Sunday, 11 March 2012

Greenfield vs Brownfield

Basically a cut down version of pg 165 of Edexcel IGCSE Geography textbook

Some people aren't happy that the countryside around towns and cities of HICs is being developed and lost.
Environmentalists believe that new developments should be done on brownfield sites opposed to greenfield sites.

Brownfield site: land that has been previously used, abandoned, and now awaits a new use
Greenfield site: land that has not been used for urban development

Brownfield site

  • reduces loss of countryside and land that could have agricultural/recreational use
  • revives old and disused urban areas
  • services already installed e.g. water, electricity, gas and sewerage
  • nearer to main areas of employment=reduces commuting
  • more expensive as old buildings must be cleared and land decontaminated (clear pollution)
  • often surrounded by rundown areas so is not appealing as residential location, especially to wealthy people
  • higher levels of pollution=less healthy
  • may not have good access to modern roads
Greenfield site
  • cheaper and rates of house building faster (no need to clear old buildings/pollution)
  • layout not hampered by previous development, can be made efficient + pleasant easily
  • healthier environment
  • valuable farm/recreational space lost
  • attractive scenery lost
  • loss of wildlife and their habitats
  • noise + light pollution due to development
  • encourages suburban sprawl

No clear winner between the two. All depends on:
  • what land use? Housing-quite flexible in terms of where it can be built, but shops/offices/industries need specific locations (e.g. close to main road so workers can access office easily)
  • circumstances of particular town/city. Green space-valuable? Reusing brown space-serious problems? High costs?
  • your own set of values. Should countryside be protected? Should it be released for urban growth? 


  1. very helpful!

  2. helped me out a lot had some geography homework

  3. Great for Geography homework!

  4. very helpful for my construction diploma

  5. Does anyone have an actual case study for each one. E.g a certain city or developement area?


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Note: This blog will no longer be updated as I finished IGCSEs in 2012. Sorry! :( If you are interested in buying IB notes though, please contact me. :)