New TIMBRE article on stakeholder perceptions, concerns, attitudes and information needs

13.07.2015 19:27

Brownfield regeneration in Europe: Identifying stakeholder perceptions, concerns, attitudes and information needs

A research team from UNIVE and UFZ, lead by Erika Rizzo from the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics & Statistics from the University Ca' Foscari of Venice in Italy, has published an article on identifying stakeholder perceptions, concerns, attitudes and information needs related to brownfield regeneration in Europe in Land Use Policy.

The authors reflect on their TIMBRE-related works on the TIMBRE Information System starting with the observation that brownfield areas are a major concern in Europe because they are often extensive, persistent in time and compromise stakeholders’ interests. Moreover, due to their complex nature, from the decision-making point of view, the regeneration of brownfields is a challenging problem requiring the involvement of the whole range of stakeholders. Many studies, projects and organisations have recognised the importance of stakeholder involvement and have promoted public participation. However, comprehensive studies providing an overview of stakeholders’ perceptions, concerns, attitudes and information needs when dealing with brownfield regeneration are still missing.

In their paper, the authors present and discuss a participatory methodology applied in TIMBRE to stakeholders from five European countries to fill this research gap, to develop a system to support the categorisation of the needed information and to support the understanding of which typology of information is the most relevant for specific categories of stakeholders also in relation with their concerns.

The engagement process consists of five phases: (i) planning and preparatory work, (ii) identification of stakeholder categories, (iii) engagement activities (e.g. focus groups and workshops), (iv) submission of a questionnaire and (v) provision of feedback to the involved stakeholders.

The authors claim that thanks to this process, appropriate stakeholders have been identified as well as their perceptions, concerns, attitudes and information needs. Stakeholders’ perceptions proved to be different according to the country: German and Italian stakeholders perceive brownfields as complex systems, where several issues need to be addressed, while Romanian stakeholders consider contamination as almost the only issue to be addressed; Czech and Polish stakeholders address an intermediate number of issues. Attitudes and concerns seemed to be quite similar between countries. As far as information needs are concerned, similarities between some groups of stakeholders have been noticed: site owners and problem holders are primarily interested in information on planning and financing, while authorities and services providers are interested in more technical aspects like investigation, planning and risk assessment. Some outstanding outcomes emerged from the scientific community and research group, which showed an interest for remediation strategies and options and socio-economic aspects.

The research outcomes allow to create a knowledge base for the development of tailored and customised approaches and tools for stakeholders working in the brownfield regeneration field.

Follow this link to the article in sciencedirect. For the final published version, refer to the following reference:

Rizzo, E., Pesce, M., Pizzol, L., Alexandrescu, F.M., Giubilato, E., Critto, A., Marcomini, A., Bartke, S. (2015). Brownfield regeneration in Europe: Identifying stakeholder perceptions, concerns, attitudes and information needs, Land Use Policy 48, 437-453, doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.06.012

Follow the links to find more information on TIMBRE project's outcomes and other publications.

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