Land and Water Unite in Waterfront Redevelopments
"[W]aterfront projects are going beyond green development. In a new wave of postindustrial revitalization, some cities are pioneering innovative approaches to site regeneration in which designers are considering land and water in synergy. In such coupled systems, it is dynamic processes, performance and adaptation through time, that are the crucial goals, replacing outmoded emphases on static structures and the illusion of control through preservation. In these more ambitious projects, designers develop strategies to harness the complex ecologies of culture and nature at the water's edge. Three notable projects that deploy this ecological approach are worth describing in some detail. These are Lifescape, the master plan for Fresh Kills Park on New York City's Staten Island, created by a team led by the New York City urban design firm James Corner Field Operations; Soak: Mumbai in an Estuary, a speculative recalibration of that city's waterfront, by the Philadelphia-based firm of Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha; and River+City+Life, a proposal for Toronto's waterfront led by the Boston firm Stoss: Landscape Urbanism. All three projects engage culture, nature and time in ways that challenge conventional ideas about what it means to live, work and play at the water's edge."