Report on Bucharest Conference

A series of events, including workshops and an international conference next to the forth annual meeting of the Timbre project, was held in Bucharest in March 2014. On four days both stakeholders involved in the regeneration of brownfields as well as the project partners could learn about the final outcomes of the project.

On the first day, the meeting was opened by Stephan Bartke, the project coordinator from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ in Leipzig, Prof. Johan Neuner - rector of Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest (UTCB), and Prof. Ioan Bica, who is dean of the Faculty of Hydrotechnology at UTCB. UTCB provided the venue of the TIMBRE events. After the introduction, the participants had the chance to get in-depth insides on the web-based tools in parallel workshops. The prioritization tool, the information system and the site assessment tool were presented by the work package leaders. In groups of approx. 10-20 persons, participants from different regulatory and scientific as well as consultancy backgrounds split up and were introduced to and trained in applying the respective web-tools in PC sessions.

On the second day the scientific achievements of the Timbre working packages were presented in an conference format that attracted next to the workshop participants also international guests and students from UTCB. In the afternoon, invited speakers gave talks on other relevant project outcomes, tools and case studies in the field of revitalization of brownfields in Eastern Europe.

On day three and four, the final Timbre annual meeting was conducted in Bucharest. The test sites and the impact the project created there were discussed as well as updates on the remaining tasks specified. In the afternoon, administrative issues were managed before the International Advisory Board gave its feedback on the project achievements. The day ended with a social event at a traditional Romanian restaurant in the city centre.

The final day started with a general assembly and was followed up by an open space format of discussions which was filled with topics such as specifying the organization of future workshops in Poland and on the involvement of stakeholders in general and more specifically on the Timbre site in Hunedoara. Furthermore, a discussion focused on the prospects of the tools developed in Timbre. After a final lunch, there was the option to finish the stay in Bucharest with a visit of the “Village Museum”.

Timbre Conference 11th-12th March 2014 in Bucharest

Timbre Partners

The Timbre conference 2014 will be located in Bucharest from the 11th- 12th of march in 2014. The venue will be the Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest.

Topics are the hands-on tools as well as scientific insights and lessons learned. This will be the final Timbre conference.

The Conference will give you the chance to test the TIMBRE Tools. You are also invited to bring your own data.

The introduced tools are:

•  Prioritization Tool or the

The Flyer with information on registration is available for download here.

Contact for late registration or if you cannot participate, but would like to receive the conference materials.

Conference Abstracts of the TIMBRE Final Conference






09:00 – 09:15 Registration

09:15 – 09:45 Welcome & Opening


TIMBRE – Welcome, Introduction, Opening

Stephan Bartke


UTCB – Introduction

Ioan Bica  

09:45 – 10:45 Session 1: Scientific results from the Timbre project


TIMBRE Information System for the ranking of available information according to stakeholders´ opinions and expertise

Rizzo E., Pizzol L., Giubilato E., Critto A., Marcomini A.

Abstract: The  TIMBRE Information System consists in a web based software that aims at supporting stakeholders in sharing, accessing and selecting the most suitable information for the different phases of the brownfield management process, taking into account stakeholders’ specific requirements and using the evaluations provided by previous users.

The tool is composed of the TIMBRE web database, where the web links to relevant information on brownfield regeneration are stored, and by the ranking methodology that allows to classify those web links according to users’ characteristics and information needs: these two components are effectively integrated into the tool and users can benefit from their features through user friendly functionalities and interfaces.

The ranking methodology makes use of Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), which is inspired by biological neural networks and consists of an interconnected group of artificial neurons, which processes information with the ability to continuously learn from past search sessions in order to improve the provided results.

The methodology makes use of a set of information collected during each search session and in particular: “user related” inputs provided by users during the registration to the tool, “session related” inputs that are provided by the user during each search session, “Scores” inputs resulting from the evaluation of the web links contents, and “Statistics” (e.g., number of clicks received by a web link from users belonging to the same stakeholder category).

The Information System has been tested in three phases, which can also be seen as three learning phases. The first testing activity has been conducted internally by TIMBRE WP1 partners, while the second and the third testing activities have been carried out by German and Czech stakeholders during two ad hoc workshops.

