Pingtan (China): museum and city will replace military activities and fishing
The Pingtan Art Museum, designed by MAD architects, will be the biggest private museum in Asia. It is at the heart of a more general urban redevelopment project for the island of Fujian, the Chinese island closest to Taiwan. Launched in 2010, development of the Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone has accelerated recently. It is intended to strengthen cooperation and exchanges in the economy, and also in tourism and culture.
New York: the port approves the construction of a cruise ship terminal by Royal Caribbean on the old military terminal
Lyons: a floating hotel on the Rhône, with 16 rooms, in 2014
Buenos Aires: phase 2 of “Madero Harbour” launched, including housing and two towers for the WTC
Synthesis AIVP Days Helsinki : “Culture and competitiveness of port cities
Announcing the creation of cultural infrastructure in port spaces which are still active, or in the process of conversion, often provokes arguments and disagreements between the players concerned, and also the population.
Are cultural installations essential to the success of the port-city relationship?
Disputes are even more open in a context of local or national economic crisis. This was the case in Iceland in 2008 when the construction of the Harpa Concert Hall at the port-city interface of Reykjavik was launched. Investing so heavily in this type of infrastructure appears risky to many, and at all events not a high priority.
The feedback from the latest AIVP Meeting shows that in the long term this kind of bet on the future does pay. It has a positive impact on the quality of life, turning these sites into attractions which draw thousands of visitors, and places where people want to live. They also strengthen relations and cooperation between the parties involved.
Furthermore, in addition to the specific buildings, the challenge is also to bring new life to a whole territory, and to construct communities. This can be achieved by supporting the creation of “culture districts”, as in Reykjavik or Buenos Aires. Thus particular attention is paid to the quality of public spaces to favour the adoption of the new infrastructure by the population. The Spanish example of Malaga is enlightening in this respect, with the creation of a circuit round the cultural infrastructure which already existed in the city centre and the new infrastructure created on the waterfront. New links are forged, a new port-city weft is created. Appropriation by the population becomes possible thanks to the creation of a single port-city public space and a common imaginary.
At Veracruz, in Mexico, the need for a port extension must also be based on maritime culture, a culture of the sea. This enables the citizen to understand that port growth is not only an economic asset, but also contributes to the social and cultural development of the community.
Supporting the creation of a port culture or supporting the acceptance of port-city development or redevelopment projects – in the end the challenge of cultural infrastructure is the same for the decision-makers, whether for the city or the port.
Enhancing the port-city image: the port as an inspiration for architects
In a sense, the competition launched by the port of Piraeus in Greece for the reconversion of the silos into a museum is also a longer term strategic investment. Its aim is to achieve social acceptance of the presence of the port and an improvement in its relations with the city, to change the image of a port which is perceived as a barrier.
The benefits expected from the installation of high quality cultural infrastructure and public spaces here are of course associated with the fact that the passenger port is just next door, and that cruise activity is growing rapidly. The architects decided to open the building to the outside and provide views over the active port. References to the industrial past are also used in the treatment of public spaces to assert the identity of the site.
Taking inspiration from port architecture and exploiting it while respecting the logic of the site is the principle followed also in Marseilles for the various ambitious works of cultural infrastructure which have been carried out along the port-city interface. These projects have been conceived specifically as a function of the unique spirit of the location. Here port architecture becomes a tool by which identity asserts itself against the risk of standardisation. In the case of Marseilles, it is also a question of strengthening its strategic positioning on the international scene.
According to Marta Moretti, the emergence of this problem of identity, of the use of port vocabulary and memories of the city’s port history as opportunities for the creation of a new identity, is characteristic of the second generation of waterfront projects. The economic crisis appears to have brought about a change of attitude, insisting more on the re-use and exploitation of abandoned urban infrastructure. This change is a particular feature of the waterfront redevelopment operations of Northern Europe. Here, the opportunity is taken to re-think the waterfront while paying more attention to the question of sustainability and the importance of public spaces.
Citizens, partners in port performance
Port performance now is additionally measured by the degree of knowledge that a territory has of its own industrial and economic tissue. This is especially true in the case of a port-city, which often suffers from the negative and sometimes false image which its own citizens have. How then can a society be constructed which is able to contribute to economic development on the basis of its own identity?
For Hakan Fagerström (Tallink Ferry Company), the emergence of a port culture may have a positive influence on the local economic tissue of the port, but only so long as it is adopted by all the players of the port-city. The need, for economic reasons, to remain in the heart of Helsinki is particularly important for passenger transport companies, whose customers do not like to arrive in a no-man’s-land.
And it is just as important for the city to safeguard activities compatible with urban uses and to offer a berth to ships which demonstrate international trade over the port. According to Pascal Freneau of the Port of Nantes in France, ports are among the elements which structure the world, and comprehension of how trade functions is to be encouraged.
Likewise the Israeli port of Ashdod, since the port was modernised in 2005, has decided to redefine its business strategy and basic values by trying to improve its image and its relationship with the public. This step is born of the conviction that collaboration with the community and its principal institutions is an essential value for a port authority sometimes faced with a difficult social dialogue.
