Brownfields and Brownfield Redevelopment
Canada's National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) defines brownfields as "abandoned, vacant, derelict or underutilized commercial and industrial properties where past actions have resulted in actual or perceived contamination and where there is an active potential for redevelopment". Brownfields are often located in or near established communities and can include decommissioned refineries, former railway yards, old industrial waterfronts and riverbanks, abandoned gas stations, and former drycleaners. Left as they are, brownfields can pose threats to human health and environmental quality, and they have little economic value. Redeveloped and returned to productive use, brownfield sites can generate significant economic, social and environmental benefits and more sustainable communities overall.
Although no specific inventory exists today, it is estimated that British Columbia has between 4,000 and 6,000 brownfield sites. Using estimates from comparable-scale jurisdictions elsewhere, the number of brownfield sites in B.C. could be even higher. Examples of high-profile B.C. brownfield redevelopment projects that have received national attention include Vancouver's Pacific Place and Victoria's Dockside Green. However, the more numerous, smaller-community brownfield sites across the province – those that present a less favourable economic development proposition – represent the greatest challenges and opportunities for brownfield redevelopment in British Columbia.
More detailed information is provided in the following links:
38 Brownfields and Brownfield Redevelopment (PDF/201 KB) ISSUED AUGUST 2007
British Columbia's Brownfield Renewal Strategy
Led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, the Brownfield Renewal Strategy aims to develop new policies regarding risk management and liability, increase awareness and capacity, and lead by example to encourage the redevelopment of brownfield sites across the province.
Links to Brownfields Resources
There are numerous sources of information, both domestically and internationally, regarding brownfields and brownfield redevelopment. A selection of those accessible on the internet follows:
United Kingdom and Europe