Owing to the decline of urban ports-related activities, since the post-war period many European waterfront areas have been affected by obsolescence and degradation. Once vibrant seats of activities, flows of goods and people relationships, they have been gradually dismissed and abandoned, sometimes becoming 'no-go-areas'. Overwhelmed by deep structural changes, cities have been forced to face spatial, environmental and socio-economic problems. Yet, this necessity has often turned out as a significant opportunity of revival for some urban areas. In particular, brownfield redevelopment and waterfront revitalisation have been significantly pursued by British and Irish cities, which have creatively rediscovered neglected areas along water courses, changing them into landmarks for urban life and tourism/business attraction. The paper focuses on case studies of waterfront regeneration in Manchester, Belfast and Dublin, analysing them on the basis of indicators related to procedural, economic, socio-cultural and environmental issues. Evaluation turns out to be useful both for assessing the performance of the area-based regeneration experiences and for better managing/monitoring the processes.
Keywords: cultural regeneration, brownfield redevelopment, waterfront revitalisation, performance evaluation, regeneration processes, rough set approaches, UK, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, urban waterfronts, Manchester, Belfast, Dublin, urban management