Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Waterfront Center Advisory Board Member Bonnie Harken makes the case in the August/September issue of Planning magazine that urban waterfronts are where the challenges posed by climate change should be tackled. Writing in the "Viewpoint" column, Harken notes coastal cities face rising sea levels. Already there is wetland loss, shore erosion and saltwater intrusion, among other issues. She makes the sensible case that urban planners can lead the way in synthesizing the different scales involved and the multiple disciplines that will have to be employed.
Planning, August/September 2009
Kids and Prairie Plants
The managers of the North Point Marina in Wintrhop Harbor, Ill., took time out from getting ready for the summer boating season to work with students on an Earth Day project. Students from nearby Waukegan planted a natural prairie garden, part of an effort by the state to get school kids involved in environmental projects. The state-owned marina is a component of a state park. The sixth graders transformed a mud pile into a beautiful garden and planned to visit this summer to see how it was faring. The marina managers took the occasion to talk about the importance of protecting the waters of Lake Michigan.
Marina Dock Age, July/August 2009
The pattern for North New Jersey waterfront redevelopment has been to have first-floor retail under residential towers. With the recession and lower retail sales across the country, this approach faces a challenge. Developers report, however, some sucesses in landing tenants, more than they had hoped. Toll Brothers is opening a second tower of a Maxwell Place complex in Hoboken with 367 units and has successed in filling three quarters of 35,000 square feet of ground floor space, while still looking for a restaurant, as one example. All are providers of services rather than goods, like banking, child-care, hair salon and massage service. Port Imperials, all two miles of Weehawken waterfront, plans an 80,000 square foot retail promenade spread among three apartment buildings. It is 80 percent leased. Who said there was a recession?
The New York Times
Hamilton Thinks Big
Hamilton, Ont., Canada is upgrading its wastewater treatment facility to the tune of $550 million. To take five to seven years, the "bioreactor" installation will be three times as big as any such facility in the world. It will contribute to a cleaner Lake Ontario harbor. CH2M Hill, with AECOM, is the project designer.
Engineering News Record, Aug. 10, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Sasaki Associates
• "The River Common" Dedicated in Wilkes-Barre. A handsome public park and garden now line the downtown portion of the Susquehanna River where continuous flood walls would have been erected. During a Waterfront Center community planning workshop in Wilkes-Barre in 1999, townspeople became aware that in Augusta, Ga., the Army Corps of Engineers allowed a flood gate in that city's flood wall. The gate, kept open except during floods, allowed citizens access to the river, where a handsome public park was built. This inspired the Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority to seek a similar approach. Two 60-foot gateways were established, with a levee wall walkway bridging each. The park was dedicated in June 19, 2009, part of the Wyoming Valley Levee Raising Project.
The Times Leader, June 20, 2009.
• Miami River/Working Waterfront Dispute. A classic clash of values along the
www.miamitodaynews.com, July 22, 2009
This is also from our Summer 2009 newsletter found on our website.
Photo Courtesy of Marriott Hotel
This is from our Summer 2009 newsletter which can be found on our Web site: www.waterfrontcenter.org
• Conference Deadline: September 22. Register by this date to get a $100 savings on the conference fee! September 22 is also the deadline for a very special hotel rate at the Seattle Waterfront Marriott; register directly with the hotel at 1 800/455-8254 or 206/443-5000; be sure to mention the Urban Waterfronts 27 conference.
• Conference Sponsorship Opportunities. Deadline to be included as a supporter/advertiser in the conference Final Program is September 11.
• Book Offer Extended Indefinitely. A half-price book offer on all Waterfront Center publications for members only has been extended. Anyone joining the Center for annual dues of $100 is entitled to the special offer; check the Membership button on the Center's website: www.waterfrontcenter.org. And members will also soon to be listed as special "Friends of the Center" on the Center's website.
This explains who we are, what we do and the principles we advocate. Note that these are not prescriptive and do not attempt to tell communities how to proceed. Waterfronts are too varied for such.
The Waterfront Center: “Champions of Waterfront Excellence.”
WATERFRONT CENTER VISION STATEMENT
The full text of the Center’s Mission Statement is featured on the Center’s Web site under its own button on the home page, www.waterfrontcenter.org/Mission. It was prepared by a subcommittee of the Center’s Board of Advisors’ Executive Committee. This summary was prepared by the Center co-directors.
Our Vision. Enhancing, protecting and preserving our waterfronts, and recognizing those who work to make this possible, is the primary purpose of the Waterfront Center, a non-profit educational corporation founded in 1981.
Our Values. These are the principles we embrace. They are not a series of steps to be taken but rather attributes to be adapted to the uniqueness of each waterfront place. Every community must be true to itself, and it is in this spirit that these values are put forward to be employed as appropriate.
· Authenticity. Waterfront planning should embrace the unique, authentic features of each waterfront: its history, culture, uses including industrial and the working waterfront, visual characteristics and environmental qualities. Formulas are to be avoided. Each waterfront plan should reflect the essence of its special place. Education, we feel, is key to helping the public protect their waterfront resources. Waterfronts represent unparalleled opportunities for education and interpretation, including distinctive public art.
· Accessibility. We believe in the inherent public interest in waterfronts and have advocated for public accessibility to and along waterfronts since our inception. We also stress the importance of visual access. Public access from land to water and from water to land should be the guiding objective.
· Inclusiveness. Meaningful community participation on a continuous basis should be a hallmark of waterfront planning and development, from inception forward. The planning process should reflect the dynamism of the marketplace, economic feasibility, indigenous design approaches, historic preservation and sustainable development practices.
· Sustainability. We must honor and protect our natural waterfronts, and as well recognize that they are part of an interconnected watershed. We are the custodians of these vital resources.
· Adaptability. Waterfront redevelopment has the potential to contribute to the long-term viability of neighborhoods and larger urban areas. Its planning should be responsive, responsible and adaptive to changing circumstances. Long—range planning, looking forward 25 years or more, is desired; shortsighted action that can cause long-range damage is to be avoided.
• Education. The Center has sponsored an annual international conference on urban waterfront planning, development and culture since 1983, the leading such event in the world. It is preceded by an intensive, all-day mobile workshop in the host city.
The Center makes illustrated presentations drawing from its unequalled collection of 25,000+ waterfront images, gathered since 1975.
• Facilitation. The Center employs a unique community participatory planning process that dates to 1985. Spot consulting by the Center co-directors is also offered.
• Publications. The Center co-directors have written the two definitive hardcover illustrated books on urban waterfronts, one published by McGraw-Hill, the second by Thames & Hudson of London. The Center distributes an electronic newsletter including the popular feature “Waterfronts Today.”
• Celebration. The Center conducts an international annual awards program entitled “Excellence on the Waterfront,” begun in 1987. A distinguished interdisciplinary jury selects Honor Award winners from submitted entries, presented at the annual conference. An illustrated summary publication of the winners is produced each year.
Contact us at: mail at waterfrontcenter dot org or wcm at snip dot net