Louisville Central Rail Corridor Area-Wide Brownfield Plan
In 2013, Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government was selected by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) as a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program grant recipient.
The Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program is designed to help communities confront local environmental and public health challenges related to brownfields, and to benefit underserved or economically disadvantaged communities. Area-wide planning for brownfields encourages community-based involvement in site assessment, cleanup and reuse planning, as well as overall neighborhood revitalization.
Lord Aeck Sargent was retained by Louisville Metro to conduct the Brownfield Area-Wide Plan for a 650-acre area along the railroad identified as the Louisville Central Rail Corridor. The area, consisting of primarily six neighborhoods, is located east of I-65 along the Short Line Railroad corridor and is in close proximity to both Downtown Louisville and the University of Louisville. It is comprised of industrial properties surrounded by a tightly knit neighborhood fabric. With the mills no longer operating, this area has tremendous potential for redevelopment. At the same time, it faces environmental challenges due to the presence of perceived or actual brownfield sites, many of which are prime candidates for redevelopment.
The Louisville Central Rail Corridor Area-Wide Brownfield Plan (Plan) provided guidance for public and private redevelopment efforts in the corridor. It focused on identification of catalyst sites, desirable redevelopment outcomes, plan implementation strategies, and increased connectivity throughout the corridor.
The Plan sought to:
- Encourage neighborhood-level commercial development, environmentally-sensitive industrial development, and additional inclusive residential growth
- Encourage the development of healthy neighborhoods through the implementation of green infrastructure and urban agriculture (already common in the area)
- Reduce and remove environmental threats, contamination, and visual nuisances associated with vacant, abandoned and underutilized properties throughout the Central Rail Corridor
- Promote job creation for Corridor residents and to promote the redevelopment of vacant, abandoned or underutilized Corridor properties