chapter  1
4 Pages

Governing sustainable urban renewal: networks and partners in governance

This book examines governance of brownfi eld urban renewal in the UK, Germany and USA, looking at the Thames Gateway, Social City and Groundwork USA initiatives. Within these urban renewal projects, the book examines the cases of Thurrock and Barking in the Thames Gateway, Marzahn and Potsdam in the Social City, and Groundwork Bridgeport and Groundwork Portland in the USA, with reference to the roles of actors in governance. At a time when pressure on cities to provide suffi cient numbers of houses is growing and there is equal pressure on governments to implement sustainable development measures, brownfi eld urban renewal initiatives represent a policy area of crucial importance. In defi ning what is meant by a ‘brownfi eld’ area, the land is previously used and is undergoing restorative treatment, through building, physical change or ecological measures. Thornton et al. (2007: 3) suggest a brownfi eld site is ‘the management, rehabilitation and return to benefi cial use’ of the land (Thornton et al., 2006: 3), and this notion of purpose and ecology is taken to mean a site or area that has become: ‘abandoned, idled or underused industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination’ (Thornton et al., 2006: 2). The term brownfi eld, as defi ned by the Concerted Action on Brownfi elds and Economic Urban Renewal Network (CABERNET) is also understood to refer to:

Sites that have been affected by the former uses of the site and surrounding land; are derelict and underused; may have real or perceived contamination problems; are mainly in developed urban areas; and require intervention to bring them back to benefi cial use.