1st Edition

Sustainable Regeneration of Former Military Sites

Edited By Samer Bagaeen, Celia Clark Copyright 2016
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    Sustainable Regeneration of Former Military Sites is the first book to analyze a profound land use change happening all over the world: the search for sustainable futures for property formerly dedicated to national defense now becoming redundant, disposed of and redeveloped. The new military necessity for rapid flexible response requires quite different physical resources from the massive fixed positions of the Cold War, with huge tracts of land and buildings looking for new uses.

    The transition from military to civilian life for these complex, contaminated, isolated, heritage laden and often contested sites in locations ranging from urban to remote is far from easy. There is very little systematic analysis of what follows base closures, leaving communities, governments, developers, and planners experimenting with untested land use configurations, partnership structures, and financing strategies.

    With twelve case studies drawn from different countries, many written by those involved, Sustainable Regeneration of Former Military Sites enables the diverse stakeholders in these projects to discover unique opportunities for reuse and learn from others’ experiences of successful regeneration.

    1. Framing military brownfields as a catalyst for urban regeneration –Samer Bagaeen

    2. From Crown to commons? A UK perspective –Julian Dobson

    3. Democracy, military bases, and marshmallows –Connor Ryan

    4. Make art not war: Defence sites find new life as centres of creativity –Celia Clark

    5. A parable: The emergence of ruderal ‘communities’ on former military bases in the UK–Fen B. Kipley

    6. Communities old and new: Military brownfields and the Aldershot Urban Extension –Robert Adam

    7. Twelve miles, eighteen years, and worlds apart: The cases of the Philadelphia Navy Yard and the Frankford Arsenal –Christopher A. Preble

    8. Military sites conservation and regeneration in Taiwan –Yi-Jen Tseng

    9. Military brownfields in the Netherlands: The revitalizations of the New Dutch Waterline (1980-2014) –Gerdy A. Verschuure-Stuip

    10. The Regeneration of disused military airfields in China –Tang Yan and Yang Dong

    11. Redeveloping Naval Air Station Brunswick: From a navy base to a great new place! –Steven Levesque

    12. The Brooklyn Navy Yard revived: A defense conversion case study in the United States –Christopher A. Preble and Celia Clark

    13. Conclusion: Diversity in the transformation of defense sites to new civilian life –Celia Clark


    Samer Bagaeen (www.samerbagaeen.com) is a leading practitioner and educator based in the United Kingdom. He leads on town planning education at the University of Brighton and is Visiting Professor of Real Estate at the Institute of Urban Economy in Lima, Peru. He was invited in 2012 into eminent Fellowship of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and in 2013 was invited to join the Academy of Urbanism as an Academician. He recently co-edited Beyond Gated Communities (Routledge, 2015). His other research interests lie in the areas of real estate development and tourism and his publications in this field include ‘Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Qatar: Middle Eastern complexity and contradiction’ in G. Squires and E. Heurkens (eds) International Approaches to Real Estate Development (Routledge 2015); and ‘Tourism Development in Bahrain: Dealing with Change’ in M. Stephenson and A. al-Hamarneh (eds) International Tourism and the Gulf Cooperation Council States (Routledge 2016). Samer is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Trustee of two leading urban planning organisations in London, the Town and Country Planning Association and the Royal Town Planning Institute.

    Celia Clark (www.celiaclark.co.uk) has documented the transition of former defence sites to civilian uses in different parts of the world since the 1990s. She initiated a series of regional seminars and international conferences for planners and built environment professionals, academics, local governments and formerly defence dependent communities to share experience and good practice in these unusual land use transfers, with their myriads of stakeholders. She helped found the Naval Dockyards Society in 1997 (http://navaldockyards.org). She put together the bid to inscribe Portsmouth Harbour, the Isle of Wight and Spithead onto the World Heritage list. In 2000 the University of the West of England commissioned her report on differing futures for historic naval bases across Europe. At the University of Portsmouth she taught the history of architecture and building conservation to craftspeople. She was Education Officer of the Civic Trust from 1989 to 1991.

    The book makes clear to the reader why this publication is so important in the field of urban studies at international level. By putting together several study cases from all over the world, it is claimed that former military and defense sites are inserted in the identification of those strategic areas of intervention regarding the significant potential and criticality of urban and rural areas, that is the relationship between mobility and air pollution, the role of the historical centre, areas dedicated to education, including complex issues such as scenarios related to economic development, work policies, housing, social and cultural needs.

    Reviewed in the Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal by Camerin Federico, City planner and Fellow Researcher in Urban Planning, Department of Design and Planning in Complex Environments, IUAV University of Venice

    Bagaeen and Clark present a unique collection of state-of-the-art case studies on the regeneration and re-use of military brownfields. This book explores practices from around the world to provide rich and new insights into how to transform sites once used for military purposes into new, and often innovative civilian uses. It usefully provides insights in to how to do this, set within wider understandings of the processes that bring about the redundancy of defence lands.

    Gordon Dabinett, University of Sheffield

    This book offers fascinating insights into the challenges and opportunities involved in transforming redundant military sites into beneficial new uses. Rich comparative evidence from across the world ensures that the book will make an important contribution to the brownfield literature.

    David Adams, Ian Mactaggart Chair of Property and Urban Studies, University of Glasgow

    Opportunities to reuse former defense estate, arising from a local peace dividend or a geopolitical shift, are often eagerly grasped by the public and private sectors. Former airfields, old barrack sites, and even large naval bases have been brought back to life through local or national regeneration efforts. In that way, demand for housing or new employment may be met through successful redevelopment. This new volume by Bagaeen and Clark brings together a collection of reviews and case studies examining the sustainable regeneration of military brownfields, written by researchers and by practitioners. It shines a light on the contexts in which reuse happens and the challenges it faces, drawing out crucial lessons for future practice.

    Nick Gallent, Head of the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London

    As the geopolitical world and military strategies of nations change, so the physical remnants of defense are left behind. Military and defense sites are littered across countries, lying idle but serving as assets that can be drawn upon to contribute to ongoing development and infrastructure needs. This volume provides a very welcome contribution to the study and practise of military and defense base regeneration across the globe. Written by internationally renowned scholars, the book sets out some key challenges and opportunities that academics and practitioners can learn from.

    Mark Tewdwr-Jones, Newcastle University


    …the book is well structured and it is recommended to a wide range of readers and professional people involved in the process of bringing military sites back into civilian use.

    Camerin Federico, City planner and Fellow Researcher in Urban Planning, Department of Design and Planning in Complex Environments, IUAV University of Venice