The best urban rehab projects
August 3, 2009 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Seeking success stories of land decontamination and rehabilitation in urban areas.

I'm having a hard time with my search. I'm not familiar with this field.

In other words : Fairly recent examples of industrial urban wastelands that have been reclaimed and transformed into lively neighborhoods, parks, campuses, etc.

Examples from the US or Europe if possible.

Thank you !
posted by amusem to Society & Culture (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How large-scale are you thinking? Looking at post-WWII cleanups of munitions/bombs in places like Cologne or London might be worth checking out.
posted by mdonley at 1:15 PM on August 3, 2009

This was an Admiralty tip in the middle of the 20th century. Some pretty nasty Dockyard waste went in there... red lead, asbestos, that kind of thing. It was bad enough that they capped the entire site with a non-permeable membrane before building on it. I'm not sure how "lively" is is, though... it's a fairly quiet area, not much community there.
posted by Leon at 1:30 PM on August 3, 2009

Have you tried searching under "brownfields redevelopment"? That should get you some US examples. See here. Atlantic Station in Atlanta is another good example.
posted by hovizette at 1:33 PM on August 3, 2009

Browing the EPA Brownfields Success Page might be a good start. Brownfields are basically former industrial sites that may be contaminated with hazardous substances. The EPA offers grants and other funding to revitalize these sites. This page allows you to search Brownfield projects by area.
posted by tryniti at 1:35 PM on August 3, 2009

Admittedly, all I know about this is what I heard in her "This I Believe" essay, but Majora Carter mentions turning an illegal garbage dump in the South Bronx into a park.
posted by Meg_Murry at 1:35 PM on August 3, 2009

Emeryville, CA
posted by one_bean at 1:36 PM on August 3, 2009

Portland, OR's south waterfront.
posted by SpecialK at 1:50 PM on August 3, 2009

Seattle's infamous gasworks park is a reclaimed hazardous waste site.
posted by nomisxid at 2:04 PM on August 3, 2009

Baltimore has several brownfields sites. Also, Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach.
posted by electroboy at 2:48 PM on August 3, 2009

Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor
posted by lunalaguna at 2:59 PM on August 3, 2009

The Greenwich Peninsula in London
posted by rhymer at 3:50 PM on August 3, 2009

Berkeley Marina (used to be the municipal dump).
posted by small_ruminant at 4:11 PM on August 3, 2009

Chicago has a pretty successful brownfields program.
posted by gueneverey at 4:50 PM on August 3, 2009

would Hiroshima count?
posted by Redhush at 6:40 PM on August 3, 2009

City Farm in Perth, Western Australia, went from a junkyard to certified organic in about a decade (if i recall correctly).
posted by indienial at 1:38 AM on August 4, 2009

Thanks everyone ! Much inspiring reading ahead.
posted by amusem at 7:51 AM on August 5, 2009

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