Despite the potential benefits of a coastal location, port and coastal towns and cities can be run-down and unattractive, and underperform in economic and social wellbeing terms. Reasons include a poor built environment, derelict industrial and other legacy sites, the decline in traditional tourism and the poor connectivity to the waterfront, especially around ports. Rising sea levels and coastal erosion pose further major challenges. These issues are common to port and coastal towns and cities all around the UK, transcending simplistic north/south or east/west divisions, and demand innovation in rethinking and making our coastal communities more resilient.
The infrastructure for Port And Coastal Towns and cities network – iPACT – will identify people-focused, infrastructure-based solutions to the complex problem of improving social well-being and prosperity in coastal communities through resilient and sustainable regeneration. A major emphasis will be on taking advantage of the coastal location.
Research questions will be based around key themes of
- Connectivity with the coast
- Inclusive infrastructure
- Maintaining and enhancing resilience
- Coastal region transport
- Nature-inspired, human scale engineering
These will be investigated in collaboration with communities and the project partners Southampton City Council, Lancaster City Council, Eden North and Coastal Partnership East (a partnership of North Norfolk District Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Waveney District Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council). Southampton, North Norfolk and Morecambe encapsulate the issues faced by the spectrum of port and coastal towns and cities, for example the challenges of a working port, declining seaside resorts and historic communities facing coastal erosion and sea-level rise.
WeValue Community workshops: an invitation to take part
To help frame the research needs, we will hold a series of WeValue community-based workshops to find out what local groups of people feel is important, through their shared values. We are asking for groups to take part: 3-5 people who share an interest, profession, community responsibility, workplace. The workshop findings will inform a number of pilot projects to research and assess the feasibility of potential solutions. So, participating in a WeValue workshop in your locality is an opportunity to make your voice heard, and contribute to the definition of research that will improve the built environment for the benefit of all who live and work on and near our coasts.
Why take part?
Re-prioritising for future opportunities: strengthening latent ideas
Shared-values approaches can help groups (of people who have something in common) move forward in different ways
- Clarify what things matter the most to groups of people
- Get your shared but tacit goals ARTICULATED, and crystallised.
- Re-discover your natural priorities
- Focus on aspirations, or current situation, or gaps that people want to fill.
- Use your new awareness to prepare for opportunities, and resist stray pressures from outside
- Find out what human-nature-based shared values are being forgotten
- Produce a framework that you can refer to afterwards.
Book your own group of 3-5 people, or join other individuals.
We are looking for those who live and/or work in Morecambe and adjoining coastal areas.
Please contact Sharon Summers for more details, including how to register your interest in taking part.