Integration of the subsurface and the surface sectors for a more holistic approach for sustainable redevelopment of urban brownfields

Sci Total Environ. 2016 Sep 1;563-564:879-89. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.02.097. Epub 2016 Feb 28.

Abstract

This paper presents a holistic approach to sustainable urban brownfield redevelopment where specific focus is put on the integration of a multitude of subsurface qualities in the early phases of the urban redevelopment process, i.e. in the initiative and plan phases. Achieving sustainability in brownfield redevelopment projects may be constrained by a failure of engagement between two key expert constituencies: urban planners/designers and subsurface engineers, leading to missed opportunities and unintended outcomes in the plan realisation phase. A more integrated approach delivers greater benefits. Three case studies in the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden were used to test different sustainability assessment instruments in terms of the possibility for knowledge exchange between the subsurface and the surface sectors and in terms of cooperative learning among experts and stakeholders. Based on the lessons learned from the case studies, a generic decision process framework is suggested that supports holistic decision making. The suggested framework focuses on stakeholder involvement, communication, knowledge exchange and learning and provides an inventory of instruments that can support these processes.

Keywords: Brownfield redevelopment; Remediation; Spatial planning; Subsurface qualities; Sustainability assessment.