The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines a brownfield as a property which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. Sustainable Strategies DC can help your community create strategies for brownfield revitalization and leverage EPA, other federal agencies and state resources for brownfield activities that can increase local tax bases, facilitate job growth, utilize existing infrastructure, and improve and protect the environment.

Smart growth focuses on creative development strategies in order to make communities more walkable, livable, economically efficient, and socially diverse, while protecting and preserving natural lands and environmental areas. Sustainable Strategies DC can provide guidance on how to prepare smart growth strategies, determine priorities, leverage funding, and implement your community's smart growth objectives. 

Success: Dubuque National award for smart growth achievement

Client: Dubuque, Iowa

Project Name: Historic Millwork District & Washington Neighborhood

Description: In 2013, Sustainable Strategies DC helped Dubuque gain national recognition for its innovative urban revitalization. The Dubuque Millwork District sat vacant for decades after it fell victim to the economic shifts that touched much of the Midwest in the mid-1900s. The adjacent Washington Neighborhood was affected by the Millwork District’s decline, facing disinvestment and neglect when the mills began to shutter their doors and residents moved away from downtown. Today, thanks to strong community partnerships, public engagement and an overarching city-wide commitment to sustainability, Dubuque is successfully restoring both the Millwork District and Washington Neighborhood to the vibrant places they once were.


  • EPA Smart Growth Achievement Award (2013) - Competing in the “Corridor or Neighborhood Revitalization” category, Dubuque was selected for revitalization efforts in the Historic Millwork District and Washington Neighborhood. Winning entries were selected based on their effectiveness in creating sustainable communities; showing innovative smart growth planning and implementation; establishing a robust public involvement process; generating partnerships among public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders; and serving as national models.

Success: Norfolk, VA Waterfront Brownfield revitalization

Client: Norfolk, Virginia

Project Name: Harbor Park & Tidewater Gardens Revitalization

Description: In 2016-2018, Sustainable Strategies DC helped the City of Norfolk secure $650,000 in Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and EPA brownfield grants for the revitalization of key neighborhoods.  These resources are helping Norfolk create a vision and action plan for overcoming contamination and climate vulnerability challenges at the downtown Harbor Park waterfront and in the economically struggling Tidewater Gardens/Saint Paul's neighborhood.  Already, the City has secured a partnership with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe for development of a waterfront resort and casino that could bring $1 billion in capital and payroll investment to a long-vacant brownfield.

Funding Awarded:

  • EPA Targeted Brownfield Assessment Grant - $100,000 (2016)

  • Virginia DEQ Brownfield Planning Grant - $50,000 (2016)

  • EPA Assessment Grant - $300,000 (2017)

  • EPA Brownfield Area-Wide Planning Grant - $200,000 (2017) 

Success: NoRWalk Washington Village & Soundview Landing Revitalization

Client: Norwalk, Connecticut

Project Name: Washington Village & Soundview Landing Revitalization

Description: Between 2016-2018, Sustainable Strategies DC helped Norwalk obtain EPA, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Disaster Resilience grant funding and other resources to transform obsolete and vulnerable public housing into new, climate-resilient mixed-income housing and mixed-use development.

Funding Awarded:

  • EPA Assessment Grant - $300,000 (2017)

  • HUD CDBG Disaster Recovery Grant - $3 million (2017)

  • Opportunity Zone designation (2018)

Sustainable Strategies DC is a government affairs & strategic consulting firm helping communities obtain resources for revitalization & key priorities.