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Proceedings 2nd International Conference on Managing Urban Land

Experiences of cooperation between European and Latin-American

cities in the field of Brownfield revitalisation

Hermann J. Kirchholtes, Nicolas Leyva Douat

Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart, Amt fr Umweltschutz, Gaisburgstr. 4, 70182 Stuttgart,,

The municipality of Stuttgart developed a procedure of contaminated sites management. Based on this, a
strategy for sustainable Brownfield revitalisation arose in close cooperation of urban development,
environmental protection, real estate management and economic promotion. These experiences were the
starting position of the REDESC project, an European - Latin American cooperation project funded by the
European Union. Five municipal partners from Latin America and European established a cities network. During
the project, a wider cooperation with the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and CETESB, the state
environmental department of Sao Paulo emerged. Thus a stable network could be established. Common
international projects were proved to be an effective way of interchanging successful strategies for Brownfield
revitalisation in an effective and enduring way.

Municipal experiences
In the 1980s, contamination in inner urban areas
of Stuttgart generated considerable financial losses
in the purchase and sale of plots of land. Since
1992 the city has developed and implemented a
systematic management of contaminated areas.
Thanks to the systematic registration of all areas
suspected to be contaminated, it is possible to
know today which sites are expected to contain
harmful substances (Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart
2002). This way, experts on contaminated areas
can develop adequate solutions in early stages of
redevelopment, which guarantee both the required
environmental remediation and a sustainable,
efficient, and economic realization of Brownfields
revitalization projects (PROSIDE-Partner 2006). A
cooperation of urban development, environmental
protection, economical promotion and real estate
management was implemented. Thus it was
proven that very often the required environmental
remediation is only successful in interaction with
urban regeneration measures. This way, a win-win
situation could be reached in Stuttgart.
The interchange of knowledge and expertise, as
well as the creation of networks, has proven to be
an effective way of cooperation between different
cities. These activities impart experts a good
insight in the experiences and methodologies of
other partners. The development of common
projects produces even higher benefits, since
these demand the additional adaptation and
implementation of new work methods in the
specific areas of the different partners.

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The Municipality of Stuttgart, encouraged by

promotional programs of the European Union, has
participated in a variety of international projects in
previous years. In these projects specific measures
are carried out exemplarily within a defined time
and financial framework. One example of
successful cooperation between Latin-American
and European cities in the area of rehabilitation of
Brownfields is the EU funded project REDESC.
Based on the experiences gained, the project
proposal REUSO aims at the integration of the
public, private consulting, political and research
sectors. More experienced partners from Europe
and Latin America will transfer their knowledge to
less experienced cities in Latin America.


Rehabilitation of
Contaminated Areas for the
Sustainable Inner
Development of the City
From 1995 to 2006, the Program URB-AL from the
European Union connected and promoted a total of
13 thematic networks of cities and regions in
Europe and Latin America. The network N6
Urban environment aimed at the improvement of
the socioeconomic conditions and the living quality
of the population, especially through an adequate
development of inner urban areas. In the
framework of this network, Stuttgart applied for
and coordinated the project REDESC, which began
in March 2004 and ended February 2006. Partners

Proceedings 2nd International Conference on Managing Urban Land

in the project were the Province of Treviso (Italy),

the Municipality of Tres de Febrero (Argentina) and
the cities of Santo Andr (Brazil) and Via del Mar
(Chile) (REDESC-Partner 2005).

beyond the duration of the project. That was

especially the case with the German Technical
department of the Federal State of Sao Paulo
(CETESB). This way it was possible to support the
partners in LA in an efficient and continuous way.
Thanks to the integration of CETESB it was
possible to guarantee that all measures carried out
were in accordance with the requirements of the
competent supervisory authorities. As a result a
robust network was established that remains after
the conclusion project.

