The timbre project participated actively in the EUROSOIL Congress in Bari, Italy. Partners have enjoyed interesting sessions, good presentations, inspirering debates and new contacts. Next to internal and bilateral project meetings, TIMBRE organised a Poster Session and a Session with oral presentations. In the following, you can download the respective contributions.

Background: EUROSOIL2012 – Final Programme & TIMBRE Session

Logo of EUROSOIL2012 in Bari, Italy

The Final Programme of EUROSOIL2012 has been released on June 20th. Timbre will contribute to the Congress in a special Session (S 13.5) dedicate to “A Discussion of State-of-the-Art Approaches, Technologies and Tools, and Comparison with International Context” and further oral and poster contributions. We look forward to meeting you in Bari, Italy!

timbre at EUROSOIL2012

Background on the Timbre session

 Timbre will convene a special Session (S 13.5) dedicate to “Tailored Improvement of Brownfield Regeneration in Europe: A Discussion of State-of-the-Art Approaches, Technologies and Tools, and Comparison with International Context”.

In the session, presentations discus trans- and interdisciplinary approaches to tackle the challenge that an immense diversification of tools with little connection to each other as well  as a lack of consideration of regional and cultural specificities deters end-users from applying available state-of-the-art instruments. Contributions explore integrated approaches for brownfield regeneration proper to end-user needs. Customisable problem- and target-oriented packages of technologies and tools for assessment, investigation, remediation and integrated planning offering a tailored and comprehensive support for those interested in the regeneration of brownfields are put in front.

Based on these presentations, the session will allow discussing between contributors and session visitors open aspects and needs that have to be taken into account in future research’s and politics’ design for an improved brownfield regeneration. Participants from outside Europe will be welcomed in order to stimulate comparison within international context.

Contributions to the Timbre session

For the 4th International Congress of ECSSS EUROSOIL2012 to take place in Bari, Italy, in total 2906 abstracts have been accepted. The timbre project is proud to have attracted a sufficient number of interested contributions based on its Call for Abstracts to its proposed session entitled "Tailored improvement of brownfield regeneration in Europe: a discussion of state-of-the-art approaches, technologies and tools, and comparison with international context". Amongst others, the following contributions have been accepted:



Maximilian  Morio*[1] Sebastian Schädler*[1] Michael Finkel*[1]

[1]University of Tübingen - Centre for Applied Geoscience - Tübingen, Germany


With land becoming a scarce resource in many regions, revitalizing these so-called brownfields becomes more and more attractive,  representing an opportunity for sustainable urban development. The process of managing and revitalizing brownfields requires a holistic view that considers ecological, economical as well as sustainability aspects. Integrating evaluation methods and communicating results of the latter to the stakeholders from these different disciplines requires a common language which may include clarification and simplification of various assessment aspects.

Decision support systems (DSS) that aid the assessment and revitalization process of brownfields and adequately provide such integration, still need to be developed. Given that each brownfield has different characteristics and problems, a single DSS may not be capable of considering all relevant aspects. Moreover, the required involvement and participation of expert and non-expert stakeholders, whose knowledge and expectations have to be transferred into the software tools, determines the abstraction and generalization of the chosen methods. Finally, the evaluation methods have to be implemented into user friendly software that is suitable for the largest possible fraction of stakeholders and that covers all relevant aspects of brownfield redevelopment.

We exemplify the development of one specific DSS and its continuous evolvement through various national and international research projects. This DSS software, which has been initiated during the BMBF research program REFINA, was extended to a megasite management system (SAFIRA II MMT), and is proposed to be transferred to a tailored web-based DSS tool within the EC research program TIMBRE. 



Pizzol, Lisa*[1] Rizzo, Erika*[1] Critto, Andrea*[1] Marcomini, Antonio*[1]

[1]University Ca' Foscari Venice - Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics - Venice, Italy


Brownfield regeneration is an essential step to realize sustainable land management in European Member States. However, the success in brownfield regeneration is unsatisfying in terms of financial and eco-efficiency or social acceptance. Identified obstacles for an effective regeneration are (i) the abundance of strategies, tools, documented case studies and remediation technologies available at the EU level as well as (ii) the difficulties in adapting them to cultural, regional and site-specific requirements. Moreover, the non-visibility of already available, useful and innovative technologies and decision making processes is the reason that problem owners, managers, local authorities and other stakeholders do not regenerate brownfields using the best available technology and decision support systems measures.

