from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A piece of industrial or commercial property that is abandoned or underused and often environmentally contaminated, especially one considered as a potential site for redevelopment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A site, to be used for housing or commerce, that has been previously used for industry and may be contaminated or need extensive clearing


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In future, residential gardens will no longer be classified as 'brownfield' - the same category as urban industrial wasteland.

    MoneyWeek RSS - All

  • Tesla is now especially interested in moving the planned facility to a "brownfield" - such as an old site for chipmaking in Silicon Valley or land left over from the aeronautics industry in Southern California - that can be rehabilitated and built upon instead, as the intends to finance construction (or at another site, retooling) of the facility favors projects on brownfields (two birds, one stone: environmental cleanup and cleantech development).

    GigaOM Network

  • The entire swath is a "brownfield" - contaminated, but available for redevelopment.

    The Clog

  • Other targeted tax credits marked for phaseout include ones for so-called brownfield redevelopments, battery manufacturers and other businesses.

    Michigan Wants to Cut Film-Industry Credits

  • When it comes to attracting auto plants, cities have a lousy batting average: in the last decade just one in 10 has been built on so-called brownfield urban sites.

    A Rare Win For A City

  • You read of -- a brownfield is a place almost always in a city where people used to make money and they left and it's now polluted and people can't afford to go in and make money there again.

    President Remarks At Moseley Braun Fundraiser

  • Nick Johnson, deputy chief executive of Urbansplash, one of the key players in the regeneration, calls the brownfield policies "very important". - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • The group, California Coaltion for a Worker's Memorial Day, asked that the electric car company take their time and carefully weigh the consequences of building on what is known as a brownfield, or "cleaned up" toxic site.

    Indybay newswire

  • On Wednesday the Con-Lib coalition will announce its intention to change planning law so that gardens are no longer classified as brownfield land that can be built on, in a move aimed at stopping "garden grabbing" by developers.

    Environment news, comment and analysis from the Guardian |

  • While seeking to free up the planning process, the Coalition has scrapped moves that allowed back gardens to be classified as brownfield sites and made it easier to build on them. - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph


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    When we think of digital, we rarely think of brownfields, those large organisations that predate the Internet. We usually think of Amazon, or Uber, or Netflix: companies with digital at their core, which grew to take advantage of it. That makes sense, in a way. As a rule, brownfields have over time accumulated established ways of doing things, and often a large and change-resistant bureaucracy.

    March 22, 2017

  • Indeed, I noticed that too.

    August 14, 2009

  • transitive use of sprawl!

    August 14, 2009

  • "There are thousands of brown-field sites in the inner city that could accommodate housing, but as long as they are sprawling the city that is never going to happen."

    - Greens MP Greg Barber, quoted in Jason Dowling, Suburbs to squeeze in more houses,, 14 August 2009.

    August 14, 2009

  • Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contaminations.

    In city planning, brownfield land (or simply a brownfield) is land previously used for industrial purposes or certain commercial uses that may be contaminated by low concentrations of hazardous waste or pollution and has the potential to be reused once it is cleaned up. Land that is more severely contaminated and has high concentrations of hazardous waste or pollution, such as a Superfund or hazardous waste site, does not fall under the brownfield classification.

    In the United Kingdom and Australia, the term applies merely to previously used land.


    February 26, 2008