Transforming incinerators into community amenities? The Seoul experience

Albert T. Han, Lucie Laurian, Min Hee Go

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the possibility that pairing desirable community amenities with polluting, industrial, or otherwise unwanted sites, such as waste incinerators, may have the potential to mitigate, or even compensate for, some of their negative local impacts. The environmental justice literature shows that polluting sites tend to disproportionately affect low income and disenfranchised communities. Could this be reversed or mitigated by linking positive amenities to polluting sites? The South Korean experiment of building community amenities (recreation centers, pools, gyms, etc.) at waste incinerators may provide answers to this intriguing question. Using the Difference-in-Differences design we found that while incinerators without amenities have substantial negative impacts on local land and real estate markets, we did not observe any such impact in areas with incinerators that have amenity features. Thus, the amenity features of the incinerators (along with enhanced regulatory emissions standards) are mitigating the negative economic impacts of incinerators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1427-1452
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Newcastle University.


  • amenities
  • environmental justice
  • impact mitigation
  • incinerators
  • property values


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