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Wastelands at Port-City Interfaces. The Search for Water Spaces to Evade the Constant Hustle and Bustle of City Life

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Abstract

Port-city interfaces, near urban centers, are under intense land pressure within the context of increased competition for the development of these sites. Some interfaces are wastelands, induced by the remoteness of port installations from urban centers. For other interfaces, the word “wasteland” can be instrumentalized by planners to reallocate underused, yet active, port spaces. This paper aims to highlight the points of view of users, mostly inhabitants of these neighborhoods, in Brussels and Lille, based on a study of territorial representations. This study shows that these representations are clearly different from the conflictual environment of decision-making. The representation of a “quiet space” and a “breathing, natural space,” for leisure and relaxation, dominates the discourse of users. These representations make sense in very densely built environments, which are landlocked by the passage of major transport infrastructures. This desire for temporary withdrawal can be related to moments allowing daily pressures to be relieved. The development of port-city interfaces as true interstitial breathing spaces within urbanized spaces could be explored for planners.

Keywords

  • Port-city interfaces
  • Inland waterways
  • Dense built environment
  • Territorial representations
  • Feelings of nature

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Mazy, K. (2021). Wastelands at Port-City Interfaces. The Search for Water Spaces to Evade the Constant Hustle and Bustle of City Life. In: Di Pietro, F., Robert, A. (eds) Urban Wastelands. Cities and Nature. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74882-1_10

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74882-1_10

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

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