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Design and

Land Use Plan &









Environmental studies and clean-up are just beginning at SYSCO. The intent of this study is to identify appropriate future land uses, the nature of which will ultimately help define and shape the type of clean-up required. For example, if an industrial re-use strategy is adapted then remediation of the sewer system might include patching leaks, removing and replacing contaminated soils around the sewers, and sewer cleaning. If, however, the property is determined to be for future recreational uses then sewer and soil excavation and removal would be a more cost effective technique.

This approach of first identifying future use and then tailoring the clean-up to match that re-use strategy is a common characteristic of many successful clean-up and re-use projects. Locally, it was the approach used at the Moncton Shops (now Emmerson Business Park and the Moncton Sports Common) and it is widely used in the USA and Europe. In a recent presentation at UCCB, by industry experts on the re-development of former coal mining, coal processing and steel production areas in Germany, identification of future economic uses as a first step to clean-up was purported to be essential to project success.

The following sections present results from the case studies reviewed for this project, a brief outline of preliminary phase 1 environmental study results, as well as a proposed site clean-up approach.



Experience at Similar Brownfield Re-Developments


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 issues.

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 SYSCO.

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 sectors.

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.


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