Publication Date

July 1993

Journal or Book Title

Economic Development Commentary


Across the United States, mill towns and industrial communities, the "brownfields", have been experiencing rapid disinvestment as manufacturing and service firms increasingly move to suburban industrial parks, the "greenfields". This locational trend has been intensified over the years by our policies and regulations for industrial development. Is this shifting balance a desired result of our policies? The authors believe this trend has had negative effects on both the center cities left behind, as well as on the communities which are being developed. Analysis of the "Greenfield-Brownfield" debate can assist economic development planners in promoting balanced industrial growth. This article analyzes the present difficulties of inner city development, investigates the reasons for increasing greenfield locations of industrial and office parks and explores strategies to create a balanced approach to industrial planning.


This pre published copy of the article is reprinted with permission from Sage publishing. The final definitive version of the article is available at