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New life for old industrial sites on the internet

CzechInvest launches online database of brownfields at www.brownfieldy.org.

03.01.2008

Attracting new investments to abandoned industrial sites is the goal of the National Brownfield Regeneration Strategy, which includes the National Database of Brownfields that CzechInvest launched at the beginning of the year at www.brownfieldy.org. The listing of sites contains detailed information, including photographs, of selected locations and will be gradually expanded and updated. “This is the first time that a comprehensive, specialised database of old industrial sites has been made freely available to investors on the internet,” says Michal Koryčánek, Deputy CEO of CzechInvest.*

Abandoned industrial sites have tremendous value. “Most of them have complete infrastructure and are located in interesting areas. In addition, financing for their revitalization can be obtained from European funds. Until now, there has not been a complete overview containing precise information which is important for their renewed utilisation. With this database, together with the National Strategy, we want to offer investors alternatives that are often more advantageous than locating investments on greenfields,” adds Koryčánek.

The database is derived from information obtained through the Research Study of Brownfields that CzechInvest conducted over nearly two years in cooperation with all regions of the Czech Republic (with the exception of Prague). This study identified a total of 2,355 sites covering a total area of 10,326 hectares. The database at www.brownfieldy.cz will gradually be supplemented depending on the extent to which individual property owners give consent to publishing data about the sites.

“The idea behind supporting brownfield regeneration is to increase the attractiveness and value of these locations to the level where they can compete directly with construction on greenfields,” says Michal Koryčánek. “Brownfields are one of CzechInvest’s top priorities and therefore the database is part of the National Brownfield Regeneration Strategy, which CzechInvest is submitting to the government via the Ministry of Industry and Trade.”

Using the database, investors can search for brownfields by type of property (building, land, entire complex) or by the sites’ former uses. They will then receive extensive information about selected sites, including ownership relations, a detailed description of the property’s condition, information on possible ecological burdens and the given sites’ technical infrastructure.

* Michal Koryčánek is the acting Deputy CEO