‘NorthSEAfaring’ project: Raising maritime heritage status in spatial planning strategies

Previously, Landscape Interface Studio worked on the European funded Interreg IIIB ‘NorthSEAfaring’ Project, acting as consultants for Colchester Borough Council  between 2004-07. The central aim of the NorthSEAfaring project was to raise the status of maritime heritage in regional and national spatial planning strategies.   The 3 year project also aimed to raise cultural awareness and public access through the protection and restoration of maritime heritage, countering the tendency of planners to rivatalise areas which could otherwise be opened up to the public. LIS undertook a series of spatial and development studies of each of the seven locations selected by the NorthSEAfaring project.  During initial research, similarities between coastal sites have already appeared.  Dundee (UK), Lowestoft (UK) and Emden (Germany) all have coastal areas isolated from community centres in need of regeneration.   NorthSEAfaring  developed ideas not only to preserve original infrastructure but also to promote it as a focal point for visitors to enjoy.  International forums discussed the issues raised, such as risk factors and potential solutions, in order to create a common framework for the sustainable development of common maritime heritage.  Work was then carried out, marrying the range of experience gathered from research with the distinct requirements of each location.

During the 3 year project under and post-graduate Landscape Architecture students carried out a series of week long site visits to develop spatial planning proposals which were then curated into a number of project documents:

  • project – overview of the ambitions of the project
  • framework – methodology of LIS research
  • partner – specific material describing individual partners’ port sites
  • proposal – re-imaging future spatial planning

Project partners worked with students to devise ways of incorporating historic features into regeneration programmes.  Student proposals and spatial planning studies were used to develop a guidance scheme for the preservation and promotion of original port infrastructures, initially for local and regional planners in the EU Interreg North Sea programme, but with a long-term view to its promotion throughout the North Sea Region. The aim was to find a sustainable approach in which future housing and business developments would not be created at the expense of maritime history.

Two examples of student proposals below for Vlissingen, NL and Lowestoft, Suffolk  – click on images to view in detail.

Jaime Uriate1

Jaime Uriate

Jaime Uriate, Post Grad Diploma Landscape Architecture

NorthSEAfaring also aimed to raise cultural awareness and public access through the protection and restoration of maritime heritage, countering the tendency of planners to rivatise areas which could otherwise be opened up to the public.  Student projects formed the backbone of the projects’ final reports which were designed and produced by LIS in conjunction with a final exhibition which was presented during the Interreg IIIB North Sea Programme Final Conference in Brunstad, Norway in May 2007.

Rhys NSF1

Rhys Williams

Rhys Williams, BA(Hons) Landscape Architecture

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