Local Environment Management and Analysis


Research framework

The main source of funding for the CSI project is the Interreg IIIB North West Europe programme. Match funding is also being provided by: Yorkshire Forward (the Regional Development Agency for Yorkshire & the Humber), the UK Department for Communities and Local Government, the Walloon Region of Belgium, MGG and ILS NRW.

Project description

Landscape quality can foster economic conversion of city regions of industrial tradition. This idea was the starting point of the CSI (creating a setting for investment) project. The CSI project gathers operational organisations like economic development agencies and academic partners from three former industrial regions: Yorkshire and the Humber (United Kingdom), Walloon Region (Belgium) and Ruhr area (Germany). These regions are characterised by important derelict land inherited from the industrial period and located in urbanised environments. The CSI project aimed at demonstrating that landscape treatments of brownfield sites would attract new investments on them and on a broader scale, would accelerate the regeneration of the whole region, contributing to better quality of life and attractiveness to highly skilled workers. About twenty demonstration sites located in the three partner regions have therefore been subject to landscape improvements.

The CSI project includes an important research part, the main focus of which was directed towards measuring the impact of improved landscape on investors′ decisions and willingness to pay. This impact was considered at four hierarchical levels: the site, the setting, the local area and the region. The setting is understood as the area immediately surrounding and visible from a site. The local area is the one within which most heads of companies and their employees would be living and working, and the region is the higher scale at which the investment is first considered. The CSI research focused on location decisions of developers and occupiers of economic parks. Therefore, two main phases of economic parks′ lifecycle have been studied: site development and site commercialisation, with adapted research methodologies, both making extensive use of visuals. Finally, the CSI research investigated the role that landscape quality can play in increasing local community acceptance of brownfield site redevelopment into a new economic park. Part of the interest for community perception was directed to avoiding damaging controversies at the time of site regeneration, as well as negative reactions on the longer term (including vandalism or commercial boycott of the site). Therefore the issue was framed in a broad perspective addressing local communities perceptions and expectations regarding their local environment and its landscape quality, and especially communities′ views regarding «economic landscapes».

For more information : www.environment-investment.com

Main deliverable

The outcomes of the research are targeted at municipalities and town councils, development agencies, private developers, architects, urban planners and other practitioners influencing landscape quality. A short version of CSI guidelines is now available : «creating a setting for investment - Economic landscapes» (English version), «creating a setting for investment - Paysage et développement économique» (French version).

Coordinator of the project

South Yorkshire Forest Partnership / Sheffield City Council (UK)

Contact person for LEMA

Christine Ruelle - C.Ruelle[at]ulg.ac.be