Studio Press Release

April 17th, 2013

Georgia Tech Group is Planning the Future of International Urban Waterfronts

A group of City & Regional Planning and Architecture graduate students  traveled to Taiwan during their Spring Break to conduct research and share ideas with government and higher education as part of a semester-long studio project. Led by Professors Perry Yang, Richard Dagenhart, and Nancey Green Leigh, the group is working with the government of  Kaohsiung, an industrial port city, to create a waterfront redevelopment plan.

The group met with the Deputy Mayor and representatives from the Taiwan Port Authority and local Bureaus of Urban Development and Economic Development. Kaohsiung’s port land was previously owned by the Port Authority and used exclusively for heavy industry and shipping.  This activity has increasingly moved away from the historic waterfront piers as Kaohsiung became one of the largest container ports in the world.  The city government is now engaged in plans and projects to redevelop hundreds of acres of contaminated land along the waterfront.

Local government officials presented their four high profile  and innovative design waterfront projects of a pop music center, passenger cruise ship terminal, convention center, and library. The Georgia Tech students and professors presented ideas on the use of urban Free Economic Zones, areas of deregulated economic activity created to promote foreign direct investment and boost job growth. Additionally, they discussed fostering urban redevelopment with international educational institutions as anchors, utilizing urban design to create waterfront accessibility for a wide range of users, and revising zoning regulations to allow a mix of residential and economic activity for a vibrant, sustainable waterfront. They cited examples from their earlier research trip to New York City exploring its waterfront redevelopment, and especially notable efforts to support manufacturing and creative industries in the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Having the chance to see firsthand the area of redevelopment need, gather support information, and share ideas directly with the city of Kaohsiung, greatly enriches the students and professors’ understanding of the challenges and opportunities for redeveloping Kaohsiung’s historic portlands.  The group was also featured in Kaohsiung’s local newspaper just days after their visit to the city.

The studio’s waterfront redevelopment plan will be completed by the end of the spring semester. For more information, visit the studio group’s website:


Photo Credit: Sinan Sinharoy

Kaohsiung Photos

We’re back from our Spring Break in Taiwan! It was a great experience to finally see the city of Kaohsiung by car, train, foot, boat, and bicycle. The local government officials were incredibly hospitable and made us feel right at home. We presented our information to the Deputy Mayor and representatives from the port authority,  the bureau of Economic Development, and Urban Development.

The discussion that resulted from our presentations was very useful–it gave us a much better idea of the projects that are currently going on in the city, as well as the work that we need to do for the rest of the semester. We are excited to move forward and create a waterfront redevelopment plan for the city that will be useful for the government and citizens of the great city of Kaohsiung. Now, here are some of our photos.

Organizational Framework

We are now clear about the framework of the team operation in this stage. The studio will target on producing a hypothetical proposal before the Taiwan field trip. This is the initial team profile–we will make modifications in the future as we see fit.

1. Policy group, focusing on Free Economic Zone, a review of its concept, global best practices and a planning framework for Kaohsiung – Sinan, Liwei

2. Design group: Johnny, Canon, Dawn, Sherene, Rebecca

North bank Piers 1-12: Dawn, Sherene and Rebecca – to develop conceptual urban design for the creative design industry and small-medium size business community. The public spatial framework has been clearly set, as you can see in your sketches as well as my 2006 International competition submission. We aim for visualizing the unique waterfront quality, maritime image, industrial and port feature by adaptive reused design strategy to provide an adaptable, flexible framework and detailed quality for accommodating diverse groups and programs. The design should demonstrate the shaping of a stimulating innovative working environment, waterfront as a public urban room and a display stage of creative design industry.

South bank Piers 13-22: Johnny and Canon – to define urban form and strategy of the core area of the Free Economic Zone, an “off-shore financial center” that is in priority agenda of the Kaohsiung City Government, with a political tension to Central Government. Urban design as a development proposal would define its function, scale and then the physical organization of the special district. Interpretation of values and interested from multiple stakeholders will be the key, including  the city government, central government, stakeholders (like those state-owned corporation) and international investors and local community.

