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RELEMCOM – Reclaiming Land Empowering Communities

Giving new life to landfill sites

Former landfill and brownfield sites in EU Member States can be enormously valuable both socially and economically if they are redeveloped in a sustainable way, and they can play a key role in urban and rural regeneration. This process needs detailed research into local social needs and the economic potential of such sites. The RELEMCOM project was devised to design a process through which sites in four partner countries can be developed in a sustainable way.

RELEMCOM is a Green Growth project within the GROW programme. Its support for the sustainable redevelopment of potentially valuable land coincides with EU objectives for urban and rural regeneration as a driver of sustainable economic growth throughout the Union.

The project is led by the Brabant Environment Foundation, working with eight partners from the Netherlands, the UK, Poland and Italy. Six sites in the UK were selected as possible candidates for redevelopment, while Poland and Italy selected one site each. Sites included landfills, a former coalfield and a semi-urban former industrial site.

RELEMCOM’s key objectives are to develop an overview of former landfill and brownfield sites in each partner region and provide insight into political, financial and public support for the re-use of sites with high potential. It is producing design concepts for sites in partner regions and investigating different ways of developing land for long-term profitability. The work of the project is divided into four packages, each being led by one of the four partners: theoretical framework and criteria for sustainability (Netherlands), community consultation and communicative design (Italy), master planning and site development (UK) and dissemination and communication (Poland).

The project has staged workshops for planners and regeneration specialists and visits to selected sites. For the general public, the project’s website is its principal tool to raise awareness about land revitalization and explain its potential benefits for European citizens. A quarterly newsletter is distributed by e-mail to interested partners and the wider community including local and regional authorities, government departments and potential investors.

“The different ways the different regions have to look at brownfield regeneration processes is the real richness of this project,” said project manager Mark van den Hoven. “The combination of these different focuses will be the real additional output of the project.”

RELEMCOM partners believe the dialogue developed between local and regional authorities, experts, planners and the general public on the techniques and benefits of regenerating former brownfield sites will have a lasting effect on all three elements of the GROW programme – People, Profit and Planet.

“Sustainable redevelopment of potentially valuable land supports EU objectives for urban and rural regeneration as a driver of sustainable economic growth throughout the Union.”


Mark van den Hoven
Brabant Environmental Federation
Spoorlaan 434b, Tilburg
5000 AN  The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)13 5809819
E-mail: mho@Syncera.NL