From Superfund to Super-Neighborhood: Reworking Walkability for Brownfield Redevelopment in Southcentral Pennsylvania

Emily M. Duggan, Gettysburg College
Margaret A. Laurino, Gettysburg College
Benjamin T. Leighton, Gettysburg College

Environmental Studies Senior Thesis


Walkability is linked to many benefits for communities. However, few measures of walkability are available for use by the general public, especially for those interested in assessing various alternative environmental planning scenarios. In this study, we developed a new walkability assessment tool and applied it to a series of alternative redevelopment planning scenarios for an abandoned Superfund site in Adams County, Pennsylvania. The tool consisted of an 11 question survey and was applied to three scenarios developed by the research team. All designs were mix-use, but emphasized one of three specific land uses, including commercial business, recreation and residential. Results of the walkability tool demonstrated an increase in the walkability of the original site in each of the three alternative designs. The creation of a “user friendly” walkability tool is an essential part of illustrating the sustainability potential of alternative neighborhood and community planning scenarios.