AIVP participates in the Contship Italia’s Portolab Academy for the second time
Greta Marini, responsible for the integration of ports with society in AIVP, spoke at the Portolab Academy (Marina di Carrara, Italy, 22 and 23 February 2018) about the new relations that need to be constructed between ports, cities and their citizens to ensure the sustainable development of tomorrow’s port cites. This project, run by Contship Italia, illustrates good practices in terms of education on the port.
The PortoLab project created twelve years ago by terminal operator Contship Italia allows youngsters aged between 9 and 12 to learn about the terminals operated by Contship in various Italian port cities (Milan, Cagliari, Ravenna, Gioia Tauro, La Spezia).
For a few hours each week, contship employees volunteer to teach the children about the realities of port operations, based on a pre-defined educational program. For many youngsters, the port is a new and completely unknown world. A project like this requires careful preparation, and every year Portolab Academy aims to provide the necessary resources for those facilitators.
The Workshop this year was organised at Marina di Carrara in cooperation with the Port Authority System of the Eastern Ligurian Sea – AIVP member since 2004 – which includes the Ports of La Spezia and Carrara. AIVP was invited to add an international dimension to good practices with concrete examples of relations between ports, cities and their citizens. Greta Marini stressed the importance of constructing a ports-cities-citizens ecosystem. Although the Portolab Academy is normally restricted to training for Contship employees, this year it was opened to citizens and the local population. The first day was devoted to debate and public presentations on the links between city, port, training, schools and work.
The workshop was organised as part of the implementation of the Portolab programme by another private operator which has been installed in the port of Carrara for the last year. “Grendi”, which is a family company, operates various marine routes in Italy and has run into strong citizen opposition due to the nuisance generated by its ever-increasing heavy truck traffic. In response, Grendi wants to make the population, and especially young people, aware of the realities of port operations. The Portolab programme has been set up in close cooperation with Contship. It has been an instant success in schools: 400 pupils have already visited the terminal and met employees.
In the future, Portolab could become a world reference for how to bring school groups to visit port terminals. AIVP celebrates their perseverance and salutes their success over the last 12 years. It is a fine demonstration of the importance of sending a clear message by opening an operational port to visitors, in line with the Port Centre Missions Charter.