2017 Working Group: Transitions in Urban Waterfront Operations and Development

Transitions in Urban Waterfront Operations and Development
Ken Yocom, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington-Seattle
Anne Taufen Wessells, Associate Professor of Urban Studies, University of Washington-Tacoma 
Nicole Faghin, Coastal Management Specialist, Washington Sea Grant

Urban waterfronts are a dynamic edge in any city, places where people, goods, services, and economy meet. For many port cities, these sites support local and regional economies while further operating as economic and cultural gateways to the world. Yet, they are also locations of tension and complex geopolitical entanglements; highly sought after and desired by a wide range of urban constituent groups with often dissimilar and contradictory objectives. As we advance into the 21st century, the role of the waterfront in cities is evolving from historically typical uses of industry, manufacturing, and industry to locations of urban renewal and regeneration. This working group examined the short and long term implications of urban waterfront redevelopment across the Pacific Rim with particular focus on investigating the complex relationships between issues of equity, economics, and environment for building resilience in urban social-ecological systems.