The Hazardous Legacies Project investigates the dynamics of "relict" industrial site accumulation and its impacts on urbanization. In Portland, Oregon, hazardous industrial sites have accumulated rapidly and unevenly across the city since the 1950s. The vast majority of these former facilities are not operating industrial sites today, and only 7% have ever been reviewed by state and local environmental agencies. These findings correspond with data from other cities and raise important questions about the historic load of urban industrial contaminants, environmental health, and social justice.
Brown University graduate and undergraduate students are replicating this study in Providence, Rhode Island, and are extending the research to include a complimentary focus on urban green space.