The 7th Framework Programme project TIMBRE (Tailored Improvement of Brownfield Regeneration in Europe) starts from these considerations and aims at overcoming these barriers by providing brownfields' owners, local authorities and stakeholders with a web-based and target-oriented customizable decision support toolbox. This contribution focuses on the presentation of the timbre expert system database, developed in TIMBRE Work Package 1, which collects the available information on previous projects, programs, and other activities focused on the regeneration of brownfields. The database data collection is based on a conceptual framework, composed of the main phases of the brownfield regeneration process, which has been developed in strong collaboration with the timbre case studies stakeholders.  On the basis of the identified brownfield remediation process phases, the available methods, tools, strategies, best practices, and technologies, expressly developed for brownfield rehabilitation are collected and classified.



Algreen Mette*[1] Rein Arno*[1] Trapp Stefan*[1]

[1]Technical University of Denmark (DTU) - Department of Environmental Engineering - Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark


Phytoscreening where plants are used as an indicator of subsurface pollution may be a useful screening method for subsurface plumes, because several pollutants are transferred readily into vegetation. Wood and/or other plant parts can then be sampled for detection as well as for monitoring of soil and/or groundwater contamination.

Tree coring as a phytoscreening method has been investigated. Tree cores of poplar (populus), willows (salix) and other species have been sampled at different sites in Europe. Samples have been taken from reference sites without contamination and from test sites contaminated with different compounds such as heavy metals, organic solvents and PAH.

The use of the method and the evaluation of the results appear to be specific to compounds.  Detections of compounds in wood not necessarily indicates contaminated soil/groundwater but may be due to natural background levels, e.g. for some metals, or due to pollution from air. Results from samples taken on a test site should therefore, always be compared with samples from a nearby reference site. 

The method is semi-quantitative, and bioaccessibility and bioavailability of the compounds, and the plant biology have shown to have impact on the method. For organic solvents correlations between the concentrations in the wood and soil/ground have been seen. For metals the case is more difficult, and statistical analyses seem to be needed to compare test samples and references samples, to indentify elevated concentrations in the wood. 



Nicolas Fatin-rouge*[1] Mahmoud Ahmed Mohamed*[1] Jacques Persello*[2] Jérome Husson*[1] Ioan Bica*[3] Constantin Radu Gogu*[3]

[1]University of Franche-Comté - UTINAM - Besançon, France
University of Nice - LPMC - Nice, France
[3]Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest - Hydrogeology - Bucarest, Romania


Washing is among the few systematic alternatives to remove contaminants from soils, specially in case of metals, which are not degradable and that often have high vaporisation temperatures. In addition, it has the advantages to help the physical separation of macroscopic contaminants in on-site operations, and the removal of all micro-pollutants simultaneously by using an adapted train of chemical reactions.

Efficient and wide-targeted reactions are needed to realise fast decontamination operations. Therefore, one of the main limitations of chemical washing over large contaminated sites, are costs associated with the use of chemical reagents and the treatment of huge amounts of wastewater. To be economically feasible, chemical agents must be recovered and reused at least several times by using simple and cheap treatments. Furthermore, they must be biostable and not accumulated in soils during repeated extractions. Finally, foams can replace advantageously solutions because of their exceptional properties that fit better with in-situ treatments, their wide-targeting of hydrophobic pollutants and the large reduction of wastewater volume to treat after their destabilisation.

Here we will present some technologies developed in our laboratory, within the EU project TIMBRE, to reuse aqueous solutions of ligands and foams to mobilise heavy metals and a wide range of VOC and SVOC compounds from polluted soils. Remediation performances and fluids reuse performances will be presented on contaminated soils obtained from an old iron works in Hunedoara (Romania) as well as results from an on-site pilot test.



