Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Waterfront Revitalization

By Zenia Kotval and John Mullin.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Harbour communities on both sides of the Atlantic are undergoing dramatic change. These changes are being brought about as a result of trade agreements, environmental factors, marketing trends and consumer preferences, among other factors. At the same time, these ports are fragile. They are old, full of history and culture, have dated infrastructure systems and must struggle to meet new transport and production technologies. The thesis of this paper is that harbour communities must have a strong, planned sense of direction if they are to remain economically and culturally important. This direction must be guided by a long-term comprehensive plan which addresses how water-dependent, water-related and other activities can be functionally and aesthetically integrated. It must also relate to the question of how harbours are controlled and planned. This transatlantic study evaluates ports and waterfront revitalisation with a particular emphasis on long-term economic and cultural sustainability. It identifies connections and tensions in port–city relationships, differences in government responses between North America and Europe, key factors that are important in the revitalisation of these important, yet fragile, places. These factors include aspects of land use — compatibility and sustainability; marketing and promotion; regulatory environment — physical and environmental conditions, and notions of trade and international competition.

Keywords: Waterfronts, Revitalisation, Port Development, Downtowns, Partnerships

The International Journal of Social Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context, Volume 10, Issue 3-4, July 2015, pp.19-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 587.839KB).

Dr. Zenia Kotval

Professor, School of Planning Design and Construction, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

Prof. John Mullin

Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA