Brownfields, or brownfield land, have a different meaning in different countries. It is an abandoned or unused land with abandoned constructions or even entire industrial sites. Most often the brownfields include abandoned factories, gas stations, power plants, warehouses, hotels, shopping centres, and manufacturing complexes that have gone bankrupt, have been abandoned, and there is no one to arrange their removal.
The main problem of brownfields
Brownfields constitute a danger for several reasons. From an ecological point of view, such areas represent a disaster since no greenery can grow there, dangerous substances often leak from such objects, and the buildings pose a threat to animals. From the aesthetic point of view, brownfields are damaging owners of the plots of land in question as probably nobody would like to build a house overlooking an abandoned factory or power plant.
Last but not least, brownfields negatively impact also social milieu as they often become a refuge for criminals, homeless people or drug addicts. The presence of brownfields within city districts can be directly correlated with higher crime rates. Moreover, anyone entering such constructions is subject to serious hazard as they are in poor technical condition, and anyone can quickly get hurt.
How can we solve the problem
The main problem of brownfields is that they require an individual approach, and each construction needs to be assessed to find out how to effectively remove it or restore it. Some countries have adopted a pro-active approach in the removal of such plots of land, but in most countries, it is a futile struggle as there are many brownfields, and their removal is too expensive. However, it is necessary to continually draw attention to the issue of brownfields in order to find an effective solution focusing on successful revitalisation. Such approach will lead to a healthier environment, lower crime rate, and happier life.
Sometimes, you may come across the term “blackfields”. It is a derived term for highly contaminated sites. Usually, not only soil but also surface and groundwater is contaminated in such areas, making any further use of such sites nearly impossible.
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