WORKING GROUP 2 Policy and Regulation

Working Group (WG) 2 is focusing on the role of policy approaches and regulatory instruments in brownfield regeneration. The group is collecting information on regulatory approaches, as well as characterising European legal constraints and policy drivers. The Group is focusing on the role of municipalities and Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) in driving brownfield regeneration.

The Group is working to provide links and coordination for the development of research ideas and the identification of best practice approaches. In particular, the Group is exchanging information and ideas on policy principles as well as reviewing issues of European governance and national practice. Through a series of Country Profiles the Group is identifying regulatory practice in different countries to aid the identification of good practice approaches.

Work Programme Status

WG2 has produced a number of Position Papers.  Two papers discuss the role of regional governance in brownfield regeneration, specifically municipalities and RDAs.  The Position Paper on Strategic Municipality Brownfield Management details the important role that local government plays in successful regeneration.  The paper states that there is a need for a brownfield specific strategy at the municipality level to ensure the delivery of sustainable brownfield regeneration. The paper on the role of dedicated agencies highlights that RDAs can offer particular benefits in delivering sustainable solutions to the brownfields problem, in terms of guiding principles and taking key steps within the brownfield project lifecycles. 

The Group is also working on an Information Paper focusing on recommendations for EU policy activities on brownfield regeneration.  WG2 has identified a number of key research areas (4 areas of interest) and is in the process of developing these into research proposals.  A paper reviewing ways to improve the decision-making process in brownfield redevelopment is also under development.  This paper is examining how the process can be improved in order to make brownfield redevelopment competitive with greenfield development. A series of Country Profiles have been developed by the Network, these include information on national brownfield strategies, policy initiatives and other national regulatory instruments. 

Brownfield related EC Policy

  • European Spatial Development Perspective
    The European Spatial Development Perspective is a key spatial planning statement adopted by the regional planning ministers of each of the 15 EU member states in 1999.
  • Sustainable Urban Development in the European Union: A Framework for Action
    The EU Framework for action for sustainable urban development aims at better coordinated and targeted community action for urban problems.
  • Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection
    As a first step in the development of an encompassing EU policy to protect soils against erosion and pollution, the Commission has published "Towards a Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection".
  • Thematic Strategy for the Urban Environment
    The Thematic Strategy for the Urban Environment sets out the problems and challenges facing Europe's urban areas, focusing on 4 priority themes. These themes, selected in conjunction with stakeholders, are urban environmental management, urban transport, sustainable construction and urban design.

Development Agencies and Municipality Networks involved in Urban Regeneration

    The Association of Regional Development Agencies is a non profit-making organisation aiming to promote regional economic development through dialogue with the European Commission services, interchange of good practice among members, transnational co-operation among members, regional development agencies as a concept.
    URBACT is a European Programme created in 2002, involving 160 cities in Europe which facilitates the networking between cities from all the Member States
  • URCs
    Urban Regeneration Companies are experts in their local areas and co-ordinate investment plans from both the public and the private sectors, and attract new investment through the purposeful and imaginative promotion and regeneration of their areas.
    EUROCITIES is the network of major European cities, bringing together the local governments of more than 120 large cities in over 30 European countries.
  • SUSTAINABLE CITIES                 
    The Aalborg Commitments are a set of shared commitments to be jointly implemented by local governments across Europe, aiming towards more sustainable cities.

National Bodies involved in Land Management and Brownfield Regeneration

Federal Environment Ministry
Federal Environment Agency

Flanders OVAM
Wallonia ISSeP

Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW)

Ministry of the Environment
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

Ministry of the Environment
Finnish Environment Institute

French Environment Ministry
Inventory of Contaminated Sites

German Environment Ministry
German Environment Agency

Greek Environment Ministry

Irish Environment Agency 
Geological Survey of Ireland

Ministero dell'Ambiente

Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment
National Insitute for Public Health and the Environment

Ministry of Economy
Ministry of the Environment

Instituto dos Residuos     

Ministerio de Medio Ambiente
Generalitat de Catalunya
Empresa para la Gestion de Residuos Industriales

Swedish EPA
Karolinska Institutet

United Kingdom
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister 
English Partnerships 
Environment Agency

Index to Information of Policy and Regulations
Membership List for this Working Group
Download the Position Paper