Genoa, a founder-member of AIVP, hosts the 8th Parmenides Forum on: What sustainable development for our Mediterranean ports?
On 21-23 March 2017 AIVP went to Genoa to take an active part in the 8th Parmenides International Forum of the Interacademic Development Group (GID). The event was organised in partnership with Porto Antico, the management and development structure of the old port of Genoa, whose Director General, Alberto Cappato, is also on the board of AIVP.
The Forum centred on the knowledge needed to reconcile the evolution of port infrastructure with sustainable development in the Mediterranean. AIVP Director General, Olivier Lemaire, took the opportunity to talk about the importance of placing members of the public at the heart of steps towards sustainable development. In the framework of port city territories, where socio-economic challenges are multiple and complex, understanding of and education in port and shipping activities are the basis for sustainable, cooperative progress.
Apart from the question of the involvement of society, experiments and research works in a range of subjects were presented: the role of ports in the preservation of marine biodiversity and fishing resources, eco-design and the use of new materials for port construction and development, intelligent materials to keep the marine environment clean, intelligent ports for logistics aimed at economising resources, etc.
During the discussions, the importance of the capacity for innovation in all areas of sustainable development was made very clear. To meet worldwide competition and environmental/social requirements, ports need to develop a capacity to anticipate which requires sharing of knowledge and experience. This also implies reorganising port systems, which must increasingly be planned at the level of regional port complexes. This is the case particularly for Italian ports, since the number of port authorities has been reduced from le 24 to 15 in the ports reform. This reduction, intended to optimise management systems, will not deliver the expected growth if it is not accompanied by a strong stimulus to innovation. Paolo Costa, ex-mayor of Venice and president of the Port of Venice, ex-Minister of Transport, ended his speech with the following words:
“In a context of globalisation, ports will be differentiated much more by their ability to install an environment which encourages innovation and education, than by their strategies to adapt to the shipping market.”