The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


CASA Working Paper 14


1 October 1999

London's Brownfield Resource Pilot Project: The Wandle Valley

Brownfields are abandoned or under-utilised areas normally within the urban core of a city. These sites are generally areas that have previously been built-on, yet have become derelict or have fallen into disrepair. Some sites may be contaminated.

Typically, when developers and other organisations have an interest in a brownfield site, they must perform an extensive information search to determine its planning and environmental status. An information search of this type could take days, weeks, or even months to compile. With a geographic information system (GIS), this search could take a matter of minutes, and be displayed in an easy to understand graphical or map form.

This project aimed to develop a pilot system for the Wandle Valley, covering the London boroughs of Wandsworth, Merton, Sutton and Croydon. The ArcView GIS was used to assemble, store, manipulate, and display geographically referenced information relating to brownfield sites and their locality, i.e. shopping areas, public transport routes.

This system has been created to encourage more sustainable and environmentally friendly development of brownfield sites. This was done using an iterative development approach supported by a series of four seminars and a public participation workshop.

The main findings of the research relate to the results of the public participation workshop and the success of the system. The results of the workshop show that most people saw the system as of real value to the planning process as it would help make it more iterative. The system was an overall success because it allowed for the integration of different data sets not seen previously in the brownfield debate. Also because a GIS was used updating the system would be efficient. However, some problems were highlighted in regard to public access and updating and accuracy of the information on the system.

This working paper is available as a PDF. The file size is 1.58MB.

Authors: Rebekah Boott

Publication Date: 1/9/1999

Download working paper No. 14.