Every brownfield re-development situation has important
elements unique to its situation. However, there are also similarities
between different sites. The similarities teach lessons that do
not need re-discovering by each planning process, thus allowing
the direction of more analysis and planning effort to site specific
As Appendix C describes, the experiences
at 11 former steel making and coal mining sites and other mining
sites were reviewed with remediation issues similar to those of
We found the following similarities in these 11 cases:
- Bethlehem Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
- Canadian National Railroad Kempt Road Lands, Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Canadian National Railroad Moncton Shops; Moncton, New Brunswick
- Mountain View Landfill, Redwood City, California
- Spencer Creek Village, Dundas, Ontario
- Gasworks Park, Seattle, Washington
- BASF South Works, Wyandotte, Michigan
- Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, Essen, Germany
- Rockingham Motor Speedway, Corby, Northamptonshire, U.K.
- The Earth Centre, South Yorkshire, U.K
- Former Kaiser Steel Corporation, Los Angeles, California
First, each re-development matched market needs of the area and
kept the "clean environment" interests of the community
in mind. Without a solid market match, the competition offered by
greenfield site left properties languishing.
Second, nine of the 11 cases included distinctly commercial elements,
ranging from intermodal transportation facilities to theme parks
and golf courses. Two of the sites became public tourist sites.
The Zollverein site won designation as an UNESCO World Heritage
Site and the Earth Centre became a mostly publicly funded centre
dealing with the issues of sustainability and conservation.
Third, all sites were remediated with a future use in mind. Remediation
began after the land re-use plan was in place.
Fourth, the decline of the local economy, stemming from mining
and industrial closures, was slowed or halted.
Fifth, some type of environmental benefit or conservation of the
environment played a central role in each re-development.
Sixth, the re-developments included consultation and co-operation
between the private sector, public sectors and the local community.
In all cases, the complexity of the projects, the long time frame
involved, as well as the need to attract new business/commercial
components, made co-operation a hall mark of project success.
We suggest that the implications for the SYSCO site are clear.
The re-use of the site should tie to market demands, not to the
historical use of the site. As the cases show, if the willingness
to pay exists, technology can remediate to the needed level. However,
full-scale remediation should not begin until a plan for the re-use
of the land is in place; to do otherwise can lead to unnecessary
costs. Plans for re-use should be created and implemented with the
consultation and co-operation of the private, government and community
Whatever use is made of the land it should be undertaken with high
regard for environmental sustainability. The cases we reviewed paid
substantial attention to the need for environmental sustainability.
Finally, the cases show that many of the most successful re-use
plans, whether commercial or "non-profit," contributed
to the economic restoration of local economy.