Public Project Experience

Reuse Services

  • Property Evaluation and Repositioning Program
  • Market Analysis
  • Reuse Planning and Design
  • Community Design Charrettes/Facilitation

Projects

Hope, Maine - Superfund Reuse Plan (Read More)

In a town without a stop light, Vita Nuova was asked to help determine a reuse for a former solvent recycler turned Superfund site. Working with local stakeholders, Vita Nuova performed a market analysis and managed a reuse planning process for the small farming community to help them re-envision the reuse of the property located in the center of their town. Identifying tourism and the arts as key drivers to economic development, Vita Nuova provided the Town with a reuse strategy for the site.

In addition, as part of the process, Vita Nuova worked with the State's attorney general, USEPA and the town selectmen to establish a process for moving the site from receivership with the State's DEP commissioner back to the public sector without incurring liability for the Town. Vita Nuova's in-depth knowledge of environmental regulations and close working relationships with state and federal agencies created an atmosphere of cooperation in which this thorny and complex issue could be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

The local stakeholders hope to rename the neighborhood “SoHope” for the budding arts district they intend to build.

Earth Conservancy Green Master Plan and Thinkbelt (Read More)

In an effort to overcome the stigma of mine-scarred lands and attract developers back to the valley between Nanticoke and Wilkes-Barre, Pa, Vita Nuova worked with the land’s owner, Earth Conservancy, to define a plan for redevelopment of 10,000 acres. The plan built on the historical development patterns and incorporated cutting-edge ideas for integrated development. By combining the village center concept and the Thinkbelt, a concept of integrating businesses and academia with housing, Vita Nuova helped chart the recovery of this long-abandoned valley. Future plans include zero-energy housing, a new green construction program and renewable energy.

Hamden Highwood Neighborhood Green Plan (Read More)

Vita Nuova was asked to help determine the future use of an abandoned middle school and over 300 homes impacted by up to 20 feet of ash fill from nearby manufacturers in an inner ring suburb of New Haven, CT. In working with local stakeholders, there was interest in preserving the neighborhood while making it better. In order to accomplish this, Vita Nuova proposed a new ‘neighborhood centre’ which included business uses, housing, recreation, and other community amenities. In the neighborhood, Vita Nuova proposed new housing to replace some homes that were structurally unsound and green elements that included a LID-based storm water plan that would eliminate flooding, new bike and walking trails to connect to a local rails-to-trails, and an increase in landscape density to help overcome the impact of cleanup.

Urban Neighborhood Green Plan (Read More)

In an area devastated by the loss of a major employer, a majority African American neighborhood is fighting to rebuild. Working in conjunction with the Park City Partnership and the City, Vita Nuova has provided planning, environmental risk management and project oversight services in an effort to rebuild a neighborhood blighted by over 100 vacant lots, abandoned houses and brownfield sites.

The project is using a sustainable brownfields redevelopment process as a means of catalyzing community support for the redevelopment of the area. In addition, numerous other environmental and infrastructure challenges are being addressed as a part of the project, including lead exposure in children, dilapidated housing stock and the need for long-term residents to remain in the neighborhood. The project involves the development of multi-family housing on the brownfields sites. This effort has led to receipt of over $1 million in lead abatement funds from HUD, $1 million in USEPA brownfields assessment and cleanup funds and significant investment in housing from Fannie Mae.

The Johnson Creek Site redevelopment is comprised of three notorious brownfields sites, including Mt. Trashmore. The City is currently in the process of selecting a developer to create multi-family and elderly housing on the site.

Economic Development Services

  • Economic Development Analysis
  • Strategic Planning and Repositioning
  • Project Management

Projects

Economic Development Analysis - Richland, Washington (Read More)

Vita Nuova performed a market analysis to support the redevelopment efforts at Area 300, part of the Hanford Nuclear site. As part of a team led by HDR Engineering, Vita Nuova worked in conjunction with the City of Richland, Washington, USEPA and Department of Energy to determine the reuse for the 900-acre former laboratory area of the Hanford Nuclear site.

Vita Nuova conducted international market research to assess future trends in energy security, homeland security and technology research to assess the potential for reuse of this important former nuclear test site. Battelle National Laboratory is preparing to reuse a portion of the site. Vita Nuova is working with stakeholders to assess reuse options and determine cleanup goals.

