Greenport Conference Amsterdam: AIVP leads the session on port-city integration
The conference has brought together more than 150 professionals from the port world, many of whom are experts in the environment and sustainable development. The opening session was followed by a workshop on port-city integration, moderated by the AIVP strategic adviser on the integration of ports with society.
Apart from the need to introduce strategies to reduce the environmental impact of port activities, the workshop stressed the importance of maintaining contact with all the stakeholders.
The difficulty lies in setting up and maintaining in the long term a two-way virtuous dialogue with the population, since opposition can emerge very quickly to new infrastructure projects, industries or port activities. Information campaigns based on publishing direct data (such as sensitive pollution-monitoring data) are tools which are being introduced in more and more ports and industrial zones. Airports were the first to set up monitoring tools, anticipating a public desire to obtain direct, transparent information on the quality of the air that they breathe. Now it is the turn of the ports to start a process of engagement with their cities’ populations, leading to the development of relations based increasingly on trust and dialogue. Of course this takes time, and also a change of attitude by the economic players. It is no longer a question of giving reassurances, but of converting to transparency, and knowledge about the issues.