Waterfronts : spatial composition and cultural use
During the 1950s and 1960s, the change in economic conditions and new transportation technologies resulted in the abandonment of large tracks of urban industrial waterfronts. In the last two decades, these derelict and underutilised urban waterfronts have come to be seen as an important cultural public domain reflecting a 'cultural turn' in post-modern and post-industrial society. There is, however, a lack of research into the spatial and functional composition of these waterfronts for cultural uses and activities. In addition, there is a lack of studies on the design of cultural waterfronts that highlight the different spatiality of these waterfronts compared to inland areas. This study looks at the various design approaches that generate opportunities for cultural uses and activities at the post-industrial waterfront. A combination of an in-depth literature review on past and present waterfront redevelopments around the world, and an in-depth study of the Baltimore Inner Harbour cultural waterfront were undertaken. The case study applied a multi dimensional approach consisting of five individual methods - historical, morphological, observation, a questionnaire and an interview analysis. These methods collected different layers of data through which a picture of the use and value of Baltimore Inner Harbour as a cultural space was gradually built up. The study uncovered seven theoretical themes to be considered in the design of a successful cultural waterfront, each of which is examined through empirical evidence from the research findings: 1) the notion of a cultural waterfront 2) the image of the cultural waterfront 3) design process for cultural waterfronts 4) five realms of waterfronts 5) designing the 'waterscape environment' 6) characteristics of the five components that make cultural waterfronts and 7) the concept of 'waterfront attraction' in designing waterfront space.