, Rochester 93, Buffalo 105, Duluth 176, Flint 87, Detroit 360, Gary 130, Milwaukee 249, Hamilton 228, Windsor 147, Toronto 630
  • Repurposing Vacant Properties as Green Infrastructure-Unger, 2012

    1. 1. Great Lakes AOC & CSO
    2. 2. Great Lakes AOC & CSO
    3. 3. Beyond Water to Vacant Lands
    4. 4. Beyond Water to Vacant Lands
    5. 5. Remediating Water & Vacant LandsIssues With Ecosystem Services- Gained substantial attention with publication of Costanza et al.’s 1997 Nature paper which valued the world’s ecosystem services at $16-54 trillion or 88- 300% of global GDP at the time.- “These “ecosystem services”—the storage of carbon in trees, the pollination of crops by insects—are often closely tied to the economic fortunes of the poorest in the developing world.” The Economist “The Road to Rio” 11/17/11- “To protect its watershed, New York pays farmers in the Catskills not to develop their land.” The Economist “The world’s lungs” 9/23/10 - “The city plans to spend $660 million to preserve that watershed in good health; the alternative, a water treatment plant, would have cost $4 billion to build.” The New York Times “How Much Is Nature Worth? For You, $33 Trillion” 5/20/97- The USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) “Benefits”: “protects millions of acres of…topsoil from erosion and is designed to safeguard the Nations natural resources…reducing water runoff and sedimentation…protects groundwater and helps improve the condition of lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams. Acreage…planted to resource- conserving vegetative covers, making the program a major contributor to increased wildlife populations in many parts of the country.” (CRP: Status and Current Issues, CRS Report for Congress, 9/15/2010) - 31.3 million acres as of July 2010 (↓10.9%) at $53-129 per acre - Already a prime example of ecosystem service efficacy and supply-side acceptance- Natures Services; Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems” by Gretchen C. Daily
    6. 6. Remediating Water & Vacant Land Issues With Ecosystem Services- Collective property regimes (Acheson 1988, Cole 2002): - England’s open-field system - Andean Mountain common-field agricultural tradition - Japanese Iriachi common lands - Maine’s “harbor gangs” - Great Lakes Basin’s Vacant Lands?????- Flood control, soil formation, pollination, food and timber production, provision of the raw material for new medicines, recreational opportunities and the maintenance of a favorable climate are among them.
    7. 7. Municipal ConcernsHow to maintain economic viability of shrinking cities? • Continuous economic growth may not be realistic assumption “…advance the steady state economy, with stabilized population and consumption…Continuous economic growth on a finite planet is wishful thinking…limits to growth…[including] physical and ecological principles…a way to achieve sustainability and equity in an increasingly constrained world…work[ing] closely with economists and scientists…” — Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) • Embrace shrinkage? “It’s reality. We’re simply recognizing and accepting the reality of what’s happened to this city over the past several years…We haven’t gone in and aggressively shut down streets, but, over time, that’s part of the plan.”— Jay Williams, Youngstown, OH “Decline in Flint is like gravity, a fact of life. We need to control it instead of letting it control us. A lot of people remember the past, when we were a successful city that others looked to as a model, and they hope. But you can’t base government policy on hope. We have to do something drastic.”— Dan Kildee, Flint, MI
    8. 8. Municipal ConcernsHow to maintain economic viability of shrinking cities? • Minimize social disruption and protect property values • Enhance vacant land fiscal condition—maximize revenues or minimize costs • Protect and restore natural resources
    9. 9. Background• Revitalization efforts in Great Lakes cities • local • small-scale • variable• Large-scale, regional revitalization: Does it make sense? • triple bottom line: social, environmental, economic • needs research to justify investmentNRG:GDP “In ecological and thermodynamic terms, all material economic ‘production’ is consumption.” – Rees (1992) Income Per Capita