Vita Nuova provided the following services:

  • Developed a site characteristic matrix highlighting the marketable assets of the site
  • Assessed the current real estate market in the Richland area
  • Researched national and international market trends
  • Analyzed Department of Interior plans for Hanford National Monument site
  • Identified synergies between the Hanford site and international markets
  • Developed recommendations for a mixed use redevelopment

Regional Smart Growth Plan (Read More)

The Quinnipiac River Conservation and Development Corridor (QRCDC) is a smart growth initiative that seeks to combine sustainable redevelopment of brownfields sites located along the Quinnipiac River with restoration and conservation goals within a five-town area. The objective of the five communities within the corridor is to redevelop brownfields while reconnecting neighborhoods and restoring the Quinnipiac River.

Vita Nuova implemented a sustainable brownfields redevelopment education process to engage the stakeholders in each of the five communities. The second workshop in the series engaged community residents and business owners in the Welton St. neighborhood, along with interested citizens, City of Hamden officials and State representatives. The goals of the workshop were to continue the education process, as well as to begin to understand stakeholder concerns and interests with regard to neighborhood development, economic development in the area, environmental restoration, and connections to the Quinnipiac marsh.

Vita Nuova played a vital role in the corridor project by implementing a process of community education, communication and engagement, which are all fundamental components in creating a sustainable program.

CANDO Project - Hazelton, Pa (Read More)

Vita Nuova worked with SRA to complete a major review of the area’s economic drivers, demographics and marketplace for the CANDO Corporation, Chamber of Commerce and City of Hazelton. The purpose of the economic study was to help guide re-connection of several hundred acres of mine-scarred land located near Interstate 81 and immediately adjacent to downtown Hazelton. Vita Nuova helped the stakeholder group understand the rapid growing economy, made recommendations to connect the site to downtown Hazelton that would strengthen rather than detract from the downtown, and introduced them to regional and national developers that were interested in working in the area.

Property Transfer Services

  • Market Connections
  • Risk Communications
  • Expression of Interest Process
  • Collateral Material Design and Production

Projects

Earth Conservancy Video (Read More)

A major impediment to revitalization of the Luzerne Valley between Nanticoke and Wilke-Barre, Pennsylvania was the stigma associated with the death of the coal industry and the mine-scarred lands. In order to help overcome that stigma and communicate the tremendous success the Earth Conservancy was having in the redevelopment efforts, Vita Nuova produced a short video to help tell the story. All production, including original scoring, was completed by Vita Nuova.

Fairfield Hills Purchase - Former Fairfield Hills State Hospital (Read More)

Vita Nuova worked with the Town of Newtown, Connecticut to determine whether to purchase a 185-acre former state mental hospital. The total town investment of over 20 million dollars would be the largest single investment ever made by the town. Vita Nuova worked closely with town committees, town leadership and citizens guiding them through a process that required the gathering and development of the following information for presentation at various venues:

  • environmental impacts and costs, especially asbestos and lead paint
  • demolition vs. reuse of the 35 buildings on-site
  • municipal services, recreational and school system needs
  • the economic development potential of the site

Regional Marketing Plan - Idaho (Read More)

As the largest employer in the region, this 1400-acre phosphorous processor facility closed its doors due to high energy costs, eliminated several hundred jobs and left 1400 acres of industrial property idled. Encouraged by stakeholders and funded by the company in partnership with the county, Vita Nuova jump-started the redevelopment process. Working with the Governor-appointed Idaho Optimum Initiative, Vita Nuova conducted a market study and produced redevelopment plans that called for a phased development beginning with energy development and including warehouse distribution, industrial flex space and highway retail. Vita Nuova worked closely with the County, the Governor’s Committee and the economic development agency of the local Indian reservation promoting grass roots economic development. As a Superfund site, Vita Nuova worked to remove stigma and other roadblocks to redevelopment. A 500MW coal gasification plant is currently being planned at the site.

Stakeholder Engagement Services

  • Facilitation
  • Stakeholder Engagement Plans
  • Communication Programs
  • Media Relations

Projects

City-Wide Charrette - Walpole, MA (Read More)

Vita Nuova was retained to work with the Town of Walpole and multiple stakeholders in defining a vision for the reuse of the Blackburn and Union Superfund site. Vita Nuova facilitated a Visioning Workshop on the redevelopment of the South Street Superfund Site for the Town of Walpole, Massachusetts. The one-day workshop was held at a conference center and included residents, community leaders, town officers, and guests. These efforts have been supported financially by USEPA and other agencies.

