Urban Forum

pp 1–19 | Cite as

Success Factors for Urban Brownfield Developments in Johannesburg, South Africa

  • Johan Goosen
  • Anne FitchettEmail author


Redevelopment of urban brownfields sites is important as a means of limiting urban sprawl, making more efficient use of infrastructure, and preventing urban decay. Uncertainty on risks and responsibilities for remediation are often cited as reasons for these sites lying fallow; however, there is a scarcity of literature on brownfields in southern Africa. Using global literature, nine factors are identified as the main determining features of successful redevelopment. Documentary sources allow for an evaluation of three sites in Johannesburg, namely Newtown, Egoli Gas, and Modderfontien. These case studies are then compared to the global literature to determine whether the same factors apply. The main findings of this study are that a high level of contamination, uncertainty on liability for clean-up, poor market conditions at the time of redevelopment, lack of alignment of public and private sector values and uncertainty about funding contribute to a lack of success in the redevelopment of brownfield sites in Johannesburg.


Brownfield redevelopment Contamination Clean-up liability Market conditions Johannesburg 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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