Transitions in Urban Waterfronts

Port of Tacoma, 11th Street Bridge (Wikimedia Commons).

Work Group Leaders:

Catherine Evans, University of New South Wales, Sydney |
Anne Taufen, University of Washington, Tacoma |
Ken Yocom, University of Washington, Seattle |


The Transitions in Urban Waterfronts group focuses on the edge between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems; as a central and essential element in the development of cities, waterfronts have shouldered ongoing, significant impacts of urbanization, while also providing sites of transformative growth, symbolic inspiration, and reinvention/renewal. The working group highlights issues of site performance and access, within wider social-ecological networks of a metropolitan region, as well as patterns of global trade/migration (how does the waterfront work, and for whom/what).

In 2020 we propose to work from the site performance framework and article produced by the 2019 Sydney team (“Spaces that Work”) to develop case studies that illustrate how urban waterfronts perform on different dimensions of sustainability (social, political, environmental, economic, cultural). The framework and case studies propose ways that urban waterfront transitions can serve their local and regional populations, by reviewing existing literature in the field and identifying best practices for ameliorating the challenges of planning for sustainable urban waterfronts in a global political economy. These case outputs will identify areas of design and policy success across these five dimensions, as well as offering critical evaluation of where and how waterfront redevelopment projects require targeted investment and adjustments for sustainable development.

Relevant SDGs:

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

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Expression of Interest to Join a Working Group



Key Dates

• Expressions of interest for Working Groups to be submitted by:
Monday, 31 August 2020
Wednesday 30 September 2020

• PhD papers submission due on: Sunday, 6 September 2020
Wednesday 30 September 2020

• Early birds registrations close on: Monday, 9 November 2020

• Standard registrations close on: Friday, 11 December 2020

Please note that all key dates are in New Zealand Daylight Time (UTC+12).

About APRU

As a network of leading universities linking the Americas, Asia and Australasia, the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) is the Voice of Knowledge and Innovation for the Asia-Pacific region. We bring together thought leaders, researchers, and policy-makers to exchange ideas and collaborate on effective solutions to the challenges of the 21st century.

We leverage collective education and research capabilities of our members into the international public policy process. Our primary research areas include natural hazards & disaster risk reduction, women in leadership, population aging, global health, sustainable cities, artificial intelligence & the future of work, the Pacific Ocean, and labor mobility.