In China, land contamination has become a serious problem in both rural and urban areas, due primarily to poor industrial planning and inadequate pollution management dating back to industrialization and modernization process that started in the 1950s. This legacy of land contamination of industrial and commercial areas now presents a serious environmental and developmental problem for sustainable development. Rapid urbanization in recent years has resulted in the need to redevelop industrial land once occupied, and contaminated by old industries. Many old and polluting industries are being relocated away from urban centers due to this rapid urban growth in China. As a result, an alarmingly large number of Brownfield sites are emerging throughout China that pose significant risks to human health and safety, the environment, and economic development and prosperity.
The most straightforward solution to the Brownfield problem is site remediation. If managed well, Brownfield sites can be an opportunity for urban renewal and development. Conversely, if Brownfields are untouched due to legal concerns or lack of financial resources, or not properly remediated, they can present a serious threat to public health and the environment and become a barrier to local economic development.
Fortunately, developing countries like China do not need to re-invent the wheel. Developed countries, such as the U.S.A., Canada, and those of the European Union, have accumulated experience through many years of tackling Brownfield problems and have developed comprehensive and proven frameworks for Brownfield site remediation and management.