The involvement of TIMBRE partners and stakeholders, during the Information System testing activities, has been of crucial importance for a better tailoring of the tool. Both project partners and stakeholders provided useful feedbacks for the improvement of some functionalities of the tool. Moreover, their involvement and commitment in evaluating the accessed information allowed to increase the “knowledge base” of the Information System.


Brownfield prioritization: from success factors to the web-based tool

Klusáček, Petr; Martinát, Stanislav; Osman, Robert; Frantál, Bohumil; Kunc, Josef

Abstract: Timbre web-based prioritization tool is a suitable instrument, which assists stakeholders who are participating in decision-making processes related to the wider territories or clusters of brownfields (portfolios) to identify which brownfield sites should be preferably considered for regeneration or further investigation. The tool helps to distribute and direct the available and limited resources, time, and energy to those brownfield sites that are assessed to be the most critical, urgent, or profitable to be regenerated. The Timbre prioritization tool was tested by means of the brownfields databases from four TIMBRE studied countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Romania) and by different types of brownfields databases (urban, regional, national and private databases) and it was modified and tailored according the feedbacks from stakeholders from the four studied countries. The testing process showed that the final version of web-based Timbre prioritization tool is a suitable instrument for stakeholders in the different EU member countries.


Prediction and minimization of emissions during deconstruction measures

Manfred Kühne; Peter Hagemann

Abstract: All deconstruction or refurbishment measures cause emissions influencing workers, neighborhood and the environment. Typical and most important emissions of a deconstruction site are

  • Dust
  • Noise
  • Vibrations
  • Contaminants

Their appearance depends on the type of building, its former use and the building materials. Furthermore it is influenced by the applied deconstruction methods and tools. The basis for the prediction of emissions is a detailed inventory of building materials and contaminants. The required protection measures depend on the expected emissions (quality, quantity) and related immission thresholds depending on the specific environment and land-use in the neighborhood. The presentation will show the influence of emissions on the environment and buildings as well as quantitative and qualitative prediction methods shown on an example of a deconstruction measure in a mixed residential and industrial area. Methods for reduction and monitoring of emissions regarding specific points of immission will be demonstrated.


Assessment of buildings and structures regarding re-use and deconstruction: The example of the Szprotawa test site

Janusz Krupanek

Abstract: The Szprotawa test site is an airbase, built in the 1930s. First it was used by the German "Luftwaffe" until 1945. After World War II it became a Soviet military airbase until 1992. On 16th September 1992 the base has been closed and reassigned to the polish authorities.

Currently the south western part of the airbase with former barracks and social buildings developed to a residential area with shops, a school and a hotel. In the western part a couple of former aircraft hangars is used by small companies e.g. as storage or workshop.

The rest of the site with former aircraft hangars, fuelling station, bunkers, airstrip and a couple of other buildings in different states of conservation currently is in the status of a brownfield. In this area investigations regarding the state of conservation of buildings, physical – chemical properties of materials, material volume and infrastructure have been performed. Based on the results of these campaigns several scenarios for further use or deconstruction of buildings and infrastructure considering deconstruction costs and regional development options will be demonstrated.

10:45 – 11:15 Break

11:15 – 12:45 Session 2: Scientific results from the Timbre project – continued


A new screening tool for typical subsurface pollutants: Phytoscreening by Tree coring

Mette Algreen Nielsen

Abstract: Investigation of subsurface pollution by examining wood provides a rapid, inexpensive and low-invasive screening method. Several pollutants are transferred naturally into the vegetation, tree cores from the stem can then be sampled and analyzed for detection of subsurface contamination.

The uptake of heavy metals and common organic soil and groundwater contaminants (CE and BTEX) into trees was investigated by tree core sampling campaigns at test sites in Europe. Wood mainly from poplar (populus) and willows (salix) were sampled. The use of the method and the evaluation of the results appear to be specific to compounds. For some compounds a detection of the compound in wood do not necessarily indicates subsurface contamination and statistical comparisons between test samples and references samples is needed to identification of elevated concentrations in the wood. For other compounds, detection of the compound in the wood indicates contamination and some tendency of correlations between the concentrations in the wood and soil/ground can be found. One of the challenges could be false negatives.

The method is semi-quantitative, and bioaccessibility and bioavailability of the compounds, and the plant biology have shown to have impact on the method, why the feasibility of the method will dependent on the pollutants of interest, the soil properties and the tree species.

Using tree coring as an initial screening method followed by quantitative methods could make the site characterization more efficient. Therefore, it is of interest to test the feasibility of the method.


Treatment of hydrocarbon contaminations in source zones with reused fluids: Experience feedback, assessments and future developments

Nicolas Fatin-Rouge

Abstract: As sources of contamination naturally spread and often present long-term barriers to the reuse of natural local resources, their removal is among the most urgent remedial action. Nowadays, in-situ treatments are recommended to avoid side effects like excavation, handling and transport of contaminated materials. Reuse and recycling are among the most important principles of sustainability, which in addition can allow a substantial reduction for costs.

The presentation will deal with the development and the assessment of new technologies (surfactant foams, slow oxidants and membrane separation) within the Timbre project in order to enhance the management of contaminations in source zones. Membrane treatments are concentration technologies that use a physical barrier to make separation. Their unique properties have been exploited and assessed for the recovery and reuse of active fluids (surfactant foams and solutions, slow oxidants), the water purification for environmental rejection, and the recycling of liquid wastes. The developed tools have been assessed in typical situations providing a large range of conditions (soil porosity, contaminant concentrations and nature, accessibility). Conclusions regarding the use of these strategies and technologies and their future developments will be presented.


CPT-based Direct Sensing as key technology for reliable site characterization and remediation

Eugen Martac

Abstract: Cone Penetrometer Testing (CPT) is a worldwide known geotechnical investigation method to determine soil and groundwater characteristics. Fugro has developed a variety of penetrometers, probes and samplers which are hydraulically pushed into the subsurface soil to obtain physical and chemical data. For environmental data collection, the CPT cone is basically used as an adapter to the screening sensors which provides subsurface stratigraphy through tip resistance and sleeve friction logs. The standard CPT mounted inclinometer cone records the deviation from the vertical with and as an option the dynamic porewater pressure. Applying Direct-sensing probes in combination with in-situ investigations have turned into powerful tools for the investigation of subsurface contamination, identification of hydraulic properties and exploration of natural resources. Using MIP, LIF, X-Ray, HPT sensors on a CPT basis either as standalone sensors or as combined MIP-HPT-CPT probe proved to have outstanding capabilities when it comes to detection of contaminants in soil and groundwater (MIP: Membrane Interface Probe), determining hydraulic conductivities (HPT: Hydraulic Profiling Tool) and providing information about structure and setting of the subsurface (CPT: Cone Penetration Test) subsequently or simultaneously in just one push. For example, so far several separate pushes were necessary to acquire the needed amount and volume of data. The new combined MIP-HPT-CPT-probe joins three sensors of high demand in one compact probe-tip and sets a basis for a faster, more economical and efficient work progress.


Application of different screening methods and the results from the Szprotawa case study

Mariusz Kalisz

Abstract: The results are derived from experiments carried out on brownfield megasite investigated within the Timbre 7FP Project. The site is a former Soviet Airbase area located in west of Poland, polluted by aircraft fuel (benzines and BTEX compounds). The aim of the study was to assess opportunities and develop rules of planning of optimized site characterization with regard to cost, reliability and complexity of the mega-site and taking into account advanced, high resolution site characterization methods. Therefore within the Timbre project several methods were tested, based on high-resolution “direct push” techniques, soil gas analyses, tree core samples, and direct chemical analysis of the concentration of pollutants in groundwater and soil. Different methods used in stepwise manner, allowed for identification and evaluation of soil and groundwater contamination in source and plume areas, as a basis for performing risk assessment, selection of remediation technologies and defining remediation goals.

The exercise done gave an opportunity to evaluate the particular techniques used, their combinations and to improve their use from technical, operational and cost-effectiveness point of view.


