Skip to main content

From Brownfield to Business

From Brownfield to Business: Regional effects of brownfield land

Funded by: The Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research & Charity
Time period: 2020-2022
Project members (organizations): KTH, HFI, Institute of Retail Economics
Project contact persons:

Oana Mihaescu
PhD. HFI, Institute of Retail Economics


In the European understanding, the concept of brownfield land refers to any previously developed land that is not currently in use, whether contaminated or not. For example, when large companies exit the market, the land on these sites is often left unutilized. The reasons can be various, but pollution at the site and the need for cleanup often play a major part. In other cases, demolition and reconstruction are not considered cost-effective by landowners. Many of these sites have nevertheless great potential for redevelopment and could become sustainable solutions to counteract urban sprawl; on the contrary, if left unutilized they might instead negatively impact the surrounding environment.

Purpose and research questions
Due to the high degree of structural change in the Swedish economy, several large plants have been closed in Sweden during the last four decades, and more closures are currently being planned. The purpose of this project is to determine:

  1. What is the extent of the brownfield land problem resulted from large plant closures in Sweden?
  2. How do exits of large plants that result in brownfield land impact the economy and the attractiveness of the area/region and the neighboring regions?
  3. What is the opportunity cost of not redeveloping brownfield land at the sites of these large plant exits?
  4. What factors impact the success of redevelopment plans for brownfield land in Sweden? 
Belongs to: Industrial Economics and Management
Last changed: May 12, 2021
Artificial Intelligence and industrial transformations
From Brownfield to Business