Balancing decisions for urban brownfield regeneration – people, planet, profit and processes
1-10-2013 – 15-08-2015

Soil contamination

Parties involved:

The overall aim of the proposed project is to deliver a holistic approach that supports sustainable urban renewal through the redevelopment of contaminated land and underused sites (brownfields). In order to reach the overall aim, the specific project objectives focus on different parts of the holistic approach:

  1. application and assessment of methods for design of urban renewal/land redevelopment strategies for brownfields that embrace the case-specific opportunities and challenges;
  2. development of a method for sustainability assessment of alternative land redevelopment strategies to evaluate and compare the ecological, economic and social impacts of land use change and remedial technologies; and
  3. development of a practice for redevelopment of contaminated land in rules and regulations to enable implementations.

The different parts will be integrated into a decision process framework to support urban renewal through the redevelopment of contaminated land and underused sites. The framework will have a strong focus on integrating urban planning and soil issues, such as remediation decisions and will facilitate proper accounting for the soil functions currently under-considered in land management.

Land take as a result of urbanization is one of the major soil threats in Europe. One of the key measures to prevent further urban sprawl and additional land take, is redevelopment of urban brownfields (instead of greenfields): underused urban areas with, in many cases, soil and groundwater pollution. A difficulty for brownfield redevelopments is that in urban projects the responsibilities, tools and knowledge of subsurface engineering and urban planning and design are not integrated, they work together but sectorial. The urban designer is usually dealing with the opportunities for socio-economic benefits and the subsoil engineer with the challenges. BALANCE 4P will provide methods for and examples of application of a holistic approach that supports redevelopment of brownfields by integrating technical, economic and social aspects. Underpinning the holistic approach in rules and regulations will enable implementation in practical situations.

The problem of underused land is owned by a range of different public and private stakeholders whom are impacted in both the short and the long term. Stakeholders will be active participants in all activities of the project. By means of case studies, the applicability of the knowledge and tools that are developed in the work packages is secured, as well as stakeholder participation. The stakeholders are representing the corners of “the golden quadrant” involving: knowledge, regulators, business, community and society. The methodology of the project will be a mix of reviews, method development, case studies, analysis and evaluation.

Research coordinator BALANCE 4P: Jenny Norrman, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

 Project Deliverables