    10. 10. Current Monetization FrameworkWag+Stat Adj+Prof+Int+Ren = GDP = Con+Inv+Gov+(Exp–Imp) Headline Vs. Real Spread Growing Wider • “Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth, between costs and returns, and between the short and long run. Goals for more growth should specify more growth of what and for what.” — Simon Kuznets, New Republic, 1962 • Expropriating distant “elsewheres” --------------------------------------------Ecological Footprint-------------------------------------------- Total Footprint:City Arable Land Pasture Forest Hydrocarbons Urban Water 2 km Ratio -----------------------------km2----------------------------- Cleveland 38,970 194.0 1,809 6,704 5,411 15,589 2,765 5,631 Toledo 21,341 102.2 1,198 4,439 3,583 10,323 1,831 3,729 Youngstown 3,655 41.5 279 1,034 834 2,404 426 868 Akron 13,796 85.8 830 3,077 2,484 7,156 1,269 2,585 Chicago 283,038 481.0 11,770 64,530 36,285 102,477 18,610 37,019 Erie 6,097 107.0 442 1,681 1,295 3,731 763 1,348 Pittsburgh 26,341 183.3 1,363 5,184 3,993 11,506 2,353 4,156 Rochester 16,550 178.3 926 4,246 2,603 7,899 1,441 2,853 Buffalo 17,971 170.8 1,142 5,234 3,209 9,737 1,777 3,517 Duluth 5,089 28.9 359 1,693 1,000 3,034 484 1,096 Flint 5,894 67.7 446 1,846 1,503 4,007 768 1,447 Detroit 78,640 218.7 3,643 15,085 12,281 32,739 6,279 11,827 Gary 6,070 46.7 429 2,004 1,308 3,693 708 1,334 Milwaukee 57,702 231.9 2,417 11,901 7,845 21,725 3,798 7,848 Hamilton 17,242 75.7 2,746 1,857 2,382 9,449 808 2,827 Windsor 7,397 50.4 1,178 797 1,022 4,054 346 1,213 Toronto 85,542 135.8 13,623 9,215 11,820 46,878 4,007 14,023
    11. 11. Future Monetization Framework GDP = Con + Inv + Gov + (Exp – Imp)6CO2+6H2O↔C6H12O6+6O2 Biomass/rash to landfills ($21.44 million annually); disease; NO32-, NH4+, PO42-, etc. to Sewer/CSOOrganic C, N, P Mineral C, N, P Mowing, pruning, animal Precipitation N, P, and S control, security, trash -Toledo & Cleveland = 822 pickup with ↓/↔ ROI NO32-, 368 NH4+, 1,175 SO42-, 1,930 PO42- Gallons Sq. Mile -1,462 N, 23,366 P, and 731 Tons K as Fertilizer Huge Potential to be Monetized, Create Jobs, Stabilize Sewer Treatment Budgets & Real-Estate Values, Clean Air, Ameliorate “Heat Island” Effect • Municipal compost to replenish/remediate vacant lands would generate $24.23 million in revenue, 7,352 jobs, $182-311 and $4.37-7.45 million in wages and taxes, and would offset 6.65 MT CO2 or 31% of N Ohio’s urban per capita emissions • N Ohio’s urban trees provide $3.6-22.4 million in pollutant remediation
    12. 12. Potential Restoration Strategies• Constructed Wetlands --------------------Organic-------------------- -----------Mineral----------- CO2 Carbon Nitrogen Phosphoru Nitroge Phosphorus s n Deposition Tons yr-1 ------------------------------------kg yr -1------------------------------------ Cleveland 7,774 1,923,316 6,225 48.720 3,498 29,130 Toledo 8,079 1,998,947 6,470 50.636 3,636 31,466 Youngstow 3,405 842,468 2,727 21.341 1,644 5,589 n Akron 6,222 1,539,419 4,983 38.996 3,004 18,662 Chicago 22,768 5,633,047 18,233 142.693 11,321 249,876 Erie 2,206 545,690 1,766 13.823 1,443 2,345 Pittsburgh 5,560 1,375,712 4,453 34.849 2,684 14,904 Rochester 4,617 1,142,429 3,698 28.939 2,797 10,278 Buffalo 4,071 1,007,132 3,260 25.512 2,663 7,988 Duluth 6,814 1,685,893 5,457 42.706 392 22,382 Flint 3,370 833,852 2,699 21.123 1,091 5,475 Detroit 57,289 14,174,115 45,879 359.050 32,047 1,582,086 Gary 5,034 1,245,512 4,031 31.551 3,511 12,216 Milwaukee 9,627 2,381,887 7,710 60.337 5,685 44,677 Hamilton 6,447 1,595,039 5,163 40.405 4,218 20,035 Windsor 4,159 1,029,105 3,331 26.069 2,327 8,340
    13. 13. Potential Restoration Strategies• Agroforestry (aka, carbon farming)• Strategies:• intercropping, black walnut, silvopastoral, windbreaks, biofuels (Current urban tree estimate NTFB $199 million or $202 per capita annually)• R&D:• biological processes, erosion control, wildlife, vacant lands, specialty products, fine hardwoods, waste application, biomass and pulp•• Versus conventional farming: NE Ohio vacant land back-of-the-envelope• Increase (+) = 702 tons harvest, 687 tons N Inputs, 21,599 labor hours, $809,955 Net Revenue• Decrease (-) = 4,759,236 kW of non-solar NRG inputs, 107 tons fertilizer, 48 tons N losses, 19,047 tons soil loss
    14. 14. Potential Restoration Strategies• Agroforestry (aka, carbon farming)• Benefits:• Reduce wind/H2O erosion• Reduce N2 fixation (offset tremendous urban N2O emissions) Multi-Story Farming• Reduce leaf decay• Increase yields due to reduced winds, cooler temps, and less evapotranspiration• Energy savings of 15-30%• Bee/butterfly habitat ($75-188 million demand value/$107 million supply value; $6.23 million in fruit & grain value; 16-40 plant species; 1.35-3.37 bird species)• Shade for livestock• Absorb greenhouse gases¶••¶ From Fisher 2011: “[IPCC]…states that natural forests hold the greatest carbon storage potential…among managedsystems, agroforestry systems top the list, followed by managed forests, and agricultural lands.” — USDA SecretaryVilsack’s “all lands” management speech
    15. 15. Potential Restoration Strategies• Uneven or Even-Aged Forestry• Uneven:• More Continuous supply of NTFB and TFB revenue (High Value Crops), precipitation infiltration, Heat Island alleviation, carbon/nitrogen (NO3- & NH4+)/phosphorus (PO42-) sequestration → Reaches asymptote w/in 50 years• Even-Aged:• More Discrete supply of NTFB and TFB revenue (Low Value Crops), precipitation infiltration, Heat Island alleviation, carbon/nitrogen (NO3- & NH4+)/phosphorus (PO42-) sequestration → Never really reaches asymptote constantly being replanted•
