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Entries in Waterfront (1)


The Third Wave of Urban Waterfront Development

District Winery, one of DC’s latest waterfront amenities. Image © Prakash Patel

Not long ago, urban waterfronts were mostly populated with ships and cranes and metal containers that held troves of goods ranging from the everyday to the exotic. Ancillary industries were located nearby, in plain buildings that did not bear the obvious signifiers of design. And men labored in unglamorous but necessary work that allowed the mechanics of trade to operate smoothly. Waterfronts have long been central to the economies of many cities. Yet they were also tinged with danger: their porosity enabled people and goods perceived as threats to the established social order to enter the city. This tension between sanctioned and unsanctioned activities infused waterfronts with a sense of drama and illicit goings-on. The idea that such places could be cultural hotspots or focused on livability seemed far-fetched, to say the least.

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