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REGENERATING BROWNFIELD LAND USING SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGIES BRETT CHERRY investigates how a team of Durham scientists are searching for methods to restore brownfield land sustainably

“Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value”. RICHARD BUCKMINSTER FULLER Land and industry underlie the development of modern society. All around us there are examples of industrial engineering, manufacturing, building, innovation and employment. At its foundation is land. Prior to industry, much of the land was used primarily for agriculture, including plant cultivation and raising animals for food and clothing. Over time, the materials produced from agricultural-based economies shifted dramatically in order to supply the growing demand of cities created by industry and technology.

After the first industrial revolution, land began to undergo a rapid transition in a matter of decades. It soon became home to a plethora of industries including electric power generation, coal mining, steel manufacturing, railroads, ship building, automotive assembly lines, motorways, airports and a host of others that have left a deep impression on the world’s environment. But like other forms of human intervention, industry didn’t come without a price and despite the technological age seemingly separating people from the ‘natural world’ that gave birth to it, today humanity is beginning to realise again the importance of land. Much of the land that was once used by industry in the past is unusable today because of the environmental contamination it has left behind. While further industrialisation is taking place all over the world, but especially in rapidly developing countries like China and India, many urban and rural areas – ‘brownfields’– have been deindustrialised and underutilised. Contaminated brownfield land has often been avoided by communities and developers due to the risks associated with industrial pollution, yet it still remains one of our greatest resources. CONTINUED >


Hazard Risk Resilience (high-res)  

This is the high-res version of the first issue of IHRR's new magazine. It introduces research projects from the Institute of Hazard, Risk a...

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