Prof Frederic Coulon delivering a keynote at the international CleanUp Conference series
Professor Coulon delivering a keynote at the International CleanUp Conference series
Cranfield University is taking a leading role in a China-UK partnership on contaminated land management, working with academic and industrial partners in both countries to deliver environmental and economic benefits to this rapidly advancing superpower.

Frederic Coulon, Professor of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology for the Cranfield Water Science Institute, is coordinating the partnership, and has recently been out to Guangzhou to visit partners, and Beijing to deliver a keynote talk at the international CleanUp conference series.

Cranfield is committed to supporting businesses and governments to deliver a greener economy and environment. With world-class academic experts, many of whom have distinguished careers in industry and government, Cranfield is a trusted partner, helping to tackle the challenges environmental, resource and energy challenges that exist today.

China UK Partnership for Contaminated Land Management

China’s rapid expansion and progress in recent decades has brought many benefits to the people, however the rate of industrialisation means that many older industrial facilities are being relocated or closed, leaving behind contaminated land that can have significant environmental and social impacts.

Working collaboratively thorough this partnership, which is part funded by the UK government Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Cranfield is taking a leading role in tackling the issue of contaminated land on former industrial, mining and agricultural sites. Cranfield’s role is pivotal as it has considerable expertise in the areas of environmental pollution, land management and soil remediation.

The partnership has six key aims:
  1. Informing China’s policy framing on contaminated land management;
  2. Establishing UK-Sino demonstration centres to create business opportunities between UK and China;
  3. Engaging public and professional audience in China and UK for joint scientific research and development, policy, and technology;
  4. Developing guidance and strategies for renewable energy application and wider project services such as among others, carbon management, biomass, biochar application and bioenergy recovery;
  5. Developing decision support tools that map the key factors and services that need to be taken into account for integrating sustainable remediation within urban planning and public realm design;
  6. Training to raise awareness and ensure long term impacts.
This partnership, which brings together expertise from a range of partners in the UK and China, highlights the importance of internal collaboration and knowledge sharing if progress is to be made on tackling the major environmental issues of the day. Cranfield has a number of strong links with China, and is committed to working with the superpower as it strives to meet its admirable (albeit challenging) commitments to tackling climate change and improving the health and wellbeing of its citizens.

For more information about Cranfield’s Sino-UK partnership on tackling contaminated land management issues, visit

International CleanUp Conference

In addition, Coulon also attended The 1st Brownfield Contamination Environmental Remediation Conference in China, Beijing, part of the international CleanUp Conference series. Delivering a keynote talk, titled ‘The value-of soft re-use of brownfields land and low (carbon) input remediation – tools for China’, Coulon discussed how often brownfields re-use is considered in the context of hard re-uses (such as for housing, business parks or infrastructure), rather than soft end uses (green space or biomass production).

Soft end uses can provide services which enhance regeneration, both in their own right and when integrated with hard uses such as for buildings.  These services can include;
  • Provision of open space in urban areas in and around new development areas, which brings benefits for well-being, health, leisure and sense of place;
  • Providing green infrastructure and services related to mitigation of heat island effects, mitigation of urban air pollution and encouraging habitat and wildlife;
  • Supporting the renaissance of and innovations in urban gardening, community gardens and urban farming;
  • Supply of renewable energy and other environmental services (such as sustainable urban drainage).
Some services may generate revenue in their own right, some may be important assets to support public investment in regeneration, and some may have direct or indirect impacts on the value of built redevelopment (for example providing a framing which enhances property values, or providing local energy supply or other environmental services). Regeneration / redevelopment projects that deliver a broad range of services have both improved overall sustainability and enhanced economic value.

For more information about the CleanUp Conference in China, visit