Pride, ambition and determination
I received the news of my election as the new President of AIVP in Dublin on 28 May with a mixture of pride, ambition and determination.
Pride first, of course, at being chosen to succeed Jean-Pierre Lecomte, who has steered our association effectively through its evolution over the last six years. Once again, our thanks to you Jean-Pierre for your work.
Hand-over of Presidency
As I announced at the closure of our 14th World Conference in Durban, this year I will not be standing for re-election as President of the Board of AIVP. These six years at the head of our association have been years of profound changes both for the world of associations and for port cities. New subjects for port-city collaboration have emerged: the fight against climate change and anticipation of its consequences, the importance of integrating ports into society and of dialogue with citizens, smart coordination between cities, ports and businesses, etc.
Your success is our business
If an international network can be judged in terms of the diversity of its projects, then AIVP can without doubt be said to have made a very active and dynamic start to 2015! For evidence, consider the renewed international monitoring of city-port projects, a Guide of Good Practices, a regional seminar in Guadeloupe, another in Dublin, a 2016 world conference in the pipeline, various study trips planned, a partnership being developed with our Chinese friends in Ningbo, actions to promote societal integration through AIVP’s Port Center Network…
A smart port city for 2015
The very recent 14th World Conference Cities and Ports organised in Durban, South Africa has again strongly confirmed that in port cities, faced with both global challenges and local issues, it is time for partnership and for the sharing of resources and territories.
Smart Port City?
In a few days’ time our 14th World Conference will commence in Durban, South Africa. This year we have chosen to base our discussions around the theme of the smart port city. More than just a fashionable term, being ‘smart’ for a port town is about the need, experienced by all of today’s stakeholders in the development of cities and ports, to think about our growth in a different way.
Annual General Meeting 2014 in Genoa
In 1991, the Port of Genoa, a founder-member of AIVP, organised one of the association’s first world conferences. At that time, the “Magazzini del Cotone” were being renovated and the city was finally rediscovering its port with the preparation of the “Colombo ‘92” international exhibition. Over the last 25 years, cooperation between the port and the city of Genoa has multiplied: the spectacular redevelopment projects in the Porto Antico have been followed by initiatives to open the port more and more to the city and its inhabitants. The success of the Genoa Port Center, which on 25 June 2014 will sign the AIVP “Missions Charter of a Port Centre“, bears witness to this.
Interchange, innovation, projects…
You have demonstrated your appreciation of the international interchanges of experience that we organise on a regular basis. We receive extensive feed-back expressing your satisfaction at finding good examples or specialists for your problems at our AIVP Days or World Conferences. This year, I am sure that our AIVP Days at Genoa on 26th to 28th June and our World Conference in South Africa at Durban and Cape Town on 3rd to 8th November will once again help you to make faster progress towards your goals for your city and port, applying innovative projects which will unite the living forces of your port city.
Urban Port, Enterprise-driver Port, Citizen Port
Since our last world conference at Nantes and Saint-Nazaire in June 2012, we have been using this new, perhaps more intuitive, vocabulary to better translate our ambitions for port-cities. During our exchanges of experiences, we found that port-city dialogue is permanently on-going and occurs simultaneously in the three dimensions, urban, entrepreneurial and citizen, which structure our work today.
Happy and prosperous year in 2014!
It is fashionable today, when speaking in public or writing in the press, to see the glass as half empty rather than half full. Is everything really so bad? The economy, society, biodiversity, climate, energy – there is no shortage of subjects for concern. They naturally demand actions on the scale of the challenges, and admit no place for national selfishness in our globalised contemporary societies. At AIVP, as in many other world-wide networks, we are working on this. Without being overly optimistic, but as President of an international association which by its nature is attentive to the transformations at work all over the globe, I would simply like to recall that the growth of international maritime trade has contributed extensively over the last few decades to the enrichment of a number of nations. Their inhabitants have gained access to a better quality of life and higher education.
Editorial : “Did you say IPCC?”
The most recent IPCC report has raised less of a storm than its predecessor published 6 years ago. In the absence of virulent controversy with climate-change sceptics, the press seems to be tiring of these alarmist reports, even though it continues to stress – paradoxically enough – that the data produced by the IPCC are conservative. Discouraging in advance all efforts towards a profound change in our development and consumption processes would be counter-productive. If nothing changes very soon, our children and grand-children, born today, may see water waist-deep in the streets of New York, Bilbao, Shanghai or Buenos Aires by the time they retire! Not to mention the many serious climate disorders affecting particularly southern hemisphere countries, where the social and economic tissue is already fragile.