VOL: 6  NO: 1  126-145   2009-1


Waterfronts: Potentials for improving the quality of urban life*



Fatma ERKK

Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul, TURKEY



Received: February 2009      Final Acceptance: June 2009



In the contemporary city, the success of the quality of life embodied in public spaces is increasingly accepted as a guarantee factor for an overall success. As such, cities have realized the importance of the role of water for a better quality of life in the city. Many cities around the world are creating ambitious waterfront projects, trying to solve their problems related to water and combining this with improved public spaces.

The paper, with the ultimate aim in mind as drawing some recommendations for Istanbul, examines some chosen case cities in Europe, namely Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp, with the aim to search how they establish their urban policies involving water, how they create spaces of interaction with water and contribute to the urban life of citizens and as a result alter the quality of urban life. Each case city, with its waterfront projects is assessed along the following series of quality criteria: Urban space/recreation, Housing, Cultural environment, Land use pattern and Infrastructure/mobility. As methodology, interviews with policy makers and planners in these cities, presentations by policy makers, and written policy statements are used as tools to help interpret the way in which these cities through these development projects try to re-install the water culture of the city and how this achievement helps improving the quality of urban life.


Keywords: Waterfront developments, quality of urban life, public use, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp


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