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Gordon Nichols URP 461 June 10, 2009 Senior Project Proposal

Redevelopment of Abandoned Landfills Into Public Recreation Areas

Abstract When formulating my research topic selection I wanted to focus on the infrastructure of a city. Environmental protection was another important aspect to me when devising a topic. I started by listing the various facets of infrastructure and settled on an area of concern relevant to California’s future, waste management. Focusing on solid waste landfills I allowed the literature to identify several relevant issues concerning waste management such as composting sites and landfill closures. I decided to veer away from the more technical nature of composting and landfill management in order to not be overwhelmed. I chose the topic of landfill redevelopment, which incorporates many elements of planning. Below is a chart diagramming the process.

INFRASTRUCTURE ROADS

WATER

ELECTRICITY

WASTE MANAGMENT

TELECOM

SOLID WASTE RECYCLING

WASTE WATER

TRANSPORTATION

LANDFILL TRADITIONAL MANAGMENT

VOLUME/SPACE

COMPOSTING

MAINTENANCE DURING USE

CAPPED REDEVELOPMENT

Problem Statement Insufficient amounts of former and abandoned landfills are being redeveloped for sustainable uses such as recreational areas. More abandoned and capped landfills should be redeveloped into usable public recreational areas however landfills in general have a negative connotation attached which discourage redevelopment as well as significant remediation costs. The additional precautionary efforts that must be taken to ensure public safety and undisturbed waste deposit as well as the relative easy to develop on virgin green-fields rather than brown-fields and the additional cost associated with both are the three main reasons why more landfills are not being redeveloped into usable public spaces.


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URP 461 Senior Project

Purpose Statement In a time of severe urban space and resource limitations many closed and capped landfills present superb new park

Trail of Anaconda, Montana Smelter Superfund Site that surrounds a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus Image courtesy of http://www.epa.gov/su perfund March 2001

as well as the ease of information access I would receive. I chose this topic because as a planner

sites for three reasons- cost, location and

one of my main goals is to protect our

size (Harnik, P. pg. 83). From a more broad

environment and work responsibly to mitigate

social justice standpoint landfills are human

negative human impact on the natural world.

“messes” which places the onus on

The redevelopment of landfills into public

government and community to continue to

recreational areas combines many aspects of

utilize the land in a useful way rather than

planning, which interest me including- design,

continually sprawling outward.

redevelopment, environmental protection and

Redeveloping wastelands such as landfills

social justice. I hope that my research will

provides the opportunity to mitigate the

encourage my study sites and others like it to

negative impacts of human society on the

explore the benefits of redeveloping wastelands

environment. Capped landfills that are not

caused by human involvement as well as

redeveloped create even greater wastelands

provide a guide to promote such projects. I also

where adjacent development is not desirable

hope to bring to the forefront another way to

simply because of its proximity to a landfill.

develop in a sustainable way for cities with

Using the California’s Integrated Waste

landfills. My final report is intended for city

Management Board list of abandoned waste

managers, developers, site managers, property

sites as well as the Southern California’s

owners, the planning community at large and

Association of Governor’s State of the

others with an interest in redeveloping landfills

Region report I have identified two sites in

sites for recreational purposes. Using the

Southern California (The City of Brea and

literature, as a best practices example I hope to

California Polytechnic University Pomona)

offer insight to the decision makers of my study

that have the opportunity to possibly

sites which encourages them to redevelop their

redevelop their former landfills into usable

landfills as well as determine the main reason

public space. I chose to focus on these two

why more former landfills in Southern

sites because of their relative close location

California are not being redeveloped.

Learning Expectations My proposed topic of “Why more landfills are not redeveloped into usable recreational areas” draws upon the political and administrative knowledge elements of the Urban and Regional Planning curriculum. By examining variables that may determine whether or not a former landfill is redeveloped requires me to study the political decision making process of the various stakeholders. From an administrational perspective there are several procedural approaches to the challenge of redeveloping wastelands for public use.


