Home / ReInd BBG: Re-Industrialization following the Brownfield is Better than Greenfield Principle*

The redevelopment of former brownfield industrial sites through new functions – be they productive, cultural, recreation or other – is becoming a key territorial priority for the Danube Region. However, the revitalisation process is a huge challenge for the affected towns, especially small and medium-sized ones, as it requires: inter-institutional collaboration at different levels of government, co-planning and co-creation processes with the local community, private actors and other relevant entities, development of good funding models, relying on private-public partnerships and a good integration into regional and European policies and priorities. It also requires a lot of patience and adaptivity.

The project “ReInd BBG: Re-Industrialization following the Brownfield is Better than Greenfield Principle” runs from January 2024 to June 2026 and addresses the challenges described above. ReIND aims to increase the capacity of stakeholders along the Danube to build and implement better governance models and participatory practices for the re-development of brownfield sites.

Together with 15 partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Romania, representing authorities, NGOs and researchers from 6 small and medium-sized towns in the Danube basin, we will explore and test:
– ways of increasing competitiveness and private investment attractiveness in small to medium towns;
– different approaches in addressing the problems of contamination and pollution generated by the initial industrial activity, preservation and valorisation of the industrial heritage related to the site;
– ways of mitigating marginalisation of former workers’ settlements in the vicinity of former industrial sites;
– the prospects of a long-term, coherent urban planning process where all relevant stakeholders are part of the decision making process.

Our team will be working on this project side by side with the Municipality of Reșița, prioritising the Triaj-Mociur-Valea Țerovei site, 175 ha well positioned between the old and the new town, an area illustrative of the early years of a large urban regeneration process. You can read more about our joint actions to revitalise this site, started in 2016, here.

MKBT will guide the other partners in enhancing the capacity of local communities to engage in urban regeneration processes and in fostering greater appeal for private municipal investment in brownfield sites revitalisation.

ReIND is implemented within the framework of the Interreg Danube Region Programme and is coordinated by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce. The project consortium consists of: Make Better Association and Municipality of Reșița (Romania), Slovenian National Institute of Construction and Civil Engineering, Municipality of Črna na Koroškem (Slovenia), Department for Development and International Projects of Canton Zenica-Doboj, Eko-forum Zenica, City of Zenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (Austria), Information Centre for Innovation and Development “NOVUM” (Ukraine), Backa Regional Development Agency Ltd Novi Sad, Vojvodina Development Agency Ltd. Novi Sad, City of Sombor (Serbia), Municipality of Vratsa, Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Vratsa (Bulgaria).

You can find more updates on the project’s official page or by following our LinkedIn account.

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*The Brownfield principle is preferred to the Greenfield principle in view of the circularity of the complex systems and infrastructure already in place, and of its accessible, central location. Brownfield development is potentially quicker, less expensive and often honours the material and immaterial heritage of the area. The Greenfield principle involves rethinking and building from scratch on previously unused land that lacks utilities and public services, and is often located on the outskirts of the city in less accessible or transited areas. The Greenfield concept would potentially allow for more flexibility in design. However, in view of the global shortage of green spaces, the Greenfield principle is seen as having a negative impact on the environment.