Older industrial- and harbor areas are undergoing dramatic transformations these years due to several alterations in some basic structures in society; e.g. globalization resulting in movingout of manpower intensive production to low pay regions, changes in the structure of transports resulting in more land-based freight and less shipping, amalgamation of industries and re-location due to new localization parameters. As the case may be, these structural alterations bring about more or less abandoned and worn-down areas. Typically, the areas are located centrally in the towns. With that, they hold a substantial need for redevelopment and revitalization from an urban planning and management point of view as well as a considerable development potential, as the areas generally offer an attractive possibility for building new housing, offices and other white-collar workplaces. However, redevelopment of these older business areas faces great challenges; especially compared to urban (re)development in general. The property structure and ownerships are often complex and need re-composition to meet new land uses, the soil may be polluted from former activities implying large clearing costs, the areas may have a low accessibility due to their localization between other built-up areas, etc. Besides these challenges, a particular challenge arise from the fact that the areas perhaps not are totally abandoned but still hold vigorous enterprises. Often the enterprises in question are old firms with a viable industrial production and no interest in moving out of the area. In such cases potential environmental conflicts can be foreseen between the ongoing enterprises and new sensitive land uses on adjacent sites. The obvious problem is how to secure proper environmental conditions for the new users and at the same time protect the existing firms and their economy. The problem can pose a decisive barrier to the redevelopment of partly abandoned and worn-down urban areas – putting off an urgent revitalization to an indefinite future. The paper analyzes the problem through several cases. Furthermore, it describes the 2003 amendment to the Danish Planning Act which was just aimed at a solution to this problem. Finally, the paper in broad outline evaluates to what extent the amendment has eliminated this barrier to urban regeneration.
Shaping the Change: Xxiii International Fig Congress : Proceedings, 2006