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SUBR:IM (Sustainable Urban Brownfield Regeneration: Integrated Management) was a major research consortium funded by EPSRC under its Sustainable Urban Environments initiative. With initial funding of £1.8M, the 4 year research programme brought together 8 major research institutions to work on 11 projects linking science and social science disciplines in such fields as engineering, property and real estate, economics, and planning to help tackle brownfield research problems. The research also included key stakeholders from industry and national and local government.

CL:AIRE was involved in the dissemination of information relating to the activities and projects of SUBR:IM. More information on SUBR:IM in general is available from the web site

The aims of SUBR:IM were to produce integrated and sustainable solutions for the development of brownfield land in urban areas to promote better quality of life and economic growth for all UK citizens.

The objectives of the SUBR:IM project were to:

  1. Enhance the robustness of technical solutions and tools for the restoration of brownfield land and its infrastructure in urban areas;
  2. Increase the knowledge base of investors, developers, planning agencies, local authorities, the public, scientists and other stakeholders involved in brownfield development, to integrate their needs within a sustainable framework and seek to encourage investment;
  3. Establish best environmental practice in the development of brownfield land in urban areas, which will extend existing knowledge and set international benchmarks and sustainability indicators.

SUBR:IM focused on a portfolio of brownfield sites in two regions, Greater Manchester and the Thames Gateway. Both regions include some of the most deprived communities in the UK and have substantial brownfield problems.

SUBR:IM comprised the following work packages (lead institution in brackets):

  • Portfolio and project management (University of Sheffield).
  • The role of the UK development industry in brownfield regeneration (College of Estate Management).
  • Multi-level decision making processes, expertise and sustainable urban regeneration – (University of Sheffield).
  • Metrics for sustainable development of remediation projects (University of Surrey).
  • Robust sustainable technical solutions to contaminated brownfield sites (University of Cambridge).
  • Integrated urban remediation and greening (Forest Research).
  • Quality in land remediation and management (BRE).
  • Restoration of acid tar lagoons (Universities of Sheffield and Manchester ).
  • Impacts of climate change on pollutant linkages (University of Cambridge, Forest Research, BRE and University of Reading/College of Estate Management).
  • The governance of brownfield regeneration in the UK : Institutional investment, social inclusion and sustainability (Universities of Sheffield and Reading / College of Estate Management).
  • Novel special-purpose composts for the sustainable remediation of brownfield sites (Universities of Surrey and Cambridge/Forest Research).
  • Research steering group members are drawn from such organisations as Environment Agency, ICI, Office of Deputy Prime Minister, Ove Arup, RICS Foundation, British Property Federation, English Partnerships and Greater Manchester Geological Unit (University of Manchester)

The involvement of BRE, CL:AIRE and CIRIA will ensure that the research outputs will be widely disseminated.

SUBR:IM Publications

For further information visit the SUBR:IM website at


The SUBR:IM team have also published the book Sustainable Brownfield Regeneration: Liveable Places from Problem Spaces, Blackwell Publishing, September 2007.

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