URP 461 Senior Project

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To fully understand the issue I had to familiarize myself with specific knowledge about solid waste infrastructure, the legality of environmental protection and the redevelopment process as a whole. A responsible government is one that ensures the equal representation of all parties while ensuring the conservation of natural resources. The values related to my topic deal with the need for social justice, environmental equality and sustainable development. Because an overwhelming majority of landfills in major metropolitan areas are located in the most impoverished communities it is irresponsible to allow these sites to remain wastelands after their closures when they could become community assets such as parks. It is also irresponsible to continue to destroy virgin ecosystems for further human development while sites such as former landfills are waiting to be redeveloped into public goods. URP 461 allowed me to use the skills I learned during my undergraduate career to formulate problems and identify relevant issues in planning. The interview and site investigation I will perform in URP 462 will show case my quantitative analysis and oral communication skills. My final report will consist of a well-written and thorough explanation of my findings with supportive graphic images that convey my results. In the final report I will also compile a list of recommendations for my study sites that draw upon my synthesis and application of knowledge abilities.

URP 462 Final Report Table of Contents Preface

………………………………………………………………i

Section 1: Introduction Purpose Statement Organization of Report

………………………………………………………………ii ………………………………………………………………x ………………………………………………………………x

Section 2: Literature Review ………………………………………………………………iii Forms and functions of landfill redevelopment ………………………………….x Potential Sites ………………………………………………………………x Expanding Wastelands ………………………………………………………………x Hypothesis & Theories ………………………………………………………………x Section 3: Methodology ………………………………………………………………iv Topic Identification and Problem Definition ………………………………….x Data Gathering ………………………………………………………………x Interview and Surveys ……………………………………..........x Site study ……………………………………………x Research and Analysis ……………………………………………………………....x Section 4: Case Studies ……………………………………………………………....v Spadra & Brea Landfills ………………………………………………...............……x Best Practices: Boston Islands ………..……………………………………………x Section 5: Analysis and Evaluation Hypothesis Findings Audit and Review

……………………………………………………..vi ……………………………………………………..x ……………………………………………………..x

Section 6: Recommendations ……………………………………………………..vii Policy recommendations ……………………………………………………..x Conclusion ……………………………………………………..x

Staton Island Landfill Redevelopment 2020 Rendering Image courtesy of http:nymag.com Jan 2007


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URP 461 Senior Project

Literature Review I began my research with the general topic of how to redevelop waste sites

EPA’s mission is to help communities with the

such as capped landfills into usable

redevelopment of waste sites and ensure the

recreational area for the public. My research

health of the public and the environment but

led me to identify the problem of the lack of

the onus is on the community to decide which

abandoned or closed landfills not being

sites should be redeveloped and for what

redeveloped in any form. The question is

function. According to the EPA recreational

posed why are more landfills not

sites such as parks and trails are the most

redeveloped?

common types of redevelopments for waste site

“Trash Topography” by Pierre

urban space and resource constraints, closed landfills present excellent new park sites.” - Harnik

because of the wide variety of restrictions on

Belanger (2006) is the first articles I read, it

building on a landfill and the easy ability to use

addressed the concerns of Canada’s waste

natural vegetation and coverings on capped

management and landfill capacity. In

waste sites.

Toronto the Keele Valley Landfill, Canada’s “In a time of severe

Hazardous Waste Containment Areas.” The

“Compost Remedies a Landfills and

largest municipal solid waste facility, was

Grows a National Park” by Robert Rynk is a

closed to much public fanfare and

good case study of the tumultuous journey and

redeveloped into a large multi-acre

landfill site sometimes goes through in order to

recreational park and golf course. Peter

be restored to its natural form and purpose.

