chapter  4
29 Pages

‘Ever-changing waterfronts’: Urban development and transformation processes in ports and waterfront zones in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai


The tsunami disaster in Asia has changed our perception of the beautiful beaches, shores and waterfronts. The seaquake has taken many lives and destroyed extensive coastal areas, towns and facilities. Hence, the interface of water and land, the water’s edge is, apart from being a borderland in which various recreational activities take place, a potential danger area. The result of global warming, floods and other natural catastrophes will mainly be evident in this zone. This article is not concerned with the consequences of changes brought about by nature, but with the planned transformation processes that are initiated by society in three large Asian metropolises and seaports. Generally, the process of transformation at this interface, analysed here, follows a similar cycle:

• Dereliction of old port areas near the city, relocation of modern, containerized trading facilities to areas suitable for expansion, outside the city centre.