The best of cities have always been a curious mix of economic engine and seductive surface; places of work and play; producing wealth and desire in abundance. In the late twentieth century, under an accelerating globalisation of markets and cultures, many cities have been fundamentally transformed. Adapting to changing economic realities and competing for a more significant role in the world economy, they have reinvented themselves to attract new flows of capital investment. During this period the formal imagery of cities has become more central to urban development; the 'spectacle' of the city with its seductive surfaces and urban iconography has been seen as a key to prosperity. This transformation of urban imagery has often focused on waterfront sites with wonderful opportunities to reclaim disused waterfront land and create new forms of public amenity.