Transforming Urban Waterfronts: Fixity and Flow, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Transforming Urban Waterfronts

Fixity and Flow, 1st Edition

Edited by Gene Desfor, Jennefer Laidley, Quentin Stevens, Dirk Schubert


336 pages | 46 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415811453
pub: 2012-09-05
Hardback: 9780415874939
pub: 2010-09-09
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203841297
pub: 2010-10-04
from $24.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


In port cities around the world, waterfront development projects have been hailed both as spaces of promise and as crucial territorial wedges in twenty-first century competitive growth strategies. Frequently, these mega-projects have been intended to transform derelict docklands into communities of hope with sustainable urban economies—economies intended to both compete in and support globally-networked hierarchies of cities.

This collection engages with major theoretical debates and empirical findings on the ways waterfronts transform and have been transformed in port-cities in North and South America, Europe, the Caribbean. It is organized around the themes of fixities (built environments, institutional and regulatory structures, and cultural practices) and flows (information, labor, capital, energy, and knowledge), which are key categories for understanding processes of change. By focusing on these fixities and flows, the contributors to this volume develop new insights for understanding both historical and current cases of change on urban waterfronts, those special areas of cities where land and water meet. As such, it will be a valuable resource for teaching faculty, students, and any audience interested in a broad scope of issues within the field of urban studies.


"It is the broad scope of this text that is most appealing. It avoids any over simplification as it establishes the foundation for a comprehensive theory of urban waterfront development. While it makes no claim to offer such a theory, this text is a must read for anyone interested in moving beyond the platitudes of any single disciplinary perspective on waterfront change."

-Robert G. Shibley, Professor of Architecture and Planning, and Director, The Urban Design Project, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

"Going beyond a ‘successful story’, typology of waterfront visions, and how to make and remake ‘charming’ urban waterfront, this book gives critical and reflective perspectives on urban waterfront change by looking at it as a dynamic process of ‘Fixity’ and ‘Flow’ across space and time. Based on empirical findings from international experience, the book covers various issues on history, economic, politics, culture and biophysical, with full of tensions and contradictions."

-Kasama Polakit, Florida Atlantic University

"The book is very recommendable for its variety of new disciplinary approaches and for the widening of perspectives on problems and issues of waterfront transformations."

-Hans Harms, HafenCity University, Hamburg, in Planning Perspectives, vol 27, no 1, p. 149-151

Table of Contents

Introduction: Fixity and Flow of Urban Waterfront Change Gene Desfor and Jennefer Laidley Section I: The Waterfront and the City 1. Maritime Ports and the Politics of Reconnection Peter V. Hall and Anthony Clark 2. Fragmentation on the Waterfront: Coastal Squatting Settlements and Urban Renewal Projects in the Caribbean Mélanie Gidel 3. Dockland Regeneration, Community, and Social Organization in Dublin Astrid Wonneberger 4. Waterfront Revitalizations: From a Local to a Regional Perspective in London, Barcelona, Rotterdam, and Hamburg Dirk Schubert Section II: Global and Local Dynamics on the Waterfront 5. Urban Waterfront Transformation as a Politics of Mobility: Lessons from Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct Debate Kevin Ramsey 6. London Docklands Revisited: The Dynamics of Waterfront Development Sue Brownill 7. San Francisco’s Waterfront in the Age of Neoliberal Urbanism Jasper Rubin 8. New York City’s Waterfronts as Strategic Sites for Analyzing Neoliberalism and its Contestations Susanna Schaller and Johannes Novy Section III: Naturalizing Development and Developing Nature 9. Deep Water and Good Land: Socio-Nature and Toronto’s Changing Industrial Waterfront Gene Desfor 10. Visibility and Contamination on the Buenos Aires Waterfront: Under the Bridges of Puerto Madero and La Boca Stephanie C. Kane Section IV: New Practices of Property-Led Development 11. The German ‘City Beach’ as a New Approach to Waterfront Development Quentin Stevens 12. Exploring Innovative Instruments for Socially Sustainable Waterfront Regeneration in Antwerp and Rotterdam Tuna Taşan-Kok and Yesim Sungu-Eryilmaz 13. Flows of Capital and Fixity of Bricks in the Built Environment of Boston: Property-Led Development in Urban Planning? Susanne Heeg. Conclusion: Patterns of Persistence: Trajectories of Change Quentin Stevens

About the Editors

Gene Desfor is Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar at York University.

Jennefer Laidley has been Project Manager for four years on the ‘Changing Urban Waterfronts’ research project, and has published articles on waterfront development in the academic journal Cities as well as in the periodicals Relay and Fuse.

Quentin Stevens is Senior Lecturer in Planning and Urban Design at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London.

Dirk Schubert is Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning, Comparative Planning History, Housing and Urban Renewal at the HafenCity University.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Geography

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban