Waterfront planning: a window of opportunities for post-disaster reconstruction
Waterfronts, where the land meets the ocean, see, lake, river or canal, are unique, finite resources representing, often, the best opportunity for community enhancement and enrichment. The waterfront development has represented an invaluable occasion for many cities around the world to delineate and enhance their socio-economical role both at national and international level. On the other hand, waterfronts are highly risk-prone areas. Water-related disasters, like hurricanes, tsunamis, river flooding, sea-storms have affected waterfront areas causing huge economic losses and involving millions of people in the last decades. Unfortunately, these devastating scenarios seem to be realistic warnings for the future, due to the impact of climate change and global warning. It is therefore necessary and urgent to promote an effective pre-disaster planning for waterfront area and to enhance the awareness about the window of opportunities not to be missed while reconstructing waterfronts after disasters. In this paper the driving principles to develop sustainable waterfront area are presented and the feasibility of their implementation for post-disaster reconstruction is discussed. The chances for reducing the risk affecting waterfront areas, while reconstructing, are briefly examined. The opportunities got to initiate social-economical development, to enhance the resilience of the community and to reduce the risk, while reconstructing waterfront areas after disasters, will be presented and discussed in relation to two study cases.