How digital eagle eyes find brownfields

Detecting unused industrial and commercial sites using geodata and aerial and satellite images

Abandoned warehouses, empty industrial facilities, unused commercial properties – in Germany, there are many of these brownfield sites, which are often difficult to research. At the same time, there are many expanding businesses that are looking for industrial and commercial sites. In the ARGOS project (Reconnaissance of Reactivatable Brownfield Sites Using Optical-Based Systems), researchers at our Center for Applied Research on Supply Chain Services are training AI to identify such sites. Brownfield sites have a lot of advantages: As well as being connected to supply networks, they are often in a central location with good infrastructure links and are accessible by truck.


Detecting unused sites with AI

AI can be trained to recognize reactivatable brownfield sites using geodata and aerial and satellite images. This reveals the existence of potential industrial and commercial sites and enables new real estate projects, which is beneficial not only for commercial reasons, but also from a sustainability standpoint. After all, no new land has to be paved over and perma-nently sealed for new developments and company expansions. A preliminary study has already demonstrated the project’s feasibility Germany-wide.