Brownfield development is the process of redevelopment on previously developed lands that are abandoned, closed or underused (Adams, De Sousa & Tiesdell, 2010). While some brownfield can be too contaminated, most brownfields are re-useable to create great value once cleaned up. And in this world of scarce resources, brownfield development becomes crucial as we focus more on sustainability and resource optimizing. While factors of rising awareness of urban sustainability issues, presence of derelict/disused urban space and society’s rising demand for ‘urban lifestyle’ promotes brownfield development, the process to transfer from greenfield development to brownfield development can be very complicated. In this paper, I will be focusing on the impacts of government regulation, land ownership and developer behaviour on urban brownfield residential development process.
In section 2, we look at how regulations impacts positively or negatively on urban brownfield residential development. In section 3, we look at types of ownership constraints and how major ownership constraints can impact or completely deny developers access to brownfield sites. We will also slightly link back to government regulations and talk about how government intervention can lessen the impact of ownership constraints. In section 4, we look at how developer behaviour changes with time and the impacts on urban brownfield residential development. We then finally summarise the overall impacts of regulations, land ownership and developer behaviour in section 5 as conclusion.
Government regulations can be the quickest way to increase urban brownfield residential development because regulations shapes the market and constrain developers to go to the direction that government wants them to go.
In the past two decades, government regulations primarily stemmed from the desire for urban regeneration. And when government first decided to move towards brownfield development during the 1990’s (Adams, 2004), the very first and most prominent regulation put in place was “location control” (Adams, 2004) that required certain percentage of new houses to be built on brownfield land. The implementation significantly increased the percentage of brownfield development from 50% in 1995 to 60% in 1998 (Adams, 2004). This clearly shows the effectiveness of regulations on brownfield development. However, DETR (mentioned in Adams, 2004) point out we should not be overly positive about the apparent statistic results because they might not be 100% reflective of true facts due to existing loopholes in the structure of the policy. Those loopholes are failure to distinguish rural and urban brownfield development, failure to leave out conversion of good buildings, and failure to recognize the economic effects of housing downturn (DETR as mentioned in Adams, 2004). Generally speaking, location control does promote and increase urban brownfield residential development. But,...