Authors: Huning, Sandra
Frank, Susanne
Title: Urban waterscapes as products, media and symbols of change – the re-invention of the Ruhr
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: Urban waterscapes are today a key element of revitalization strategies as locations for highscale office and housing estates as well as tourism and leisure amenities. Their renaissance is not only related to economic transformations; it also goes hand in hand with the re-establishment of urban waterscapes as important parts of the urban imagery and identity after years of neglect and ecologic devastation. We argue that new urban waterscapes have been and are being constructed as emblematic places for successful urban (re)development, and illustrate this argument with the case of the Ruhr Area in Germany. For several years, this old-industrial region has undertaken serious efforts to re-invent itself after having lost its former economic base and importance. The different dimensions of structural change are illustrated, possibly even explained by the new meaning and relevance of land- and waterscapes and by the way they are restored, re-interpreted and rebuilt. New waters can be considered as products of structural change, media of re-invention and symbols for regional advancement. Our five case studies show the range and variety of water- and landscape planning in the area. We aim to show that water was and still is part of the regional cultural landscape that is highly coined and designed according to its societal uses. Waterscapes are planned according to regional development and planning goals, not only for economic reasons, but also in recognition of attractive waters functioning as key carriers of regional identity.
Subject Headings: Urban waterscapes
Ruhr area
Structural change
Urban development
Social construction of nature
Issue Date: 2011
Provenance: emal, Eesti Maastikuarhitektide Liit
Citation: Huning, Sandra, Susanne Frank: Urban waterscapes as products, media and symbols of change – the re-invention of the Ruhr. Mind The Gap: Landscapes For a New Era ; EFLA Regional Congress of Landscape Architecture, 02-04 Nov 2011. Tallinn 2011
Appears in Collections:Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie

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