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This article is about the environmental term. For the photography term, see Color grading.
Seattle, Washington's Denny Regrade in progress, early 1900s; some landowners originally refused to allow their land to be regraded and were left high and dry until they consented.[1]

Regrading is the process of raising and/or lowering the levels of land; such a project can also be referred to as a regrade. Regrading may be done on a small scale (as in preparation of a house site)[2] or on quite a large scale (as in major reconfiguration of the terrain of a city, such as the Denny Regrade in Seattle).[1] Regrading is typically performed to make land flatter (in which case it is sometimes called levelling[3]), but can have the side effect of making other nearby slopes steeper.

Reasons for regrading include:

  • Allowing construction in areas that were previously too steep.[2]
  • Enabling transportation along routes that were previously too steep.[1]
  • Changing drainage patterns.[2]
  • Improving the stability of terrain.[4]

Potential problems with regrading include:

  • Biological/ecological impacts.[2]
  • Drainage problems for areas not taken into account in the regrading plan.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Walt Crowley, Seattle Neighborhoods: Belltown-Denny Regrade -- Thumbnail History, essay #1123, May 10, 1999. Accessed online 16 October 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d Trees and Home Construction: Minimizing the impact of construction activity on trees, University of Ohio Extension Bulletin 870-99. Accessed online 16 October 2007.
  3. ^ "Montana, McLaren Tailings", p.35 in CERCLA Imminent Hazard Mining and Mineral Processing Facilities, Office of Solid Waste, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, February 1997. Accessed online 16 October 2007.
  4. ^ Malcolm Puller, Deep Excavations: A Practical Manual, Thomas Telford (1996). ISBN 0-7277-1987-4. p. 63.
  5. ^ Barry Stone, Adjacent Property Regrading Creates Drainage Problem for Homeowner, Accessed online 16 October 2007.