    16. 16. Tree Potential On Vacant LandsHardwood Plantations:• High value product, well-paying jobs, high above- and belowground CO2 sequestration, stormwater remediation$ and Jobs (Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown, Akron):• Years 1-12 – Chestnut $682 million & 18,596 jobs; Black Walnut $515 million & 14,026 jobs; Red Oak $124 million & 3,369 jobs• Years 12-19 – Chestnut $1.71 billion & 46.477 jobs; Black Walnut $1.48 billion & 40,408 jobs
    17. 17. Tree Potential On Vacant LandsSoftwood Plantations:• Biofuels/Pulp/Paper, well-paying jobs, high above- and belowground CO2 sequestration, stormwater remediation $ and Jobs (Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown, Akron): • Hybrid Poplar • Years 1-8 – $2.41 billion & 65,781 jobs • Years 1-14 – $562 million & 15,332 jobs • Years 1-18 – $509 million & 13,865 jobs • Red Pine • Years 1-27 – $65 million & 1,780 jobs • White Pine • Years 1-27 – $49 million & 1,355 jobs
    18. 18. Potential Restoration StrategiesUneven or Even-Aged Forestry Much Reorganization Conservation Uneven: Renewal -Continues supply of NTFB and TFB revenue (High Value Crops), Stored Capital precipitation infiltration, Heat Island alleviation, carbon/nitrogen/phosphorus sequestration → Reaches asymptote w/in 50 years Even: Growth Release -Discrete supply of NTFB and TFB Exploitation revenue (Low Value Crops), precipitation infiltration, Heat Island alleviation, Little carbon/nitrogen/phosphorus Weak Strong sequestration → Never really reaches Connectedness asymptote constantly being replanted Modified from Holling’s “Adaptive Cycle” (1987, 1992)
    19. 19. Potential Restoration Strategies Schumpeter’s “Creative Destruction” re-imagined to yield “constant capital stock”Uneven or Even-Aged Forestry Much Reorganization Conservation Uneven: Renewal -Continues supply of NTFB and TFB revenue (High Value Crops), Stored Capital precipitation infiltration, Heat Island alleviation, carbon/nitrogen/phosphorus sequestration → Reaches asymptote w/in 50 years Even: Growth Release -Discrete supply of NTFB and TFB Exploitation revenue (Low Value Crops), precipitation infiltration, Heat Island alleviation, Little carbon/nitrogen/phosphorus Weak Strong sequestration → Never really reaches Connectedness asymptote constantly being replanted Modified from Holling’s “Adaptive Cycle” (1987, 1992)
    20. 20. • Current Costs to Be Alleviated By Retention and Runoff Currently Health Costs Vacant Land RestorationPrecipitation: CO2:-808 kg km yr 2 -1 -$1.94 billion annually ($449 &Runoff: $255 million from production &-530 million gallons mi2 yr-1 manufacturing) Deaths & Emergency Room: -1,195 deaths annually (1,002 non- infant & 193 infants); 6,965 Asthma admissions at cost of $216 million Other: -$1.06 & $1.41 billion due to physical inactivity and alcohol abuse; $146 million Heat Wave
    21. 21. OverviewHow this group can be involved:• Feedback, Participation, Economic Equivalents or Proxies on Vacant Land Examples: • Great Lakes Ag/Resource Econ Assoc (GLAREA) Land Use Policy Workshop Four fundamental questions: • Appropriate role of Social Science in land conservation and development policy? • Why, where, when does land conversion occur? • What are land conversion & conservation implications for property values/taxes, and vice versa? • What are practical relationships among urban amenities, character, and policies designed to protect, create, or transform them?
    22. 22. Triple-Bottom Line Approach• Social, economic, environmental concerns • Institutional, short- Vs. long-term, health, etc. Cleveland Federal Reserve Inaugural Community Survey Top 3 Issues ¶: • Availability of Local Employment Opportunities, Vacant Properties, Budgetary Cuts and Financing Issues at the State Level • “Federal budget cuts will cripple our operations.” • “No jobs, no income, no credit, no housing.” • “There is no apparent job growth to replace the elimination of public-sector and service-sector jobs lost because of budget shortfalls” • “New business and jobs must be at the top of every list. Suitable business development for small and rural communities is critical for this region, and appropriate tactics must be employed to address this issue. Entrepreneurship, rural business development (including farming), small-scale manufacturing, alternative energy, traditional energy, tourism, food, and technology-based businesses must be developed from within to stabilize and grow these communities.” ¶ Others included home foreclosures, quality K-12 education, small business loans, federal and local budgetary cuts, affordable housing, credit scores

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