Excavating And Reintroducing Waterspaces Liverpool has to follow the lead from other progressive cities
Breda opens up old harbour and allows river to flow again.

Ghent introduces water back to the town centre.

Manchester renovates existing and excavates in-filled waterspaces.

Water Plays Central Role

Many towns and cities are placing water at the central role in regeneration projects. In mainly Holland and Belgium some large waterspace reclamation projects are being undertaken.

The central role that water plays in the socio-economic and spatial awareness of old cities with historical relationships with water is abundantly clear. 

Many cities are focusing on giving water an important central role again. Back to the future.

Liverpool  Following Lead?

Liverpool and the Wirral need to follow the fine examples from Holland and Belgium and reinstate as much waterspace as possible. Only as recently as 2002, Bidston Dock in Birkenhead was in-filled to generate lucrative land. Masses of dock water spaces were in-filled in the 1970/80s.

The in-filling has to stop and excavation started. The mistakes of previous foolhardy generations needs rectifying as soon as possible.

Breda Excavates Old Harbour 

The River Mark ran through Breda in Holland. In 1941 the river was filled in creating a road, which was thought to improve the town at the time. The absence of the water space lowered the quality of life of the inhabitants. Realising this big mistake the Dutch launched a program to re-introduce the water space and rectify the mistakes of the previous generation. The new water space will even have a couple of bridges.

The local authority are using excavated water space as a means of economically regenerating the town, raising the quality of life and attracting tourists.

Below: The River Mark being in-filled in 1941.

Below: The soulless road where the River Mark ran through. This is to be excavated reintroducing the water space.

Below: An impression of how the recovered water will look at this road.

Ghent Opens up Lower Scheldt

Ghent, in Belgium, is engaging on an ambitious waterspace reinstatement project. The Lower Scheldt, a branch of the River Scheldt, was in-filled in order to provide a link between the former south railway station and the city centre and to create a new town square.

Below: The in-filled Lower Scheldt.

Proposals to in-fill many of Ghent's waterways resulted in the opposite effect. Seeing what they would lose and valuing waterspaces, people demanded in-filled waterspaces to be excavated and reinstated. Not only reinstatement of existing waterways, Ghent is building a new marina.

Below: The new Marina at Ghent.

Below: The new waterways at Ghent

Manchester Values Waterspaces

The city of Manchester has made great strides in mixing the old and the new.
The G-MEX, Castlefields, Piccadilly Basin, Ancoats, the Northern Quarter are shining examples of old and new in near-perfect harmony. Recognising that regeneration is all about the power of place, they are reaping huge economic and cultural rewards. Waterspaces are a part of the old being valued and used wherever possible to add value to developments.
Below: Renovated waterways attracts people and waterside developments, creating a vibrant watrerscape.

The city values waterspace, having avidly improved every single stretch of canal, excavated in-filled basins and cuts wherever they exist.

The city realises that people desire to live around water.