Author: Sharon Siddique
Although the term “port city” has fallen out of favour, there are good reasons why it should be revived. Ports are reclaiming their role in the life of the city. A comparative study of some of Asia’s port cities – Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tianjin, Tokyo, Jakarta and Johor Bahru (PTP) – demonstrate a complex, dynamic and symbiotic relationship between these ports and their cities. Port city form is dynamic and ever-changing. Twenty-first century Asian ports have expanded, constantly adapting to new technology, rapid growth trajectories, and the forces of globalization. Ports have shifted, moving from space adjacent to the city centre to the periphery. This, in turn, allows for the expansion of the waterfront, which is once more a focal point for people-oriented activities and displays. The vibrancy of the city centre is reflected in the exuberance of the high-rise buildings, plazas, malls and public spaces. Ports retain their traditional hinterlands, but for many, the hinterland has expanded to embrace the globe. The essence of twenty-first century Asian port city form is the uniting of land and water worlds.