Brownfields redevelopment generally involves conversion of idle, in-fill, urban land parcels into productive, land uses which contribute to the tax base and provide local employment. Alternatively, some communities have a pressing need to convert brownfields into green space, providing areas for recreational use, parks, and other non-commercial benefits to the community. The coastal town of Whitby in my home county of Yorkshire, UK, is currently wrestling with the choice to develop more affordable housing on vacant urban parcels, or maintain urban green space and develop housing on previously undeveloped open land.
The letter, published on the society's website, reads: "We understand that Scarborough Council is under external pressure to meet new homes targets and to generate new revenue; that there are few brownfield sites left in the town; and that a failure to find urban sites will mean further building on open land. "Nevertheless, we believe that we should protect existing green spaces in the town. Even before the pandemic it was widely recognised that green spaces generate important benefits for health and wellbeing, and provide a valuable habitat for insects and bird life; they also aid water absorption and help mitigate flooding.