Idle brownfields in urban settings are potential resources that could be put to productive use, meeting the goals of urban intensification, helping to curb urban sprawl on the periphery and benefiting communities living around sites. Various decision support tools exist in order to evaluate redevelopment scenarios. Spatial decision support systems have recently been developed to aid in evaluating the implications of the physical attributes of redevelopment scenarios, with a limited focus on the proximity of essential amenities to the local community. The application of proximity analysis in this context supports stakeholders in determining which social amenities are furthest from the local community and the extent to which including such amenities on-site would benefit the local community. A geographic information system based proximity analysis approach is presented specifically for this purpose. The distribution of walking distances for local households is compared to scenarios in which specific social amenities are included on-site. The approach is demonstrated using an abandoned brownfield case study in the Flemish region of Belgium. The local community would benefit most from having a doctor and pharmacy on-site in terms reduced walking distance. The inclusion of other amenities on-site such as employment, schools, green space, meeting places and shops also shortens walking distances for the local community but to a limited extent in comparison to a doctor and a pharmacy. ‘Walking distance’ is an indicator that is easily understood by stakeholders and the approach lays the foundation for more detailed analyses that would include frequency of visits.
- Human capital
- Social cohesion
- Sustainable urban development
- Urban intensification