Brownfields offer cultural opportunities. This was not the only thing participants learned from the conference and real estate tours

20. 10. 2021

Buildings that fall into disrepair and are not used usually end in demolition or disintegration and people see no potential in them. In the Moravian-Silesian Region, brownfields are being worked on intensively and opportunities are being sought to revitalize these buildings. The regional company Moravian-Silesian Investment and Development (MSID) deals with this issue. The company's task is to help municipalities with brownfields and present them good examples from the revitalization of such buildings, for instace by organizing professional events and conferences.     

On Thursday, September 14, the 14th conference Brownfieldy jako příležitost (Brownfields as an opportunity) took place in Ostrava. The event was open for companies, municipalities and the professional public who have extensive experience with this topic or who are only looking for inspiration and contacts for working on and developing brownfields.  

The first part of the conference presented information about brownfields in the Moravian-Silesian Region, their progress and news from the transformative program POHO2030. The mayor of Oldřišov also gave examples of the regeneration of two brownfields in the village of Oldřišov. The end of the first block of presentations was dedicated to the student winning final theses focused on the field of regional development and the evaluation of the twenty years of work of the Institute for Sustainable Settlement Development with the focus on brownfields.

The second block of presentations focused on two of the largest brownfields in Ostrava. The regeneration of the agglomeration in Ostrava – Vítkovice, which is being gradually implemented by P3 Logistic Parks, was introduced. This presentation was followed by the company CONTERA, which is responsible for the revitalization of the social brownfield in Ostrava - Hrušov, as well as many others.   

The conference was concluded with a presentation about the current grant opportunities for brownfields and an inspiring presentation about the regeneration of Gerlich's textile factory in Odry.

The following day, the participants saw the brownfields. The first visited brownfield was a cowshed under construction, which is only at the beginning of its regeneration. In the future, it will be replaced by a rescue station for dogs. The second site visited was the former excursion area Areál skalních sklepů, which the city partially repaired and uses for cultural events. This was followed by a tour of the Flaschar mine where slate was mined.  

Another location was the former city prison Katovna that was renoved by brothers Emil and Zdenek Mateiciuc. At present, there is a museum, but public discussions with citizens, for instance, also take place in the building. The last site visited was Gerlich's textile factory in Odry that was also saved by the Mateiciuc brothers. From the beginning, all repairs to the building were aimed at preserving everything original. In 2018, the brothers submitted a proposal for the protection of the factory. The proposal was approved and today the building is a cultural monument. At the moment, the whole area is used by the company MATEICIUC.

Lenka Zdařilová, MSID brownfield specialist, comments on the event: "I am very pleased that the issue of brownfields in the Moravian-Silesian Region is being intensively addressed and we, on behalf of MSID, can be helpful in their development. Thanks to this, there are several revived brownfields in the region. I am very glad that we presented good practical examples again at this year's conference and confirmed the potential of brownfields and the opportunity they offer.”