As early as the second half of the 20th century, in the 1980s and 1990s, the port and maritime industries located on the waterfront of large cities were undergoing economic transformation, resulting in plants leaving the previously occupied areas, abandoning large parcels of land. The development of these areas by local governments was a significant challenge; most importantly due to the fact that these areas had to be connected to adjacent areas, taking account of the adjustment of the existing road network and public transport routes.
Today, direct contact to water makes these coastal areas unique fragments of the city. They are excellent places for leisure and the organisation of various artistic and cultural events. New spatial management plans for such post-industrial terrains combine multiple functions and designate areas intended for use as open public spaces, so that the residents and tourists are able to admire the views and take full advantage of the unique location.
Hamburg, located on the Elbe River, is one of example of a metropolis that undertook revitalisation of an area covering more than 155 ha in the city centre. By 2025 over 5.5 thousands flats and 40 thousands new jobs will be created in HafenCity, and the district will be inhabited by 12 thousand people.
Our northern neighbours also gave the former port areas of Malmö an urban character. This was an industrial city, situated in the vicinity of Copenhagen. The construction of a 16-kilometer-long road-rail bridge connecting both cities was crucial to the development of the city. The priority was to create public space in the new area of the city, allowing people the chance to walk along the shoreline. The promenade stretching along the coastline, piers and numerous direct descents to the sea are designed to attract both residents and tourists. The project aimed at revitalising the area is planned for completion in 2018.
In 2000, spatial management plans were adopted for the quayside in the Norwegian capital city – Oslo. The redevelopment of the waterfront involves the implementation of new public transport projects. The key idea is to incorporate all post-industrial areas into the city centre, thereby transforming them into shopping and leisure centres, as well as filling them with residential buildings. The aim of these activities is to reconnect the city to the sea and to provide its inhabitants with a sustainable quality of life. The total area of Fjord City covers 225 ha. In 2008, construction work on the Opera was completed. The design of the Opera makes it the crown jewel of the district and a place for leisure. The roof sloping to the ground is a large sunny square that attracts passers-by to relax there and admire panoramic views of the city. Work on redevelopment of the waterfront and bringing the city closer to the water has been carried out in Oslo for the last two decades.