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Brownfield Remediation and Redevelopment in China


Chinese Version- 中文 



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Poor industrial planning and inadequate pollution management in the past have made land contamination a serious problem in China. Rapid urbanization in recent years has resulted in the need to redevelop industrial land once occupied—and contaminated—by old industries, which has resulted in several high-profile pollution-related incidents that have increased environmental concerns over land reuse and which have helped bring the issue of brownfield remediation and redevelopment to the forefront.

Both the central government and city governments in China have begun to take action to control land contamination; emphasizing the remediation of polluted lands for the purpose of urban development.  However, the country is lacking experience, ranging from institutional, financing, to technical aspects, in effectively dealing with brownfield problems.  Brownfield remediation and redevelopment has been included in the government priority list for World Bank assistance in 2009.

In response to this request, the World Bank launched in early 2010 a program which aims to help China and the World Bank understand the current situation and dimensions of addressing brownfield problems and identify the opportunities for future collaboration in brownfield remediation and reuse.


Objectives of the Program

The specific objectives of this program are to:

  • analyze and assess current regulatory and institutional framework for brownfield management in China;
  • raise the awareness of Chinese decision makers about the importance of brownfield remediation and reuse at both national and local levels in China; and 
  • lay the groundwork for the Bank to effectively assist Chinese clients in addressing brownfield issues, especially in identifying and preparing projects for Bank financing

Main Activities


Given the scale, urgency and important commercial potential of contaminated industrial land for urban redevelopment in China, the program will focus on contaminated industrial land within or near urban built-up areas in China. It includes the following activities:

  • Situation analysis of brownfield issues in China;
  • Review and introduction of international experience, especially the lessons learned and successful experience in developed countries in North America and Europe;
  • Institutional assessment of the responsible national regulatory agencies and applicable regulations and policy instruments in China and stakeholder analysis at the national and local levels;
  • Knowledge dissemination and the organization of a national workshops and a study tour to raise the awareness of Chinese officials and practitioners; and
  • Identification and development of investment projects for World Bank technical and financing assistance.

The outputs of the task include the following: 

  • Two World Bank reports on Chinese situation and international experience in brownfield management.
  • A National Workshop organized jointly by NDRC and World Bank in Zhuzhou City on September 10, 2010 to share knowledge and raise awareness of brownfield management. 
  • A Study tour organized for a Chinese delegation in Canada and U.S.A. on December 12-21, 2010.  For the final program and presentation files, please click here
  • Preparation of a few investment proposals for the consideration of the Chinese government for future financing. (on going).


Contact Information:

Jian XIE, Ph.D.
Sustainable Development Department
East Asia and Pacific Region
The World Bank
1818 H. Street N.W
Washington, D.C. 20433, USA



Internal Experience in Policy and Regulatory Frameworks for Brownfield Site Management
 Chinese 中文 
Overview of the Current Situation on Brownfield Remediation and Redevelopment in China
 Chinese 中文 

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