Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

East Falls Brownfields

Tracy Dyke, under the direction of Lawrence Susskind and Susan Podziba
Seven-person, non-scoreable, facilitated negotiation among planners, regulators and activists regarding the cleanup and redevelopment of environmentally contaminated property

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SCENARIO:

East Falls Brownfields is a nonscorable facilitated negotiation among six planners, regulators, and community activists regarding the cleanup and redevelopment of environmentally contaminated property.

The negotiation takes place in East Falls, an old industrial city with a shrinking population and tax base. The Monroe Industries site, an abandoned 15-acre parcel of land contaminated with machine oils, solvents, asbestos, and heavy metals, is a potential danger to the neighborhood. In addition, the condition of the property is discouraging investment in the neighborhood. Residents are very concerned about environmental health threats. The city has brought in an outside developer who is willing to consider redeveloping the site if this can be made financially viable.

The city, the developer, two citizens’ groups, an environmental health expert, and a representative from the local business community have gathered to try to agree on a redevelopment plan for the property. Everyone believes that redeveloping the property would be a good idea, but there is no agreement on the specifics of the plan. The parties are trying to reach consensus on what will be built on the property, what type of environmental remediation will occur, how much public assistance will be provided to the developer, and to what extent the developer and the citizens groups will cooperate as the project moves forward.

 

TEACHING POINTS:

  • Redeveloping brownfields typically requires a negotiation among many different stakeholders.
  • The mutual gains approach to negotiation that stresses ‘all-gain’ solutions, rather than win-lose solutions, is likely to be the most effective way to handle brownfields negotiations.
  • Through a process of joint problem solving, it is possible to balance the competing interests of contending stakeholders.
  • Good information is crucial to making intelligent trade-offs in the course of negotiating brownfields redevelopment plans.
  • Trade-offs between cost and risk, as well as between risk and benefit, can be handled most effectively in a consensus-building fashion.
  • Successful consensus building requires the right kind of forum, with the right kind of ground rules, designed jointly by all stakeholders.
  • One of the reasons that brownfields redevelopment negotiations are often difficult is that values, not just interests, are at stake.
  • Community involvement in brownfields redevelopment produces a better ‘product’ with few delays.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

General Instructions for all parties:

Confidential Instructions for:

  • President of LandCycle Inc., potential developer of the Monroe Industries site
  • City Planning Director
  • Vice President of East Falls Bank & Trust and Vice Chair of the Chamber of Commerce
  • Director of Citizens for Justice in East Falls (CJEF)
  • Director of East Falls Economic Future (EFEF)
  • Professor of Environmental Health at East Falls Community College, and Technical Advisor to the Task Force
  • Facilitator

 

Teacher’s Package includes:

  • All of the above
  • Teaching notes

 

East Falls Brownfields Attributes

Time required:
2-3 hours
Number of participants:
7
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
None
Neutral third party present:
Facilitator
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
Yes
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You are then permitted to view the document on your computer and either print the number of copies you purchased, or forward the electronic file as many times as the number of copies you purchased. You will only receive a link to one electronic file per document. So, if you order 25 soft copies, you may either forward copies of the link to 25 people via e-mail, or print (and/or photocopy) 25 hard copies of the document.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

The purchase price and handling fee are the same for both soft and hard copies. Soft copies do not entail a shipping fee.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, then you should order a single Teacher’s Package for that role simulation. A PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package is also available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. There is no need to order participant materials as well as a Teacher’s Package, as all Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters. Please note that the materials in Teacher’s Packages are for the instructor’s review and reference only, and may not be duplicated for use with participants.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

If you wish to order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Participant Copies.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required; the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Participant Copies.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.