Prioritisation methodology

As part of its second Deliverable report, Work Package 1 has reported on the planned TIMBRE Expert System's prioritisation methodology. The report furthermore includes a preliminary identification of methodological and technological gaps in the web database. The structure of the web database is constituted by the framework for the collection of information about brownfield regeneration which has been developed through a participatory approach involving different stakeholders groups from different European countries in order to obtain a shared result. This framework and its development are fully described in the Timbre project’s Milestone MS11 “Decisional framework developed during the workshops organised for the involvement of experts and stakeholders”, while the main characteristics and functionalities of the web database are explained in the Deliverable D1.1 “Web database with a structured site related inventory of European brownfield information and data”.
The Expert System will include a multi-criteria methodology for the evaluation and ranking of the collected information aimed at providing each end-user with the most suitable instruments and information for each phase of the brownfield regeneration process according to his/her specific characteristics, requirements and needs. The main objective of the Deliverable D1.2 "TIMBRE Expert System Prioritisation Methodology & Preliminary Identification of Methodological and Technological Gaps" is to illustrate the features of the multi-criteria methodology to be implemented in the Expert System, presenting the criteria, which will be considered for ranking the information, and the approach used for their integration. This methodology will allow the classification, ranking and evaluation of the collected methodologies, approaches and tools for brownfield regeneration.
Moreover, the report provides a preliminary analysis of the contents of the web database, which is, in its current version (May 2013), the result of the collection and upload of web links carried out by TIMBRE consortium and selected external partners. The preliminary analysis of the web database is aimed (i) at assessing the current status of the tool, (ii) at identifying possible methodological and technological gaps for the different information categories (corresponding to the different steps or respectively idealised each phase of the brownfield regeneration process), and (iii) at drawing some general conclusions which could support a further improvement of the database before the final release of the Expert System - scheduled for February 2014.

First release of Timbre Web Database (version 0.1)

After the first year and half of intensive work within Timbre project, WP1 team completed the implementation of the first version of Timbre Web Database at the end of August 2012. This outcome (corresponding to the completion of the first project deliverable for WP1, D1.1) should be recognized as the result of a very fruitful collaboration among Timbre partners and of an effective involvement of stakeholders and experts through several face-to-face and on-line contacts.

The overall objective of WP1 is to provide contaminated sites’ owners, local authorities and stakeholders with a web-based and target-oriented customizable Expert System that can be at the same time a collector and provider of all available information related to assessment and management of contaminated sites and brownfields. Through the Timbre Expert System, the current difficulties in accessing available information and tools for brownfield redevelopment and in selecting, case-by-case, the most suitable solutions for end-users’ specific needs should be effectively overcome.

The Web Database developed during the first project period and including web-links to relevant documents and tool for brownfield redevelopment will be one of the main components of the future Expert System. The Web Database has been built following the structure of the framework for the collection of information about brownfield rehabilitation (Figure 1), result of a participatory process which allowed to collect and implement the perspectives of stakeholders and experts.

Main page of the Timbre Web Database

Figure 1. Main page of the Timbre Web Database.

This framework is composed of the main phases of the risk-based regeneration process corresponding to “information categories” (e.g., Strategic planning, Site characterization, Environmental risk assessment and communication, etc.) used to guide the organization and the consultation of the available material collected in the database. Data/information (i.e. internet links) collected in the database are indeed classified/stored according to the aforementioned “information categories”. The users can access the stored information by selecting on the screen the “information category” of interest and can upload new information according to the same proposed “information categories”. Then, within each “information category”, the records are further subdivided into four classes corresponding to different types of documents/material, namely: “Regulation”, “Technical manuals”, “Tools” and “Case studies”. In the database details about the available linked documents are provided (e.g. country of reference, application scale, document language and a description through keywords) (Figure 2) and the same information is requested when the user starts the procedure for uploading a new link.

Timbre Web Database example of a page of with a selection of available information

Figure 2. Example of a page of Timbre Web Database with a selection of available information.

In the current version of the database, the user can search the documents linked in the database by applying a filter for the country of reference or by performing a search by keyword; in the next future, ad-hoc functionalities for advanced search and for fitting specific requirements of the users will be implemented.  Moreover, the future developments towards the implementation of the final Expert System will include a multi-criteria methodology for the evaluation and ranking of the collected information with the aim of providing end-users with the most suitable instruments for each phase of the brownfield regeneration process. According to end-users specifications, results will thus be tailored to site-specific needs taking the local priorities and requirements into account.

Now, the Timbre web database can be accessed only by selected registered users and contains the links to documents collected and provided by Timbre partners. In the next future, Timbre Expert System will be freely available on-line and it will be a very accessible system, where external end-users can upload their own material, inputs and updates. It is expected to become a living system, allowing the exchange of scientific outcomes, related information among experts, decision-makers, stakeholders and the general public involved in the risk-based contaminated sites and brownfields regeneration process.

If you are interested in Timbre Expert System, follow future developments on Timbre website (  and contact us for more information (Lisa Pizzol:; Elisa Giubilato:!

From Framework to Expert System

The main aim of WP1 is the development of a web-based expert system for the collection and classification of all available information (guidelines, reports, tools, best practices, etc.) about brownfield rehabilitation process, in order to make them easily accessible to different types of stakeholders.

A framework for the collection of information about brownfield regeneration, encompassing all phases of the process (corresponding to information categories), has been developed within WP1. First, a preliminary framework has been proposed based on an extensive review of results of previous projects and initiatives on brownfield management. The preliminary version has been improved thanks to the contribution of TIMBRE project partners. Moreover, different stakeholders have been consulted during TIMBRE stakeholder workshops in Romania and Poland. Finally, a web-based questionnaire is being disseminated to a consistent groups of stakeholders in different EU Countries and their comments will support the definition of the final version of the framework

Framework for information collection

The framework will be implemented in the TIMBRE Expert System and will guide the collection and the consultation of available materials on brownfield regeneration. A web-database is already on-line and, in the next months, TIMBRE partners will be asked to upload links to different types of brownfield information and materials. Then, the web database will be made accessible to the public so that experts and stakeholders will be able to include their own contribution in order to enlarge the database contents and they can start explore the materials already included by project partners.

In the next months a methodology for the classification and ranking of the approaches, methods and tools included in the database will be developed. The final output of WP1 will be a web-based Expert System, integrated in the TIMBRE DSS/Toolbox, for user-friendly provision of meta-data and customizable information and tools on all phases of brownfield regeneration process.

Download the project MIlestone: "Decisional framework developed during the workshops organised for the involvement of experts and stakeholders" for further information and feel free to contact us.

About a brief report on the course and the outcomes of the workshop

The WP1 workshop has been attended by five people belonging to the following two stakeholder categories: Regional and national regulators, and Scientific community and research. These people performed direct searches into the Information System, following indications provided by the instructors in English and Romanian.

These stakeholders found the tool useful according to their information needs and even asked to become expert users in order to update information material related to Romania.

The participants indicated in the final discussion that the tool is easy to use and that it presents a good variety of available information.