Between 28th and 30th March 2012, Auckland held the inaugural international symposium for waterfront development leaders.[i] Hosted by the Auckland Regional Council and Waterfront Auckland, the event bought together policy-makers and practitioners from across the world to begin a discussion about how world class waterfront development can contribute to the development of world class cities.
The three-day conference heard from top executives from ten cities worldwide as well as an introduction the challenges and opportunities facing waterfront development in Auckland. Contributors from Auckland, Wellington, Seattle, San Francisco, Hamburg, Cape Town, Busan, Taichung City, Singapore and Hong Kong were asked to explore a number of themes.[ii] These included issues such as: turning vision into strategy; design; balancing land-uses within the waterfront; balancing the development of the waterfront and the rest of the city; implementation and investment; problem-solving and identity.[iii]
A number of lessons emerged. But they key lesson involved an understanding that waterfront development is important for the future of our cities. It is about: ‘locking-in value through careful intervention’ and ‘holds a special key in understanding how to help cities be more ready for the challenges of the next cycle.’[iv] Waterfront development leaders will be critical. They have to be: ‘people with vision, skills, and personalities that lend themselves to unifying actions that can succeed both quickly and slowly.’[v]
The Sea Edge Symposium very successfully began an important agenda of: ‘debate and dialogue’ between international waterfront development leaders that will be play a significant role in the future of the world’s cities.[vi]
[Sources i-vi] Waterfront Auckland, 2012. Sea Edge Symposium – Greg Clark Reflections [online]. Available at: http://www.seaedge.co.nz/Greg-Clark-Reflections.aspx [Accessed: 13.12.2012].
Image credit : Photobank gallery