Harnik’s article, “From Dumps to

The Boston Islands project which is detailed in

Destinations: The Conversion of Landfills to

Rynk’s article is a perfect example of how

Parks,” was another article that gave

private organizations, community members

examples of how former landfills and waste

and local government can converge to create a

sites could be transformed into destinations

project that is cost effective for developers,

for public use and in many cases returned to

beneficial for the environment and serves the

their former natural glory. Harnik detailed

public good. Using this case study and other

how landfills in large urban areas are prime

like it I devised a research topic that would

sites for public open space. These two

help to answer the problem question of why

articles were the jumping off point for my

more landfills are not being redeveloped. After

research and data collection. As discussed in

identifying my problem through the literature I

the purpose statement it is humanity’s

used the CIWMB website to identify two sites

responsibility to clean up and maintain the

in Southern California with closed landfills

area in which we have chosen to be

(Brea City dump #2 and Spadra landfill). “The

wastelands after that purpose has been

Wildlands of Cal Poly Pomona- In Memory” by

served. This sentiment is shared by the

Curtis Clark (2002) is the first conservational

Environmental Protection Agency in their

article I found which refutes the idea of landfill

guide, “Reuse and Clean Up Superfund

redevelopment, calling for a much more

Sites: Recreational Use of Land Above

conservational approach when dealing with former landfills.


URP 461 Senior Project

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Clark describes how the last grove of California black walnut trees was cut down to make way for a golf course on the Spadra landfill rather than conserving them. To this date no golf course has yet been built in place of the destroyed black walnut grove. The case study of Boston Islands will be used as a best practices example to compare and contrast similar project areas as they apply. The Rails To Trails organization and the EPA Superfund Reuse Guide have also laid out an organizational method for the redevelopment of waste areas that will be the basis of my recommendations and data analysis.

Research Design and Schedule for URP 462 My research method will be a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods with a heavy emphasis on qualitative data. Over the break I will be contacting the site managers of the identified closed landfills in Brea and Cal Poly Pomona. My goal is to interview several knowledgeable officials in the city managers office, public works department, planning and redevelopment departments, facilities department, maintenance director and/or waste management company associated with each of the landfill sites. During the interviews I will ask a series of questions that deal with my problem statement ranging from: Why do you feel the landfill has not been redeveloped? What plans, if any, are there for the former landfill? What do you think should be done with the landfill? Have you ever been involved with this type of redevelopment before? And an open conversation portion for any further dialog. The interviews will be conducted either in person or via email or via phone conversation. My goal is to obtain a minimum of six usable interviews for qualitative analysis. From this I will try to identify as much quantitative data as possible from the interview questions and create a matrix of possible answers to the hypotheses. Through interviews, document research and site analysis I will identify a number of variables such as landfill size, type of ownership (public or private), proximity of adjacent development, types of adjacent developments, elapse time from closure in years, funding resources, geographical features and community population. These variables may help to test my hypothesis and determine whether cost, technical knowledge or ease of building elsewhere is prohibiting landfills from being redeveloped. The timeline for my research method is as follows: Date

Task

Deliverables

Break

Contact various cities to set up interviews Schedule of interviews

Week 1

 

Prepare interview questions

Questions for interviews

Begin gathering research on landfill

variables Week 2-3

  mapping

Conduct interview of participants Site visits, photography study and site

Notes & transcripts of interviews Photos and site maps

Canada’s largest municipal solid waste facility, Keele Valley Landfill, redeveloped into a park and golf course


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Week 4

Spring 2009 Instructor: Professor Richard Wilson FAICP

Cal Poly Pomona University

  

Analyze interview transcripts

 

Prepare recommendation list

 

Review recommendation with cities

Matrix of variables

Make up any additional interviews

Create matrix of variable to derived quantitative data Week 5-6

Week 7

Begin preparing final report

Draft recommendations

Draft 1 final report

Determine conclusions and testing

results

Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Week 8

Revisions and editing of final report

Draft 2 final report

Week 9-10

Prepare and finalize final report

Final report

Bibliography Belanger, Pierre (2006, May). Trash Topography. Alternatives are presented to Ontario's practice of shifting garbage across the border to mass landfills in Michigan. Canadian Architect, 15-17.