The case study: Integrated Brownfield Site Assessment – Hunedoara ECO-SID

Ioan Bica, Dragos Gaitanaru

Abstract: The political and economical process of restructuration and privatization in Romania created a series of problems regarding the future reuse of large industrial sites. Many of the former heavy industrial plants (steel, chemical plants) have been abandoned or destroyed in a chaotic manner. All this former mega plants became important brownfields because of two major factors: (1) the former industrial processes (mainly chemical processes and storage) and (2) which in many of the cases is more important than the first is the negligence and the lack of experience in managing brownfield. Leakage from storage tanks, hazardous waste uncontrolled deposit, chaotic and not systematized  deconstruction of the former buildings, preferential extraction of iron from structures this is the a picture of many heavy industrial areas in Romania nowadays. The processes of decontamination and revitalization are a costly and time consuming process that is in many cases approached lightly by the authorities and the owners. As a consequence many developers choose the easy way and find new land instead of revitalization.

In the FP7 project entitled "An Integrated Framework of Methods, Technologies, Tool Policies for Improvement of Brownfield Regeneration in Europe - TIMBRE", a former steel plant site was chosen in Romania to assess the real economical options of revitalization. The industrial activities carried out on the site of the former Siderurgica SA industrial site, date back to 1884, with alternating stops and re-commissioning, and periods of development or activity restraints. Since 1999 the activity stopped and now most of the former buildings are demolished. Beginning with 2011 a series of studies were conducted by the consortium team. The studies reveled several specific settings for this site: (1) The deconstruction process of the former buildings created new associated risk factors, (2) Even though we are in a quaternary sedimentary deposits, the geology is complex and modified by human intervention in the last 100 years, (3) The soil contamination is very heterogeneous regarding the contaminates (from PAH to heavy metals), the horizontal distribution and vertical distribution,(4) Groundwater is located under a  clay or anthropogenic layer (5-10 bgs) but is polluted mainly with heavy metals and sulphates.

12:45 – 13:45 Break & Poster Session

13:45 – 14:30 Key Note


Soil contamination and remediation in Italy

Luca Bonomo

Abstract: This presentation will give an overview on the Regulatory framework (concentration limits based on land use, role of risk assessment). Sites of national and local interest. Source of pollution and pollutants of interest. Criteria for the selection of remedial actions. Remediation techniques and costs. Public financing for site remediation. Identification of priority actions. The case of Lombardy Region and of Milan area. Contamination of marine and freshwater sediments. Activities on soil remediation at Politecnico di Milano.

14:30 – 15:15 Session 3: Scientific results from the Timbre project – continued


Understanding regional decision structures and the role of key actors

Filip Alexandrescu and Alena Bleicher

Abstract: The regeneration of brownfields occurs differently in various parts of Europe and there are also variations within the same country or even region. The purpose of this presentation is to suggest a unitary way of understanding these differences. For this, we rely on the concept of project ecologies and show that the regeneration of brownfields depends on a number of drivers and barriers. These are located, in turn, in three critical areas of a regeneration project, namely within its institutional context, in the organization of the project team and in the process of accumulating knowledge for regeneration. All these are mediated by relationship of trust between actors, which thus represents a forth focus of attention for the project ecologies perspective. Based on interviews and focus groups collected at the Timbre study sites in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Germany, we illustrate how these drivers and barriers operate in each of the four focal points of the brownfield project ecology. Following this approach, we conclude with four brief sets of recommendations on the factors that shape, positively or negatively, the decisions of actors in regeneration projects.


Integrated site assessment tools: “Integrated planning and spatial evaluation of megasite remediation and reuse options”

Michael Finkel

Abstract: The reuse of underused or abandoned contaminated land, so-called brownfields, is increasingly seen as an important means for reducing the consumption of land and natural resources. Many existing decision support systems are not appropriate because they focus mainly on economic aspects, while neglecting sustainability issues. To fill this gap, we present a software framework for spatially explicit, integrated planning and assessment of brownfield redevelopment options. The framework provides an integrative yet transparent analysis and visualization of complex site and land use-specific spatial information to stakeholders with different areas of expertise. Addressing three aspects of brownfield revitalization, (i) subsurface remediation and site preparation requirements and related costs, (ii) market value of the land, and (iii) expected benefits to sustainable local and regional development, individual planning options are automatically evaluated for the economic, socio-economic and ecologic consequences of the planned re-use. By the visualization of this evaluation’s results, planning iterations during round-table discussions are facilitated and rendered more efficient.

An introduction to the methodology as well as results from case studies will be presented. Emphasis will be placed on the trade-off between possibly conflicting objectives (e.g., economic goals versus the need for sustainable development in the regional context of the brownfield site), which may represent different perspectives of involved stakeholders.

