Port Adelaide Waterfront

Regeneration not

9th September 2016

David Cooke,
City Collective
Urban Designer/Architect/Planner

Despite being unique within South Australia, Port Adelaide is not alone in an international context when it comes to our desire to address challenges such as urban, social connection and environmental restoration. Many cities are looking to reclaim and repair former industrial waterfront areas. One such city with over 20 years of experience working towards this is the City of San Francisco.

Over this time San Francisco has been able to refine its approach to urban waterfront repair to deliver communities that are socially diverse and reflect the history within the precinct. Whilst working and studying in San Francisco last year I had the opportunity to experience this integrated approach first hand by preparing an Urban Design Framework for Pier 70.

At its industrial peak, Pier 70 was an employment hub of 18,000 workers, predominately involved in the ship repair industry, with workers living in neighboring areas. Now only 1,000 people are employed in the area in traditional blue collar employment and almost 90% of the buildings in this area are vacant, derelict and uninhabitable. Sound familiar?

Through a careful strategic and social planning this part of the city is focusing their repair on what is there, rather than what is not there, and building upon this. The plan has been set out to build off the current employment and residential population within a placemaking context and be acutely aware that this is not a gentrification process.

Underpinned by transit, this model is offering a sustainable development pattern that produces a great diversity of commercial and residential outcomes. As well as sustainable development the project looks at environmental strategies that consider the impacts of climate change and steps required for the management of sea level rise.

By focusing on regeneration, not gentrification, this approach is delivering sustainable urban and social repair outcomes internationally which could also be achieved at Port Adelaide.

David Cooke
Director, City Collective

David Cooke has the unique skillset of being an internationally qualified Urban Designer, a registered Architect and an accredited Planner. In 2014 David was awarded a prestigious scholarship to attend the University of California, Berkeley in their intensive Masters of Urban Design program. Upon returning to Australia, as Director of design and architecture studio City Collective, David is now applying this knowledge and experienced gained in California to address the urban renewal challenges that face Australian cities.