Intermediate Community Use during Brownfield Remediation Phytoremediation’s Applicability Analysis in the Post-Industrial City of Malmö

University essay from SLU/Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)

Abstract: The general understanding of brownfield is a contaminated site often due to former industrial occupation. Brownfields are the environmental issue and redevelopment target in post-industrial cities, and the situation of Malmö, a former industrial city, is no exception. Phytoremediation, applying plants to remove contaminants from soil and water, is an environmentally friendly method compared to other remediation techniques considering the disturbance to soil biodiversity, which provides ecosystem services in a city. Phytoremediation’s application is limited to the sites with minor to moderate contamination and often requires an extended application time and careful management of plants, which are considered weaknesses, compared to one-time application remediation methods. However, taking these features as an advantage, intermediate use of brownfields of communities, contributing to creating identity in the area, during the treatment may be possible in the form of a park, community gardens as examples. This thesis investigates if phytoremediation is suitable for remediating brownfields with a temporal to permanent spatial use during the application in the post-industrial city of Malmö by understanding brownfields, their use, and remediation structure and methods by literature studies and reviews, case studies and GIS analysis. Phytoremediation of brownfields, where their state generates proactive attitudes of people in the post-industrial environment, exhibits an opportunity for understanding Swedish contaminated areas not only as contaminated lands. The landowner’s and municipality’s broader understanding of brownfields may support bottom-up initiatives that form identity through interaction with the site. Acknowledging brownfields’ state of vacancy without filling them with a fixed function and the phytoremediation method may change the situation and approach to brownfields with minor to moderate risks, often neglected due to the current remediation measure. The recognition of brownfields from ecological, spatial, sociological and economic standpoints may add a new layer of identity in revitalising the post-industrial city of Malmö.

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