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PORTUS Port-City Relationship and Urban Waterfront Redevelopment

LAST UPDATE, November 23, 2020
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Restructuring urban-port waterfronts


This section will feature texts that focus on subject matter such as the following:
- Revitalising and transforming former port zones for urban use: devising and designing restructuring projects for waterfronts; types, criteria, models and their sustainability; the new urban-port landscapes that emerge from the redesignation of disused areas; the architecture and urban planning of waterfronts; the physical and functional liaising and organising of urban-port waterfronts in cities; the urban impact of regenerating obsolete port waterfronts.
- The management and administration of urban-port waterfronts: regulatory framework; models for promoting, enhancing and operating waterfronts; financial profitability and feasibility; public and private initiative and investment; the economic effects that redesignation has upon waterfronts. 



SMITH Harry Campbell, GARCIA FERRARI Maria Soledad, DAWSON Eric Scott


Approaches to waterfront regeneration within a common regulatory framework in Scotland: the experiences of Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh


Waterfront regeneration is a particular form of urban regeneration with specific features such as the relationship of these areas to port restructuring, the scale of these projects, the complexity of the regeneration process involving a variety of organisations, and the central and ‘edge’ condition of these areas. This research presents an initial analysis of three main cities in the Central Belt of Scotland – Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh – which have experienced a variety of processes in the regeneration of waterfront areas, although within a common regulatory, economic and political context. The research is presented as an opportunity to understand the waterfront development models that are emerging in Scotland and contributes to furthering comparative research in waterfront regeneration experiences. In particular, and given the common regulatory background for these case studies, in the longer term the research aims to add to the analysis of the role of power and policy networks around waterfront regeneration. The research builds on a Knowledge Exchange programme which sought to establish a learning network involving academia, public sector and private sector to explore the potential of waterfront regeneration to contribute to the socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development of Scotland, which has set the agenda for this ongoing research programme.



Waterfront regeneration; Place-making; Planning; New institutionalism; Scotland



SMITH Harry Campbell

Associate Professor/Reader, EGIS Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK



Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design, ESALA Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, 74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH39DF, UK


DAWSON Eric Scott

Design Advisor, Architecture and Design Scotland, 9 Bakehouse Close, 146 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DD, UK


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Beyond Best Practice. Re-valuing mindsets and models in harbour transformation


The research project ”Beyond Best Practice” takes aim at accepted value-systems and conventionally silo-ed working methods grounding two types of practice activity: professional practice and academic practice. It uses a study of planning and design mindsets structuring urban harbour transformation processes to raise methodological questions related to academic research and knowledge-production models. The authors claim “best practices”, typically applied, limit innovation and obscure site-specific values. They elaborate their position that urban transformation tasks demand a new form of relational practice by explicitly reflecting on their own transareal, team-based research activity. The paper outlines a framework of research operation: a process developed through collaborations, a method based in critical conversations, and a mindset deploying design thinking. The authors conclude by arguing the value of professional and academic practices that engage divergent points of view and acknowledge their own blind-spots.



Urban harbour transformation; Best practice; Design thinking; Critical conversation



Professor of Landscape Architecture, Swedish University of Agricultural, Sciences (SLU), Alnarp, Sweden


KAHN Andrea

Professor of Landscape Architecture, Swedish University of Agricultural, Sciences (SLU), Alnarp, Sweden



Senior lectured of Landscape Architecture, Swedish University of Agricultural, Sciences (SLU), Alnarp, Sweden


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