Professionals gather for waterfront regeneration

Built environment professionals gathered at RIBA North in Liverpool for an event focused on the regeneration of waterfront environments through urban and landscape design.

Part of the Albert Dock InterPro175 lecture series, and organised on its behalf by Landscape Institute and Urban Design Group, speakers were Pete Swift Рpartner, landscape architect and urban designer at Planit-IE; Ben Palmer Рdirector and landscape architect at Optimised Environments (OPEN); Peter Si̦str̦m Рprogramme director at Sustainable Urban Design Master Program, Lund University, Sweden; and Ashwin Karjatkar Рpart of the design team at Municipality of Gothenburg. Executive director at Turley and visiting professor at Liverpool University, Stephen Gleave, acted as chair for the event.

InterPro175 seeks to celebrate Albert Dock as an exemplary heritage-led regeneration project, acknowledge the range of built environment professionals involved in its continuing success, look to the future and the lessons learnt, and examine a range of comparison projects.

The latest event was the fourth in the series so far, part of Albert Dock 175 – a robust strategy that will assert the Dock’s position as a world-class, leisure destination, counting up to a year of celebration in 2021 – 175 years since the Dock was officially opened by Prince Albert.

Sue Grindrod, chief executive of Gower Street Estates, freeholders of Albert Dock, said:

“The InterPro175 lecture series was set up to examine the regeneration of Albert Dock and highlight the significant impact it continues to have on the wider city region and internationally. It remains an important element of Albert Dock 175, never more so now as we enter a new and exciting chapter in the Dock’s life where serious investment will dramatically transform the infrastructure of the Dock making it fit for the visitors of tomorrow.

“It is wonderful to see the series go from strength to strength, attracting the finest speakers from the built environment, and influencing debate and discussion around waterfront planning and regeneration.

“A special thank you must go to our curators for this particular lecture – Landscape Institute and Urban Design Group – and all our partners for their continued support for the series.”

Spokesperson for Urban Design Group NW, said:

“The UDG NW are really pleased to be involved in the InterPro175 lecture series, celebrating the life and regeneration success of Albert Dock and exploring the role that responsive place-making had to play in its success.

“The role of landscape architecture and urbanist place-making cannot be underestimated in its level of contribution to the successful regeneration of Albert Dock. It was fantastic to hear from the designers who had worked on the Dock’s public realm and how their passion and vision helped to create an internationally renowned visitor destination. The comparisons and insights from our speakers, both from the UK and Europe brought to light the significant challenges that waterfront dockland regeneration can bring and how they can be overcome. We’re delighted to be able to compare the success of the Albert Dock regeneration against some of the leading dockland regeneration projects across Europe.

“We would like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors Optimised Environments and Vestre who kindly supported the event and we’re looking forward to discovering the next interesting piece of the story of Albert Dock’s successful revival journey.”

At the event, Pete Swift gave a fascinating talk focused on Planit-IE’s ambitious masterplan for Albert Dock, which sets out a vision which will revitalise the historic landmark through new public realm proposals and the creation of a new, gateway into the Dock, and improve the overall visitor experience.

Ben Palmer frequently leads OPEN teams, collaborating on a variety of projects including Manchester Museum, the £11m Foster + Partners Quartermile Masterplan in Edinburgh, and most recently acted as the project director on the V&A Museum of Design Dundee public realm. Ben discussed the regeneration of the Dundee waterfront, place-making and the technical challenges they encountered, as well as drawing out potential comparisons with the regeneration of Albert Dock.

Peter Si̦str̦m shared with the audience his expertise and interest in sustainable environments, and how Albert Dock can learn from other successful waterfront regeneration projects in Scandinavia Рnamely Western Harbour, Malmo, and North Harbour, Copenhagen.

Ashwin Karjatkar’s is currently working on the largest urban development project in Scandinavia – RiverCity Gothenburg. Ashwin’s presentation explored the redevelopment of Frihamnen, a former working dockland area of Gothenburg, that will become a new city district and a test arena for various design alternatives including ambitious social, environmental and traffic strategies.

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