SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (6): 886-897.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2019.06.003

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Review and Prospects on Urban Brownfield Research from a Geographical Perspective

Yang Song1,Xinjia Zhang1,Yang Lyu1,Shijun Wang1,Huiying Lin2   

  1. 1. School of Geographical Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, Jilin, China
    2. School of Art and Design, Changchun University of Technology, Changchun 130012, Jilin, China
  • Received:2018-07-20 Revised:2018-11-15 Online:2019-06-10 Published:2019-06-10
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41630749);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41301169);National Natural Science Foundation of China(51741801);National Social Science Fundation of China(17BJl051);Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universites(1709103)


The rapid urbanization and de-industrialization process has produced many under-utilized or abandoned industrial and commercial properties, commonly referred to as brownfield. A brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Urban brownfield sites have frequently appeared and become ‘cancers’ in China. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties could increase local tax bases, facilitate job growth, utilize existing infrastructure, take development pressures off from undeveloped open land, improve and protect the environment. Despite these advantages, brownfield reclamation faces significant obstacles due to high clean up costs, insufficient investment resources, uncertain timelines and liability associated with contaminated properties. The importance of sustainable brownfield regeneration has recently been heightened by factors. However, this is a complex and multifaceted issue, since many existing brownfield sites not only present environmental challenges, but also raise issues of environmental justice and social equity. Urban brownfield is also a major forefront scientific problem, a weak research field need to be strengthened, and one of the greatest challenges for municipal planners and developers. In view of the lack of the spatial perspective and the practical needs of new-type urbanization to renovate and protect in the old industrial bases of China, this paper defines the basic definition and intension of urban brownfield, draws and analyzes the atlas of research hotpots, keywords, major research subjects on brownfield, taking the 461 related literatures on ‘Web of Science’ and the 244 related literatures on ‘CNKI(China National Knowledge Infrastructure)’ from 2001 to 2017 as subjects by using CiteSpace. It is the hotspots and main contents of heavy metal, sustainability, brownfield redevelopment, management, remediation, urban brownfield, and landscape architecture on the research of brownfiled. We review the present research on the method of identification, GIS database, assessment system, reconstruction technology, landscape planning and design , mechanism and policies, typical cases of brownfield. Also, this paper provides a framework of multidisciplinary integration and prospects on urban brownfield from a geographical perspective. In the future, efforts need to be made to establish a unified conceptual framework, pay attention to the hotspots of brownfield research from a geographical perspective, mining methods of identifying brownfield, build a GIS database, construct a comprehensive assessment mode, further study the model and planning of brownfield reuse, take a case study of particular cities and particular brownfield sites .

Key words: urban brownfield, review, prospects, a geographical perspective

CLC Number: 

  • K901.8