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Science for Environment Policy: Brownfield Regeneration

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Science for Environment Policy: Brownfield Regeneration

Improving brownfield regeneration - a sustainable land take solution...

New tool to compare and prioritise brownfield sites for redevelopment
Researchers have proposed a new indexing scheme to help decision-makers prioritise brownfield sites for redevelopment. The scheme scores potential sites according to socio-economic, smart growth and environmental dimensions. By giving users the flexibility to emphasise some aspects of development as more important than others, it can be adapted for use in different contexts.
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New framework to assess brownfield development potential
Researchers have proposed a new framework to assess the potential for redeveloping large contaminated brownfield sites. The framework applies a range of spatial assessment methods to analyse remediation costs, economic value and the sustainability of different land-use types, and to recommend suitably mixed land-use options for redevelopment.
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Policies to limit urban sprawl compared
There is a growing demand for new settlements in and around urban areas due to social, economic and population factors. However, this can lead to the loss of agricultural land and green spaces that provide essential ecosystem services and contribute to the wellbeing of local people. Several countries, such as the UK and Germany, have attempted to limit the growth of urban areas by encouraging the redevelopment of brownfield sites.
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Brownfield best practices drawn from German and UK projects
Two `best practice´ case studies of brownfield regeneration in Germany and the UK have been analysed by researchers. Liverpool's and Cologne's two flagship waterfront developments were chosen in order to provide insights for other redevelopment projects. The assessment demonstrates that, if correctly managed, brownfield sites can help stimulate economic development in poor areas.
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Innovative funding mechanisms for urban brownfield regeneration analysed
A recent study highlights the role of the public sector in encouraging private investment in natural and cultural brownfield regeneration projects by analysing four models of financing: public-private partnerships, land value finance mechanisms, urban development funds and impact investment funds. Local governments, it is suggested, are well placed to identify and select the most suitable financing mechanisms for redevelopment projects.
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Portuguese tax to focus urban regeneration and increase transparency of development costs
A study has evaluated the Municipal Urbanisation Tax (MUT)-a specific tax for the construction, maintenance, and reinforcement of urban infrastructure-in the city of Tomar, Portugal. The city has a new formula for the tax which is simpler and reinforces efforts to contain urban sprawl. The MUT is a one-time charge applied to new development through land subdivision (Loteamento) or individual buildings, similar to an impact fee. Other municipalities aiming to direct urban regeneration towards their brownfield sites, for example, could learn from the Portuguese experiences.
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Model offers insight into long-term costs and payoff of brownfield redevelopment
It can take six to seven years before the financial benefits of brownfield regeneration projects are realised, according to a new study which focused on redevelopment in Michigan, USA. The study examines liability issues, regulatory concerns, clean-up standards and funding mechanisms, and introduces a new model that informs debate on brownfield redevelopment policies and funding mechanisms.
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Landscape quality plays important role in brownfield regeneration
A new study from Belgium has gathered community views of brownfield regeneration. Results indicate that the often overlooked aspect of landscape quality, such as green spaces, visually-attractive areas and cultural heritage, is important in people´s opinions of brownfield regeneration schemes.
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Benefits to sharing soil remediation skills using `Monitored Natural Attenuation´
Monitored natural attenuation (MNA) is a long-term, `hands-off´ approach to cleaning up contaminated land. New research has surveyed the current development of MNA in Europe and demonstrates a clear need for practitioners to systematically collect and learn from each other´s experiences with this form of brownfield remediation.
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Good potential for sustainable re-use of demolition waste
Europe produces around 450 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste every year, representing a quarter of all waste materials. A recent study of construction and demolition waste suggests that, with the right policies in place, there are good opportunities to ensure sustainable practices through re-use and recycling.
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Brownfield remediation combined with sustainable heating and cooling of buildings
Pioneering methods used in the Netherlands combine remediation of brownfield sites with the use of groundwater for heat cold storage (HCS, or ATES: Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage) to achieve both low-cost remediation and sustainable use of energy.
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Phytoremediation´s potential for decontaminating brownfields assessed
Compared with traditional remediation techniques used to remediate brownfield sites, supporters of phytoremediation argue that it is cheaper and more environmentally-friendly. A new analysis has reviewed its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and suggests it is well suited to cleaning up sites with low to medium levels of contamination.
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