alexa Asserting historical “distinctiveness” in industrial waterfront transformation.


Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology

Author(s): Airas A, HallPV, Stern P

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As formerly industrial urban waterfronts are redeveloped worldwide, a common claim of these projects is that they preserve the historical distinctiveness of their sites. This essay presents an industrial waterfront redevelopment in a suburban context, namely the Queensborough neighborhood of New Westminster, British Columbia. We note that Queensborough, past and present, is presented as “distinctive,” though with different connotations for different time periods. In the past, Queensborough’s distinctiveness was a neutral term meant to mask perceived problems. Currently, distinctiveness is a positive term meant to signal a desirable address. Ironically, the historical characteristics that gave the neighborhood its unique flavor have been largely erased with the demolition of the industrial buildings and sites. The rapid redevelopment of the industrial waterfront for residences has led to the adoption of building styles and forms similar to those found in widely dispersed places.

This article was published in Cities and referenced in Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology

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