Figure 1: The REDESC-partnership

In the REDESC Project, the partners had the
chance of implementing different procedures for
the investigation and evaluation of contaminated
areas for the redevelopment of Brownfields. This
was an ambitious and complex challenge, since a
wide variety of aspects and interests needed to be
taken into account and coordinated to attain this
environmental damages produced by harmful
contaminants (such as dioxins, furans, solvents,
pesticides, heavy metals and creosotes) demands
experience and interdisciplinary cooperation.
With help of the REDESC project it was possible to
organize and promote the necessary activation of
private experts to carry out the investigations on
participants overcame their sectoral operation
methods in favor of a networked methodology. The
following questions were clarified on the part of
the urban planning:
- Is the planned urban land use in a
redevelopment project put at risk by existing
harmful substances in the soils?
- Which remediation measures are required for the
removal of the contaminants that affect human
In the course of REDESC, the partners developed
strategies for the analysis of contaminated areas
oriented to the future land uses. With this
objective, the partners set specific goals according
to their particular situations and aims. The work
plans for each partner were established in three
joint workshops. Additionally, in the workshops,
the evaluation of the investigation results was
undertaken and recommendations for following
procedures were developed. The activation of
private experts for the investigations on
contaminated areas proved to be helpful and
deciding for the continuation of the measures

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Figure 2: Brownfield Revitalisation

Proceedings 2nd International Conference on Managing Urban Land


revitalisation project proposal


The project proposal REUSO (Reuse of inner urban

areas) , in cooperation with German Technical
Cooperation (GTZ) and the Center for Ecology &
Development (KATE as an NGO) is a project
proposal that aims at the transfer of knowledge to
cities in Latin-America. The main objective is the
practical implementation of advanced strategies in
Brownfield revitalization, based on the successful
examples of Europe, Mexico and Brazil.

Conclusions on the
cooperation of European and
Latin-American cooperation

In REUSO, pilot projects will be implemented in

Latin American cities. The measures aim at an
integration of urban planning, environmental
protection and financing strategies. A broad public
and political involvement leads to an improved
acceptance in the community, the politic and the
public administration. New financing concepts like
PPP approaches will be applied. The pilot actions
will lead to an adoption of the methodology to the
different national legislations and settings.
Furthermore, the creation of a network between
the municipalities involved will become a common
basis for the exchange of experiences, especially
by means of concrete projects.
The participation of citizens, especially from the
neighborhood of the sites, will make the process
more democratic and transparent. To attain this
communication, discussion and diffusion of
strategies, measures and results.
The involvement and integration of different
institutions like public administration, research
facilities, states agencies, other municipalities, or
political circles will improve a broad acceptance of
the strategies. The specific skills and competences
of the practitioners and decision makers in the
participating cities will be improved.
The duration of the project will be 4 years.
Potential partners are Sao Paulo (Brazil), Santo
Andr (Brazil), CETESB (Brazil), Via del Mar
(Chile), CONAMA (Chile), Bogot (Colombia),
Quertaro (Mexico), City of Milan (Italy), Province
of Treviso (Italy), GTZ (Germany/Brazil), KATE
(Germany), and Stuttgart (Germany).
REUSO is conceived as an international project
within the Latin American network on the
management and prevention of contaminated land
and redevelopment of Brownfields, in which
partner cities of Latin America and Europe
implement sustainable development concepts for
the rehabilitation of inner urban areas, improving
sustainability. REUSO aims at a sustainable urban

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by reducing the demand for new

Brownfields and protecting and
soils and groundwater.

The knowledge-transfer offers an important

revitalization of Brownfields. However, it is
important to take into account that even within
Europe and Latin-America there are considerable
differences concerning legal, organizational and
conceptual aspects. This applies to both urban
planning and environmental protection.
For this reason, common international projects are
an effective way of interchanging successful
strategies and adapting them abroad, within a
framework of reciprocal support based on existing
networks. Clearly defined projects, with previously
stipulated measures and objectives, contribute
considerably to a fructuous interdisciplinary
cooperation. The realization of projects is an
adequate way to guarantee the necessary
adaptation of concepts to the specific legal and
organizational conditions in the partner cities.
In the European-Latin-American project REDESC,
the scientific transfer and the implementation of
measures, according to the specific case of each
partner, proved to be an important component for
the improvement of Brownfield revitalization.
Especially interesting are the concepts concerning
urban planning, environmental protection and
financing. Above all, international projects are an
efficient way of generating general consciousness
on the importance of cautiously handling limited
resources and on a sustainable development of
urban areas.

PROSIDE-Partner (2006). Promoting sustainable
inner urban development. ISBN 3937750-02-9. Download from
REDESC-Partner (2005). reas contaminadas
gestin y rehabilitacin urbana.
Download from REDESC-Homepage
Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart (2002). ISAS
Informationssystem Altlasten
Stuttgart. Download from