Vita Nuova has continued to work with the Town, agencies and PRPs to incorporate reuse into the remedy selection. Vita Nuova was asked to determine a Redevelopment Plan of Action which will help guide the integration of redevelopment principles into the remedy. This plan of action includes analyzing how the site fits within the Town’s master plan, its marketability, ownership alternatives, and liabilities and responsibilities related to site ownership. Once the plan is complete, the town will have a comprehensive report to inform citizens, potential developers, regulatory agencies, and PRPs as final decisions are made regarding the site. All these efforts are leading to the transformation of the site from a major liability to an asset which will generate taxes, produce jobs and create community assets such as trails and open space.

Eastside Reinvestment Area - Stakeholder Engagement Process (Read More)

Vita Nuova managed a complex planning process for Oklahoma City in an underutilized area called the 'donut hole'. The Eastside Reinvestment Area of Oklahoma City, as it was defined through the process, encompasses three former Superfund sites, dozens of brownfields and myriad former gas exploration wells.  The project was the first of its kind under USEPA’s One Cleanup Initiative and created a process for envisioning redevelopment in broad areas under varying regulatory programs, rather than a site by site approach to redevelopment. Working in conjunction with Oklahoma City, the State of Oklahoma and USEPA, Vita Nuova managed a broad-based stakeholder involvement process.

Through this 8-month process, city and county agencies, residents, businesses, developers, and state and federal agencies all defined a vision for the Eastside Reinvestment Area using brownfields and Superfund sites as “Urban Catalysts” for positive change in the area. Vita Nuova culminated the stakeholder involvement process in a two-day Design Charrette where stakeholders gathered to translate their ideas into new designs for the area. A highly successful event, Vita Nuova was able to bring all of the stakeholders together and formulate agreeable broad redevelopment plans for the area. The project has led to a reinvestment plan encompassing multiple redevelopment projects. A full-time person has been hired by Oklahoma City to manage the redevelopment process in the area.

Green Building & Development Services

  • Green Building and Development Plans
  • Peer Review Workshop (GIVE™ Workshop)
  • Sustainable Codes
  • Building Energy Modeling
  • LEED® Certification

Projects

Springfield Commercial District Green Building Program (Read More)

The Commercial Street District, a former industrial and commercial corridor in Springfield, MO, is the City’s first historic district and its recent redevelopment is creating a vibrant arts, entertainment and shopping destination. This project focused on three key properties within the district in order to coordinate their sustainable redevelopment; a microbrewery, a day spa and a community center. Vita Nuova evaluated the three sites in the context of sustainable reuse objectives. The analysis offered green design methods for adaptive reuse of each site and an examination of LEED costs and process.

Vita Nuova made concrete recommendations for how to implement intelligent green design solutions tailored to the individual needs of the sites’ end uses.

 

Moran Center - Burlington, VT (Read More)

Vita Nuova evaluated the Moran Center, a former coal-fired electric generating plant, in the context of green design objectives. The plans for the Center include a multi-use building that will include a climbing facility, a community sailing center and a children’s museum. The analysis provided green design methods for the development of the Moran Center site plan and building, as well as guidance for wetlands restoration and enhancement. Vita Nuova provided recommendations for sustainable infrastructure and site design that are appropriate for the site’s reuse objectives.

Fannie Mae Green Affordable Housing (Read More)

Vita Nuova was selected by Fannie Mae and Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust to develop a program for implementing green housing practices in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Working with the contracted architects, Vita Nuova organized a workshop that included national experts in green housing design, materials, energy use and conservation, and neighborhood design. The workshop focused on developing improvements that: 1) cost no additional money, 2) had a 5-10 year payback and 3) required no supplemental funding. The templates from this workshop are being used to guide the design of 200 new affordable houses in Bridgeport. Vita Nuova is currently working to implement the template city-wide with funding from Fannie Mae.

As well as providing oversight on the entire project implementation process, Vita Nuova is currently acting as project manager for the initial ‘model home’ portion of the imitative. The model home that has been designed and developed will satisfy LEED standards and be the first example of what is to come in future stages of the project. The model home has been developed with ‘green’ strategies in mind for virtually all phases of construction, and a concentrated effort has been made to design a home that is attractive, healthy, easy and cost-effective to maintain, and affordable to many local residents. Once these model homes are constructed, Vita Nuova will assist the City in implementing this program, which will provide a better living environment for those seeking affordable housing in the city.

Green Rehabilitation Guidelines - Northern California. (Read More)

An EPA Sustainability Pilot, Vita Nuova was charged with creating a guide for homeowners to sustainably restore turn-of-the-century redwood housing in an affordable manner. The guide combines sensitive restoration techniques developed by local craftsmen with state-of-the-art techniques for improving the livability of the homes.