3.  Zoning Group- City GIS Laboratory group: Daniel, Lauren, Rebecca, Liwei, Sinan and Steven

To examine Kaohsiung’s current zoning system, their problems and limitation, and then propose a revised system that is performance based and then deal with urban design quality control. This job may define one of the most significant impact of Georgia Tech’s work to Kaohsiung’s current planning and its waterfront.

3D GIS as the City Laboratory/The zoning and rezoning modeling of Kaohsiung: We will build a data, performance analysis and scenarios planning modeling from “existing”, “current zoning model” to “rezoning model”.  — North bank by Daniel and Rebecca; South bank by Lauren, Sinan, Liwei and Steven; Daniel to coordinate the 3D GIS system management.

NYC Zoning models and best practices: Lauren (Overlay zoning systems, special district planning) and Daniel (rezoning). Lauren to coordinate the NYC zoning model and case study chapter


New York Photos

We’re back in Atlanta from a great weekend in New York. Thanks to Bruce Stiftel, the Chair of City & Regional Planning, for making it possible for so many of us to go. We enjoyed meeting with Patrick Too and others from the Department of City Planning who are working on New York’s waterfront planning. The areas we visited included Chinatown, Central Park, the Midtown densification area, the West waterfront, Chelsea Market, the East waterfront near the UN headquarters, and Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Schedule for New York

We’re going to New York, yall! Here is our itinerary.

Georgia Tech Field trip to NYCFebruary 8-11, 2013

Feb 8 Friday

6:45am – Flight Atlanta – NYC (LaGuardia)

9:45am – Meeting point: 22 Reade St. (Near Brooklyn Bridge, north of City Hall, West of Municipal Bldg)

10am – Meeting at Department of City Planning NYC with Mr.Patrick Too, Thaddeus Pawlowski, Michael Marrella,

Venue: the 3rd FL conference room

1. Michael Marrella on NYC waterfront master plan

2. Patrick Too on East Midtown Rezoning

2pm – Visit Ground Zero Site

Feb 9 Saturday

8:30am – Meeting point: high line entrance at 23rd Street

8:30am-1pm – Site walk at West Side waterfront, High Line Park and surrounding

2-5pm – Site walk at Battery Park City waterfront

6pm – Dinner at China Town (Chinese New Year Eve)

Feb 10 Sunday   (Daniel to send out tour proposal)

9:00am –  Meeting point: Grand Central Terminal, the Apple shop

9:00-10:30am – Site walk at East Midtown projects

11am-3pm – Site walk at East Riverfront

3pm –  Free time

Feb 11 Monday

9:20am – Meeting point: BLDG 92 Exhibits and Programs, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. 63 Flushing Ave. (and Carlton Ave), Unit 300.

9:30-11:00am – Meeting with Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation and bus tour

11:00-11:30am – Site walk in the neighborhoods, Navy Yard and Green Point surroundings

11:30am-12:30pm – Meeting with Jenifer Becker at Pratt Center of Community Development, 536 Myrtle Avenue, 3rd floor (The entrance to the building is actually not on the street but you will see a Utrecht art supply store and a post office.  In between those two storefronts is a courtyard. Walk through the courtyard and to the left and you will see the entrance to the building.)

7pm – Flight NYC (LaGuardia) to Atlanta


Thanks for visiting the official website of Professor Perry Yang’s Waterfront Revitalization studio. Our team of Georgia Tech graduate students and faculty members is working with the city government of Kaohsiung, Taiwan to develop a waterfront revitalization plan for the city. We will be using Manhattan’s waterfront as a benchmark for the analysis, and the eventual goal is to present a well-rounded report will assist the city of Kaohsiung to develop its waterfront to be economically vibrant, environmentally sustainable, and resilient to climate change.