Developing brown field sites

Recycling previously developed land
Undertaking cleanup of brownfield sites
Reusing abandoned development sites
Cleaning up industrial wasteland
One of the key challenges ahead for western developed countries is how to accommodate growing numbers of households while enhancing the quality of life in both town and country. The recycling of previously used land for new housing plays an important role.

Industrial wasteland left discarded is an eyesore, an environmental and potential health hazard, and uneconomic. Industrial wasteland often brakes on the development of surrounding communities. These sites are prime candidates for future development given the above factors, whilst redevelopment of industrial wasteland would relieve development pressure on natural lands. Industrial wasteland redevelopment would also stimulate local regeneration. However, industrial wastelands would have to be first cleaned and disposed of toxic materials and wastes. Improved technologies and methods have facilitated the process, though costs can still remain high, particularly when industrial wasteland contains a cocktail of contaminants. Higher costs may then be contained if the clean up process is tailored for a specific land-use, so that land use intended for car parking need not meet the same requirements as that destined for housing.

The UK Government's policy document Planning for the Communities of the Future set a target to increase the proportion of new dwellings built on previously developed sites to 60 per cent over the next 10 years.

Statistics issued by the UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions show that in 1995 and 1996, 53% of all new dwellings were built on previously developed land. Conversions of existing dwellings account for a further 3 per cent. Recycling is highest within urban areas, where nearly three quarters of new dwellings were built on previously used sites. But it also significant outside urban areas; 30 per cent of new homes outside urban areas were on previously developed land.

Employing unused land
Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal