A-Z Popular Blog Top Search »

What is Brownfield?

 , updated on
Brownfield is a term for land that has been previously used for industrial or commercial purposes that is polluted or feared to be polluted. Such sites often require an expensive clean up and it is common for governments to require the parties responsible to pay such costs.
In many cases, brownfield sites sit unused for decades as owners, developers and governments seek to avoid the costs of a clean up. This is considered a sign of a neighborhood and city in severe decline as dilapidated buildings and unused contaminated sites are a waste of land and an eyesore that detracts from urban design.
The first step to redeveloping a brownfield site is typically a site investigation that seeks to estimate costs. For example, investigations may scan for buried waste and underground infrastructure such as pipes and tanks that may be expensive to clean up.
In many cases, brownfield sites are large and occupy attractive land in central areas or close to water. Brownfield redevelopment is often a unique opportunity to transform a neighborhood.
Overview: Brownfield
Land that is polluted or potentially polluted as the result of industrial, commercial or military uses.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about cities.
Business Clusters
City Culture
City Economics
City Issues
City Services
Community Development
Community Issues
Community Space
Creeping Normality
Emergent Cities
Environmental Issues
Freedom To Roam
Genius Loci
Green Infrastructure
Happiness Index
Land Use
Living Street
Public Infrastructure
Public Property
Public Space
Quality Of Life
Resilient Cities
Social Space
Urban Design
Urban Planning
World Cities
More ...
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.

Urban Design

A few common urban design terms.

Green Walls vs Green Facades

The difference between a green wall and green facade.

Sustainable Urban Design

A list of sustainable urban design techniques.

Passive Design vs Active Design

The difference between active and passive design.

Street Canyon

How a street canyon changes an urban environment.

Parti Pris

An overview of parti pris in architecture with an example.

City Issues

A list of common city issues.

Community Problems

A list of common community problems.

Things In Cities

An a-z list of things in cities.

City Types

An list of the common types of city.

Existential Risk

An overview of existential risk.

Precautionary Principle

An overview of the precautionary principle.

Comparative Risk

A definition of comparative risk with examples.

Energy Efficiency

The common types of energy efficiency.

External Stakeholders

The definition of external stakeholder with examples.

Economic Bad

Common examples of an economic bad.


The definition of win-lose with examples.

Climate Engineering

An overview of climate engineering.

Soil Carbon

Why carbon soil is important.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map