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During the 18th century, Liverpool emerged as a global trading point for salt, raw material and manufactures, particularly benefiting on its connectivity [1]. Trade flourished in Liverpool through to the late 20th century [2] but the decline of the raw material industry led to the steep decline of the port of Liverpool, and subsequently resulted in redundant docks.

Industrial Albert Dock (Source: National Museums Liverpool)

Liverpool Waters is a regeneration project which seeks to revive 60 hectares of derelict docklands in central Liverpool, with the vision to “create a world-class, high-quality, mixed use waterfront quarter…that will allow for substantial growth of the city’s economy.” [3] The project encompasses Princes Dock, Central Docks, Clarence Dock and Northern Docks, to be delivered in four phases across 20 years [4]. The project will deliver 2 million sq.m. of development floorspace within 5 new neighbourhoods [5].

Liverpool Waters site (Source: Peel Land and Property Group)

Princes Dock

This neighbourhood is key in linking the wider project with central Liverpool and its cultural attractions. 1,200 homes, 12,800 sq.m. of office space, cruise liner terminal, and 580 5-star hotel rooms will be delivered in this neighbourhood [5].

Central Docks

This area will be transformed into a leisure and entertainment hub, with 25,000 sq.m. of restaurants and bars, and a public park being delivered alongside residential and office space [5].

Central Park (Source: Liverpool Waters)

Clarence Docks

A vibrant new neighbourhood will be integrated into the docks here, with 3,000 homes, 2,000 sq.m. of office space and 8,000 sq.m. of restaurants and bars [5].

Clarence Square (Source: Liverpool Waters)

Northern Docks

These docks will comprise a state-of-the-art sports stadium, 5,000 sq.m. of retail and 8,000 sq.m. of restaurants and bars, to become an exciting leisure destination within Liverpool [5].

Northern Docks masterplan (Source: Waite)

King Edward Triangle

This area will act as the buffer between the city centre and the wider project, integrating infrastructural upgrades to merge the existing developments to proposed Liverpool Waters neighbourhoods [5].


This project redefines the possibilities that can be explored to transform redundant docklands into contemporary, high-quality developments, implementing facilities to enhance the wider context. Simultaneously, it remains sensitive to industrial heritage, through the preservation of links to existing cultural facilities, and the provision of opportunity to accommodate new cultural events. This project also encourages linkages and interaction with the historical docklands as a central part of its urban design. It presents the idea that the historically important docks can be adapted to build the fabric for the integration of a vibrant, modern society.

Liverpool Waters therefore acts as a precedent for redundant docklands, to portray the possibilities to reuse docks in a way that pioneers contemporary design, yet ensures historical context is not compromised.


[1] Sykes, O., Brown, J., Cocks, M., Shaw, D. & Couch, C. (2013) A City Profile of Liverpool, Elsevier Ltd.

[2] The Economist (1998) The Leaving of Liverpool, Available at: [Accessed on 30/03/20].

[3] Liverpool Waters (2011) Liverpool Waters: Design & Access Statement.

[4] Peel Land and Property Group (n.d.) Strategic Waters.

[5] Liverpool Waters (n.d.) The Project, Available at: [Accessed on 30/03/20].

2 responses to “Regenerating Liverpool’s Docks”

  1. I was interested in the transformation of this waterfront space in Liverpool, which was abandoned in 1990 and became one of the poorest cities in Europe [1].Through shipyard renovation.Its idea was not to demolish the vacated land, but to transform it and make it work in modern society while retaining its original structure and appearance.
    However, there are so many old factory renovation or waterfront space renovation in the world, why it has achieved such excellent results, as the author said, Liverpool dock has a certain number of residential areas, restaurants, bars, residential, office, sports hall and other service facilities as one of the mixed functions of leisure and entertainment hub.
    More will be the excavation and shaping of urban culture, such as the warehouse development and construction of Marine museum, modern art gallery, film studio, etc[2]. The expansion of the Liverpool John moores university, the Liverpool school of tropical medicine and other knowledge areas has also contributed to the revival of the Liverpool waterfront, raising awareness and attracting a large number of tourists[3]..
    In conclusion, the Renaissance of a city is not only the Renaissance of a region or a piece of land, but also the Renaissance of the city’s cultural heritage, perfect infrastructure, as well as the mutual connection and mutual foil between each building in each region to build high-quality living and entertainment space.

    Reference 2020. The Social Impacts Of Urban Waterfront Regeneration Projects. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 29 April 2020]
    2.Your Bibliography: One Touch Property Investment. 2020. Regeneration Of Liverp…The City’s Changing Skyline. [online] Available at:<> [Accessed 29 April 2020]
    3.North Property Group. 2020. Liverpool: A Regeneration Success Story-North Property Group. [online] Available at:<> [Accessed 29 April 2020].

  2. Thanks for sharing, Karina!
    I’ve always loved Liverpool since a child, there’s no better way to spend a sunny afternoon than visiting the Tate Gallery and learning about the Beatles! It is exciting to see such an ambitious project being taken on which will bring all the facilities you mention to the city, however, it is important to also look at the social and environmental implications of waterfront urban regeneration.

    The social impact assessment (SIA) predicts the community impact of a waterfront project through physical, recreational and cultural relationships [1]. Although historic buildings are often reused, there is a tendency for the site-specific waterfront character to be lost as large developers replicate previous designs and apply them to a range of different sites [2]. It is also a great shame that traditional working-class waterfront jobs are often overlooked by hospitality sectors [3].

    To relate this back to Liverpool, it features in the top 4 for all categories on most deprived local authorities in England [4] as a result of regeneration projects solely focusing on city centre and waterfront locations. The Albert Dock regeneration project was intended to be a community integrated scheme; however, this was not realised due to economic gain prioritised over social protection [5]. It seems that affordable housing which is much needed in these once working-class industrial areas gets forgotten, with the range of prices for a rented apartment along Liverpool’s waterfront ranging from £525-£2,000 pcm [6].

    [1] Sairinen, R. and Kumpulainen, S., 2006. Assessing social impacts in urban waterfront regeneration. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, [online] 26(1), pp.120-135. Available at: <> [Accessed 13 April 2020].
    [2] Jones, A., 1998. Issues in Waterfront Regeneration: More Sobering Thoughts-A UK Perspective. Planning Practice & Research, [online] 13(4), pp.433-442. Available at: <> [Accessed 13 April 2020].
    [3] Bezmez, D., 2008. The Politics of Urban Waterfront Regeneration: The Case of Haliç (the Golden Horn), Istanbul. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, [online] 32(4), pp.820-825. Available at: <> [Accessed 13 April 2020].
    [4] Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, 2019. The English Indices Of Deprivation 2019. London: Crown, pp.9-11.
    [5] McAteer, B., 2017. The social impacts of urban waterfront regeneration projects. [Blog] The Protocity, Available at: <> [Accessed 13 April 2020].
    [6] 2020. Property To Rent In Anchor, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 – Renting In Anchor, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 – Zoopla. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 13 April 2020].

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