New TIMBRE articles published

18.02.2015 07:41

Understanding determinants for brownfield regeneration decisions

Researchers from the Czech IOG have published an article on the assessment of success factors of brownfields regeneration taking an international European and inter-stakeholder perspective. Their paper presents the results of an international comparative survey of stakeholders conducted in the TIMBRE project from four European countries (the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Romania). The aim was to identify and classify the ‘success factors’ of brownfields regeneration and to detect significant convergences and divergences concerning the drivers and barriers of regeneration processes in different geographical and institutional contexts. The existence of ecological burden or site contamination, overall regeneration costs and clarified ownership relations are considered the most important factors of regeneration internationally. Especially in Romania but also in Poland, the factors at national level (legislation, incentives, and foreign direct investments) are perceived to be more influential than in the Czech Republic and Germany, where a stronger emphasis is put on the location factors (whether a brownfield is located in rural, urban or inner city area) and transport links. Physical attributes such as the site’s area and terrain are also considered among the most significant factors in Romania. While representatives of public administration emphasized more the importance of legislation, state incentives and general localization, the investors and developers highlighted local factors (landscape protection limits, place marketing, and previous use of brownfields). The emphasis on political and geographical factors increases with the level of experience of stakeholders, while the emphasis on site specific factors decreases with the length of experience.

You can download the paper here. For the final published version, refer to the following reference:

Frantál, B., Kunc, J., Klusáček, P., Martinát, S. (2015). Assessing success factors of brownfields regeneration: Inter-national and inter-stakeholder perspective. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, 44E, 91-107.

In a second publication, a more general perspective is taken regarding decisions on brownfield regeneration. The EU Soil Thematic Strategy calls for the application of sustainability concepts and methods as part of an integrated policy to prevent soil degradation and to increase the re-use of brownfields. Although certain general principles have been proposed for the evaluation of sustainable development, the practical application of sustainability assessment tools (SATs) is contingent on the actual requirements of tool users, e.g. planners or investors, to pick up such instruments in actual decision making. Researcher from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ examined the normative sustainability principles that need to be taken into account in order to make sound land-use decisions between new development on greenfield sites and the regeneration of brownfields – and related these principles to empirically observed user requirements and the properties of available SATs. In this way they provide an overview of approaches to sustainability assessment. Three stylized approaches, represented in each case by a typical tool selected from the literature, are presented in the article, which has been published in the Journal for Environmental Management. These SATs are contrasted with (1) the norm-oriented Bellagio sustainability principles and (2) the requirements of three different stakeholder groups: decision makers, scientists/experts and representatives of the general public. The paper disentangles some of the inevitable trade-offs involved in seeking to implement sustainable land-use planning, i.e. between norm orientation and holism, broad participation and effective communication. It concludes with the controversial assessment that there are no perfect tools and that to be meaningful the user requirements of decision makers must take precedence over those of other interest groups in the design of SATs.

You can download the authors accepted manuscript copy here. For the final published version, refer to the following reference:

Bartke, S., R. Schwarze (2015): No perfect tools: Trade-offs of sustainability principles and user requirements in designing tools supporting land-use decisions between greenfields and brownfields, Journal of Environmental Management 153, 11-24, doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2015.01.040

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