15:15 – 15:45 Break

15:45 – 17:00 Session 4: Insights from international partner initiatives


EPAs Research Action Plans

Annette Gatchett

Abstract: This presentation will give in introduction and overview to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Research Action Plans (RAPs). After a background introduction on RAPs, they will be outlined with a special focus on framing sustainable systems and closing with an overview of current and planned projects.


Circular Flow Land Use Management – CircUse project

Anna Starzewska-Sikorska

Abstract: Traditional approaches of spatial planning are failing to deliver a sustainable land use. Urban sprawl supports unsustainable land use with negative economic and ecological effects, like loss of the soil resources, increase of traffic, etc. New integrated land management approaches and policy mixes are needed, to address the stakeholders varied interests in land more comprehensively. The project Circular Flow Land Use Management (CircUse) was aiming at fostering sustainable land use in Central Europe by promoting the principle “avoid – recycle – compensate”.

12 partners from 6 countries were for 3.5 years implementing the project CircUse principles and concepts. In 6 participating countries these partners promoted an integrative policy and governance approaches in respect of the urbanised land utilization.

In the project the CircUse strategy has been developed to illustrate what is necessary to implement the approach of a circular land use management.

According to the strategy requirements further steps were taken to apply the project methodology in pilot cases.

The most important outputs generated in the project were: (i) unified the urban land use typologies and then a pragmatic inventory tool, focused on the local/regional land use management, (ii) action plans, focused on improving land use effectiveness, based on a common template were produced, one per each project CircUse partners´ country, (iii) guideline for the preparation of a CircUse training course was produced consisting of 6 learning modules, and (iv) a concept of institutional solutions serving the management of circular land use.


Holistic brownfield management

Hans van Duijne

Abstract:  Holistic Management of Brownfield Regeneration (HOMBRE).  One of the main disadvantages of the on-going expanse of European cities is the associated land degradation, which is a fundamental and persistent problem in Europe. Land take and associated soil sealing lead to the loss of important soil functions, such as water infiltration, water storage, and food production. Moreover, the extension of cities increases the costs of infrastructure. A more sustainable use of soil is needed. Preventing sites from becoming Brownfields and regenerating existing brownfields is key in tackling urban sprawl and ensuring a more sustainable built environment.

HOMBRE aims to create a paradigm shift in sustainable brownfield land management practice to “Zero Brownfields” where brownfields become areas of opportunity that deliver useful services for society, economy and the environment, instead of derelict areas that are considered useless.

The strategic goal, improving the dividend from BF regeneration for environment, economy and society and thereby preventing an increase in the carbon footprint.


Czech brownfields partnership

Barbara Vojvodíková

Abstract: The project “Czech brownfields partnership” was focused on intensive exchange of experience in the field of brownfields regenerations.

Brownfields regeneration and town renewal has become the main topic of development of our towns and regions, which puts new demands on education and practice. At the moment the exchange of experience and knowledge occurs mainly on the basis on contacts between professionals in interest, without preparation of new generation that would not have to look for already found and optimized ways.

Therefore the main activities of the project were aimed at exchange of information, contacts between the experts and preparation of students for entrance into the real environment of regenerations.

The project´s goal was to interconnect a large scale of experts interested in this areas, no matter if these are territorial technical problems or problems of legislation or financing.

The main aim was to interconnect education and research with practise. A partial aim was to create  “The Platform for brownfields regeneration support” and a training of the young generation with know-how from the area of brownfields regeneration,.

The Platform has currently about 120 members who represent organizations, companies and other subjects which take some part in regeneration of areas called brownfields. The project was joined by partners as well as cooperating organizations which provided practical placements for students (30 organizations – 115 students) or cooperated on organization of seminars of workshops. More detail information will be part of oral presentation

17:00 – 17:30 Plenum Discussion


Summary and discussion of lessons learned

Stephan Bartke

Lessons learnt

Mapping future research demands.

17:30 – 18:00 Poster Session & Informal get together


Participants were invited to an informal get together with the Timbre partners, Poster presenters, conference speakers and participants.

20:00 Conference dinner


Participants were invited to join the conference dinner (at own costs).