The urban waterfront concept was introduced in the eighties by the Washington DC-based Waterfront Center, and a high number of such waterfronts can be found in North America. A series of these will be briefly presented in the central part of the paper, including the most diversified of these, Los Angeles (San Pedro), whose potential is probably the highest. Before this, to make a link with the situation dealt with by the keynote speaker, we will take an in-depth look a the most iconic of the world’s working waterfront, Cape Town, to identify the main ingredients of successful working waterfront and to see how they combine. In the third, final part of the presentation, we will turn to a few other worldwide examples, to show how diverse and unique are the combinations encountered between these ingredients, that make working waterfront different from conventional waterfront, where the main concern is just access to the water for leisure, with no other economic dimension.
As a research professor at the Department of Geography at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, Dr Jacques Charlier a written extensively in the last forty years about ports and maritime transports, especially about containers, cruises and waterfronts. He started studying European seaports, and he extended thereafter his scientific investigations to North American as well as African, then Asian ports and waterfronts, with more than 125 papers and book chapters.
Besides lecturing in Louvain-la-Neuve and in an interuniversity MA degree in transports and logistics in Brussels, he had visiting positions at the Sorbonne Universities in Paris and Abu Dhabi. And in 2000 as well as in 2012, he was also the President of the Belgian Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences. He attended the very first IACP conference in Le Havre in 1988, and has co-operated with the association since these early days, including as the one of the authors of one of its reports in 2006 about best practices on some European waterfronts.