Li, Fasheng*[1] Guo, Guanlin*[1] Marcomini, Antonio*[2] Critto, Andrea*[2]

[1]Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences - State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment - Beijing, China
[2]University Ca' Foscari - Department of Environmental Sciences and Centre IDEAS - Venice, Italy


Recently, the accelerated industrialization and urbanization generated numbers of contaminated sites in China, which are leading to environmental damage and arousing the public concern. Risk assessment and remediation of the contaminated land are urgently needed for the future land development and environmental safety. During the past five years, government and institutes developed series of policies, regulations and guidelines for the risk management of contaminated sites, but some critical issues still need further improvements: the exposure factors as well as the site-specific parameters should be localized and optimized according to the native condition; the maximum acceptable risk level (ranging from 10-4 to 10-6, and related to the risk based remediation thresholds) should be feasible and effective according to national economic development; how to define a scientifically sound and cost effective sampling plan in order to optimize the characterization of site contamination; how to develop and screen out the most suitable remediation technologies for different sites based on cost-effective, aesthetic, modern and green requirements. These critical issues should be taken into consideration in order to provide the better settlement for risk assessment and remediation of industrial contaminated sites in China.



Bleicher, Alena*[1] Alexandrescu, Filip*[1] Gross, Matthias*[1]

[1]Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ - Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology - Leipzig, Germany


In most industrialized countries the revitalization of contaminated brownfields is seen as a major challenge for sustainable regional development. This challenge demands collaborative action between diverse actors on multiple scales (local, regional, national, European). This presentation includes a selection of preliminary results from the EU research project TIMBRE (Tailored Improvement of Brownfield Regeneration in Europe) that aims to analyze social actors' strategies of "translating" European and national legal regulations into their local needs and expectations in several Eastern European contexts.

The main focus of the research is the role and types of knowledge that different actors acquire during a brownfield revitalization process, how this knowledge is marshaled and how it is deployed in decision making processes. Knowledge is generated and retrieved by actors from different sources, including local site-specific sources, regional and national-level regulations for brownfield revitalization and scientific sources. The ways in which this knowledge is assembled and assessed by actors, strategies on how gaps are filled and new opportunities are sensed are pivotal for our understanding of the cultural contexts of decision making processes.

This presentation will built on a first set of analyses of interviews and focus group meetings in Hunedoara, Romania in 2011 and 2012 to illustrate how decision making on the ground can be made by constructively transforming EU regulations into local specificities to develop unique spaces to maneuver. These preliminary results will be used as comparative material for cases in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Germany.

Procedure of abstract submission for oral or poster presentation

The Call for Abstracts was open with the submission deadline up to 30th October 2011. You can download the call as pdf here.

EUROSOIL2012 – Further information

The general theme of EUROSOIL 2012 “SOIL SCIENCE FOR THE BENEFIT OF MANKIND AND ENVIRONMENT” aims to encompass several aspects and to offer ample opportunity to explore many issues of current Soil Sciences. This is the 4th Congress of the successful series after those held in 2000 in Reading (UK), in 2004 in Freiburg (Germany), and in 2008 in Vienna (Austria). The main objective of this year's Congress is to provide an interactive forum of exchange of ideas by bringing together and establishing durable and strict relationships among older and younger soil scientists and researchers, technical and professional operators, industry and administrative representatives, policy makers and regulators operating in the field of Soil Sciences.

The Congress


Registration, Venue and Accommodation


European Confederation of Soli Science Societies Ministero delle politiche agricole alimentari e forestali Società Italiana della Scienza del Suolo Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) International Humic Substances Society (IHSS) Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Puglia Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Società Italiana di Pedologia Associazione Italiana Pedologi European Society for Soil Conservation (ESSC) Gruppo di Ricerca Italiano Fitofarmaci ed Ambiente (GRIFA) European Commission-Joint Research Centre (EC-JRC), Ispra Institute for Environment and Sustainability (EC-IES), Ispra University of Molise University of Salento Regione Puglia Provincia di Bari Comune di Bari ARPA Puglia Mediterranean Agricultural Institute of Bari-CIHEAM (MAIB) Associazione Italiana delle Società Scientifiche Agrarie (AISSA) Società Italiana di Chimica Agraria (SICA)