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March 24, 2011

Better Policies through Interregional Cooperation

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Cultural heritage and landscapes The whole European territory possesses a wide range of cultural assets and landscapes, which are increasingly threatened with destruction and decay due to natural and human factors. The utilisation of brownfields as well as contaminated and abandoned lands is an increasingly important element of sustainable spatial development, helping to reduce the effects of city expansion. Altogether 12 partners from the Information Point North area deal with the protection, preservation, management and enhancement of cultural heritage and landscapes.
As cities become more congested and green space and landscapes disappear, innovative policies dealing with urban regeneration are increasingly important. Building on brownfield land is essential for sustainable regional development. The B-TEAM project promotes sustainable brownfield regeneration. Brownfield redevelopment has become an important policy theme as governments implement new programmes to redevelop abandoned land where redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived contamination.

Converting brownfields in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Vilnius city started the conversion of brownfield land in 2005. Several large regeneration projects were implemented, such as the redevelopment of former factories in the central part of Vilnius city. The main problem was that many former industrial units are situated in nature protection areas. One of the top priorities of the Vilnius Master Plan until 2015 is to promote industry reorganisation and encourage the development of new technologies. A common policy approach and the prioritisation of brownfield regeneration are still missing in Vilnius.
Therefore, the municipality is keen to learn how other partners tackle brownfield regeneration. As land mostly belongs to private developers, it is especially important to strengthen the city’s position by introducing a strong policy framework for decision-making. With the support of B-Team and sustainable brownfield regeneration policies, the city will be able to protect and rationally exploit valuable elements of its landscape, to enhance the elements characteristic to Vilnius City and its surroundings, and to form a unique image of the city.

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