At the end of September, a delegation from the Polish region of Silesia was invited to Wallonia. The visit, organised as part of the Wallonia-Brussels International (WBI) – Poland cooperation programme for the rehabilitation of brownfields, was an opportunity for SPAQuE to host a seminar in its premises on the development of brownfield sites and contaminated land.
For the second consecutive year, as part of the 2014-2016 programme, representatives of municipalities and public institutions in Silesia, Poland, were invited to Wallonia. The purpose of the trade mission, coordinated by Wallonia-Brussels International (WBI), IGRETEC and SPAQuE, was to exchange and transfer technical and methodological expertise in brownfield rehabilitation.
As part of this mission, a seminar on the development of brownfield sites and contaminated land was organised at SPAQuE. Active in the field of brownfield rehabilitation, the companies Aenergyes, Ecorem, Solaz, SITA Remediation, De Cloedt as well as the intercommunal body IGRETEC and SPAQuE were given an opportunity to share their knowledge with their guests. The day ended with a networking session, during which the members of the Polish delegation and around thirty participants were able to meet and exchange their experiences.
During their visit, the Polish representatives visited the Ecopôle in Farciennes, a vast enterprise park developed by the intercommunal body IGRETEC. A presentation on the conversion of power plants and a visit to a former plant also featured on the programme. Finally, the trade mission ended with the visit to the Terre et Pierre research centre in Tournai.
Various cooperation opportunities
The partnership between Wallonia and Silesia came about in 2012, triggered by a potential collaboration on the rehabilitation of former industrial sites in the region of Katowice in southern Poland.
SPAQuE and IGRETEC, in turn, had travelled to Poland. This visit was instrumental in identifying a number of possible cooperation opportunities, including the management of Silesian slag heaps, industrial waste management, land development after rehabilitation, the funding of projects to rehabilitate and develop contaminated land, the INTERREG/URBACT projects and the European research and development project Horizon 2020. The Polish representatives had also expressed a particular interest in the historical study of a brownfield as developed by SPAQuE.