River Waterfronts - Urban Celebrations
by    Brandeis, Amos | amos-br@inter.net.il   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Successful river waterfronts champion urban development, economic growth, and contribute to a liveable and sustainable city. Conclusions on how this can be done are drawn from International Riverprize winning projects and other restored urban rivers.
Many cities around the world were built along rivers. In the past rivers had a vital role, mainly for transportation and as a source of water. During the 20th century many of these rivers have been polluted, deteriorated, and they lost their significant roles. The rivers became a nuisance to the urban environment. In recent years, major efforts of river restoration have brought many rivers back to life. These rivers, flowing usually through both historic and new parts of cities, have the potential to be a major asset to the urban and economic development and to contribute to livable and sustainable cities in an urbanising world. Some of the successful restored rivers champion a significant contribution to the urban character and quality of life, and they demonstrate an urban celebration. Rivers around the world differ, therefore there are no prescriptions of how to plan an urban riverfront. Most successful case studies represent good planning, sense of place, deep understanding of the culture and the people, the scale, the uses, with the vernacular uniqueness. In many urban waterfronts we analyze the delicate balance between: new development and existing urban structures; historic values and contemporary architecture; new and existing urban patterns; open spaces and built up areas; public and private spaces; public and private initiatives; and more. Rivers like the Themes and Mersey in England, Danube in Europe, Brisbane River in Australia, Yarqon and Alexander Rivers in Israel, are just few examples of urban rivers which we can learn from, some of them winners of the International Riverprize awarded annually in Australia by the International Riverfoundation. The large scale development along the Han river in Wuhan, together with the main theme of the 47th Isocarp 2011 congress in China, makes these issues particularly relevant for this conference.
Urban Waterfronts, River Restoration, International Riverfoundation, Urban Celebration
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