August 05, 2019

There Are Many Possibilities

Wordscapes and Engage Liverpool have recently run a series of events looking at Liverpool's World Heritage Site and the wider city too. I went along to the first one but sadly missed the other two as I was out of the city. However, Andrew Beattie (from Wordscapes) has written up some thoughts on the series in Beyond the Boundaries.

In it he captures one of the problems we seem to be afflicted with in the city, the overly simplistic level of debate over what we'd like to happen:

"So much of the online discussion around the issue has been poor quality, entirely lacking in context for why a city is given World Heritage Status in the first place and what it actually means. It’s set off on an ‘us against them’ type discussion – UNESCO is setting rules for us about what we can and can’t develop here etc."

I think this is because there are so few proposals and suggestions for what we should do to develop the city. The narrative is driven by the property developers who favour grand claims, despite evidence from previous grand regeneration projects that such a playbook doesn't work.

They cry TINA (There Is No Alternative).

Currently they get away with it because there aren't enough of us pitching other options. It's tricky with the docks, because they're all owned by Peel and they really don't care about the city, just how much money they can extract from turning derelict dockland into (alleged) "Magnificent world class buildings". However, their job is made so much easier when they can just say "well, what else should we do? Just leave the docks derelict?".

We need more ideas and stories of how things could evolve. Maybe we should be protecting the docks, if Brexit happens and we end up trading less with Europe then maybe our port will be on the right side of the country again and we'll need more warehouse space. Maybe we'll need the dock wall to also act as a flood barrier, and the docks themselves to have uses which can cope with regular flooding as sea levels rise. Maybe they can be used as testing grounds for firms building autonomous boats and marine sensor drones, or companies developing new sailing ship technology to replace the dirty bunker fuel of the current merchant fleet.

There are many possibilities and we should be developing them.


Posted by Adrian at August 5, 2019 11:03 AM | TrackBack

This blog post is on the personal blog of Adrian McEwen. If you want to explore the site a bit further, it might be worth having a look at the most recent entries or look through the archives or categories over on the left.

You can receive updates whenever a new post is written by subscribing to the recent posts RSS feed or

Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Note: I'm running the MT-Keystrokes plugin to filter out spam comments, which unfortunately means you have to have Javascript turned on to be able to comment.