Water Resource Engineering Services

  • Green Roofs and Green Roof Monitoring
  • Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure
  • Treatment Wetland/Naturalized Detention Pond Design Hydrologic Modeling
  • Storm water, Grey water and Black water Filtration and Reuse Planning and Design

Projects

Green Roofs for Affordable Housing - Roxbury, Massachusetts (Read More)

Vita Nuova analyzed the applicability and costs of green roof construction on the Jackson Square Redevelopment Initiative.

 The Jackson Square Redevelopment Initiative is a multi-use brownfield redevelopment on 14.5 acres of former industrial land in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The analysis considered a large range of general and site-specific concerns, including environmental and energy impacts, storm water management, regulatory requirements, programming needs, and site access.

Gas Station to Living Building - Portland, Oregon (Read More)

Vita Nuova developed a ‘green landscape plan’ and water recycling design for the Delta Sigma Sorority as part of the USEPA Brownfields Sustainability Pilot program. This plan includes native plantings and a storm water retention system that will keep all storm water on-site.  A number of techniques were combined on this small, former gas station site in order to meet the strict stands of the City of Portland, Oregon. The site is using the Living Buildings standards that will incorporate a number of cutting-edge green standards, including a storm water recycling system that uses storm water for flushing toilets and irrigation on the site.

Ecological Services

  • Ecosystem Analysis and Restoration
  • Permaculture
  • Interpretive Design and Venue Development

Projects

Went Field Restoration and Redevelopment (Read More)

Vita Nuova regularly works to reintegrate urban life with nature. This is an ongoing part of all our projects.  Where humanity and nature live in harmony, there is peace and prosperity. Where nature has been destroyed, crime and decay are usually in charge.  In the case of the Went Field Restoration and Expansion project, drug dealers were supplying lower Fairfield County, Connecticut from the basketball court and driving all users of the park out by shooting out lights and destroying all efforts at restoration. Two brownfield sites were their refuge when the police called.

Vita Nuova led a 4 year, 4. 8 million dollar restoration and expansion project with multiple stakeholders that included the high school, elementary school, neighbors, police, community development corporations, and others to restore not just the park but the entire neighborhood. Now a vibrant part of the West End, the former home of the Barnum and Bailey Circus is the location of numerous recreational groups.

 

Quinnipiac River Restoration (Read More)

Vita Nuova has worked toward the restoration of the Quinnipiac River and the intertidal marshes for over 10 years. In that time, working primarily with the Regional Growth Partnership, Quinnipiac River Watershed Partnership, Quinnipiac River Watershed Association, Yale University, and the University of New Haven. Through the Regional Growth Partnership, Vita Nuova has worked with the City of New Haven, Town of Hamden and North Haven in various restoration projects, including a tax increment sharing program to be used for ecological restoration, a proposed boat/canoe launch, an inventory of brownfields and degraded sites, appropriate development along the river, restoration of key sites, and many other efforts. This is an ongoing process.

Waterfront South Landscape Mitigation Plan (Read More)

The South Camden Waterfront is one of the most environmentally-impacted areas of the country. Several non-profits, the City of Camden and the State of New Jersey are working to open the waterfront to new development and reconnect downtown with the South Camden neighborhoods.

Vita Nuova was retained to develop neighborhood redevelopment strategies for South Camden. Vita Nuova was asked to identify, analyze and develop mitigation strategies against the environmental impacts affecting the South Camden area. Those environmental impacts include numerous soil and water issues from long-term industrial uses in the area, diesel and other particulate emissions from trucks serving the port and other related businesses, and other air toxic and nuisance issues related to existing emissions, a sewage treatment plant and regional air quality.

As a follow-up to the Roadmap to Restoration: South Camden Waterfront Neighborhood, phase one of the project, Vita Nuova worked with federal, state, city, community, and university partners to design a comprehensive Environmental Mitigation and Landscape Master Plan and help bring over $1 million dollars in funding to the project. The effort involved identifying specific sources of particulate matter in the neighborhood and using best practices in landscape design to mitigate the effects. The implementation of the plan, currently in progress, will include vegetating denuded vacant lots, developing buffers between residential and industrial users, increasing planting cover on walls and roofs, and creating sinks to absorb swirling particulate matter from poorly-maintained roadways clogged with diesel-burning trucks and scrap-metal haulers. Vita Nuova’s leadership in identifying ways to establish ‘green’ elements in the project has proven invaluable to rebuilding a healthy and sustainable area in South Camden.