Email: glnichols@csupomona.edu

Chang, P (2004, Dec). The State of the Region 2004. Retrieved May 20, 2009, from SCAG | Southern California Association of Governments Web site: www.scag.ca.gov/publications/pdf/2004/SOTR04_Trans.pdf Clark, C (2005, June 17). Wildlands of Cal Poly Pomona- In Memory. Retrieved June 1, 2009, from CSU Pomona Web site: http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/wildlands/memory.html#spadra Harnik, P., Taylor, M., & Welle, B. (2006). From Dumps to Destinations: The Conversion of Landfills to Parks. Places (Cambridge, Mass.), 18(1), 83-8. Retrieved 28 May 2009, from OmniFile Full Text Mega database. Kavazanjian, E (2007). Sustainable Redevelopment Of Former And Abandoned Landfills. Retrieved May 28, 2009, from Sufalnet Endreport Web site: www.endreportsufalnet.net/static/files/Kavazanjian.pdf Ozarowski, P. (2006). Landfill Redevelopment Creates Community Asset. Brownfield News.com, Retrieved may 19, 2009, from www.haleyaldrich.com/downloads/publications/WBC_Brownfields_News.pdf Pierce, P.E., J (2006). Commercial Development Of Closed Landfills:. Retrieved May 19, 2009, from SCS- Secure- Integrated Real Estate, Site Renewal, Web site: http://www.scs-secure.com/Papers/6-02%20Commercial %20Development%20of%20Closed%20LF.pdf Pool, B (1996, Jan). New Approach to Old Landfills Blooms at Cal Poly Test Site. Retrieved June 1, 2009, from Los Angeles Times Web site: http://articles.latimes.com/1996-01-08/local/me-22289_1 Rynk, R. (2003). Compost Remediates A Landfill And Grows A National Park. BioCycle, 44(12), 34-8. Retrieved 28 May 2009, from OmniFile Full Text Mega


Rynk, R. (2003). Compost Remediates A Landfill And Grows A National Park. BioCycle, 44(12), 34-8. Retrieved 28 May 2009, from OmniFile Full Text Mega database. Spiegel, R. (2007). Green Scene. Design News, 62(14), 26. Retrieved 28 May 2009, from OmniFile Full Text Mega database. (2001, March). Reusing Superfund Sites. Retrieved May 6 2009, from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Web site: www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/recycle/pdf/reusingsites.pdf (2001 April). Spadra Landfill (Post Closure Activities). Retrieved June 1, 2009, from Los Angeles County Sanitation Distrcits Web site: http://www.lacsd.org/about/solid_waste_facilities/spadra/default.asp (2001 Dec. 5). Closed, Illegal and Abandoned Disposal Sites Priority List. Retrieved May 22, 2009, from California Integrated Waste Management Board Web site: www.ciwmb.ca.gov/leacentral/cia/Priority.pdf (2003). Superfund Community Involvement. Retrieved May 12, 2009, from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Web site: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/community/index.htm (2003, Dec.). Draft 2004 Regional Transportation Plan Program Environment Impact Report. Retrieved May 20, 2009, from SCAG | Southern California Association of Governments Web site: http://www.scag.ca.gov/RTPpeir2004/draft/2004/pdf/rtp_peir04.pdf (2007). Trail-Building Toolbox. Retrieved May 28, 2009, from Rails to Trails Conservancy Web site: http://www.railstotrails.org/whatwedo/trailbuilding/index.html (2007 Sept.). Proposed Plan for the Abandoned Landfill and Southern Sites Area at Sierra Army Depot . Retrieved May 19, 2009, from EnviroStor: Department of Toxic Substance Control Web site: www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public/view_document.asp? docurl=/regulators/deliverable_documents/1452878654/...20.07.pdf (2007). CEQA: The California Environmental Quality Act. Retrieved May 20, 2009, from California Environmental Resources Evaluation System Web site: http://ceres.ca.gov/ceqa/more/faq.html

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URP 461 Senior Proposal  

Cal Poly Pomona URP 461 Senior Project Proposal Part 1

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