The creation of a Port Centre is one of the measures adopted to give back a certain pride to port workers, and in turn to show the population and the community of Ashdod the different activities and careers offered by the port. It is also a meeting point allowing the port to open its doors and show potential investors the interest shown in the territory by the various communities, institutions and companies. Its attractiveness is strengthened by a local dynamic which invests in the development of a shared port culture.
ISPS code, restricted spaces: how to create and manage cultural events in the port environment
For Jean-François Driant, Director of a major cultural infrastructure at Le Havre in France, “There is nothing that looks so like a scene in a theatre as a port basin.” The port is a tremendous vehicle for an imaginary. The only difficulty is to find a common space in which to translate this imaginary while respecting the constraints of artistic creation and the needs of port operations.
The debate underlined the fact that the ISPS Code seems particularly difficult for port authorities to get round, as was shown by the example of Guadeloupe, subjected to pressure and control by the neighbouring United States. As Harald Jaeger, CEO of the port of Valparaiso in Chile remarked, security is an asset for a port, a value to be protected. It would take many years to recover lost cruise ship passengers after an attack. For all that, the 15 years’ experience of Valparaiso, with many initiatives in the cultural, sporting, recreational, etc. fields, show that temporary partial opening of the port (10 days per year) is possible. Contributions from the floor: according to the President of the port of Bahia Blanca in Argentina, one idea is to create specific corridors inside the port, which could be financed by incorporating the cost into port dues. At Malaga, after three years of discussion, access to the wharves when there are no cruise ships in port may be possible in future.
Flexibility seems to be the key word, including being open to events generating up to a million visitors, like the Tall Ships Races. An event which, apart from the immediate benefits for the city, had a double positive impact: strengthening cooperation between city and port players, and generating financing which can subsequently be re-injected into port-city redevelopment projects.
Constructing continuity between city and port, creating an identity and reinforcing culture and the local community, in the long run is a formidable lever for economic and social development which can irrigate an entire territory.
Sydney, Darling Harbour: project revised
A new proposal for Darling Harbour which takes public reaction into account has just been unveiled. The modifications particularly concern three major buildings in the project: the International Convention Centre, the Exhibition Centre and the theatre.
Minneapolis: Scape + Rogers Marvel selected for Water Works, a park on the central waterfront
Caen: work starts on the multimedia library designed by OMA for a site beside the Saint-Pierre Basin
Quebec: the port announces better integrated warehouses and a green interface between port, city and river
Copenhagen: the United Nations building designed by 3XN is opened on Marble Pier
New dialogue to set the foundations for the port city interaction plan in Ceuta (Spain)
San Antonio citizens in Chile will continue enjoying free cultural and artistic activities thanks to the renewed support of the port
New public consultation process regarding future development of cruise activities in the port of Dublin (Ireland)
Port of Barcelona (Spain) earns an award from the European Commission recognizing a better environmental behaviour and mostly their Air Quality Improvement Plan.
➜ El Vigía
Concrete ideas to become sustainable, the example of Porto Antico
Porto Antico has developed several initiatives to make this part of Genoa (Italy) environmentally sustainable. The 1st action was to replace traditional lighting by LED, resulting in 60% energy savings. A new photovoltaic system also provides 10% of the area energy demand and electrifies the docks for mega-yachts, saving CO2 emissions. Other “smart city” solutions are carried out such as detail monitoring of energy and water consumption, or smart silicon glasses. Porto Antico also installed a Seabin device, gathering more than 500 kg per year of plastic waste from the water. Read the article to learn more (in Italian).
Port-City Instawalk: a new way for students to explore the port city
Students in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) take pictures of the city and publish them on Instagram. They show a new perspective of port-city culture and identity. The assignment was part of the curriculum of the Minor in Port Management & Logistics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. This innovative approach to study port city, according to Maurice Jansen, responsible for the curriculum, has 3 main advantages:
- It is a good introduction for the students into the port and maritime industry,
- it is a new way to capture the tensions and creativity that emerges in the port-city interface,
- It triggers the curiosity of the students.
To see the results of the instawalks look for the following accounts in Instagram:
European University of the Seas (SEA-EU) will have its permanent headquarter in the Port of Algeciras (Spain)
New public participation process announced for 2020 in the port of San Antonio (Chile) for the megaport project
Port interpretation center created in Palma de Mallorca (Spain): the new cultural facility will explain the history of the port and will be hosted in a refurbished historical building.
Historic images of the port of Dublin (Ireland) foster engagement with the citizens
Port of Dublin launched a special communication campaign featuring dozens of photographs from the 1920s to the 1960s. The images, disclosed now for the first time, show the life and working of the port of Dublin during the first half of the 20th century. The archive of the port of Dublin contains 75 000 photographs and 30 000 engineering drawings, besides maps and other documents. The origin of the disclosed photographs remains a mystery and the port has made a public call for members of the docklands community to help identify the author. This action fosters a new engagement with the local community, highlighting the port identity of the city.
The transport and logistics industry faced with the environmental and energy challenge
The sector currently accounts for 25% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency is one of the biggest ways to cut emissions. While there is a consensus on the need to gradually phase out fossil fuels, LNG is seen as a stepping stone, while in the longer term, making the right choice between hydrogen, ammonia and biofuels remains a key challenge. Another way to reduce emissions is intermodality, with the aim of reducing the proportion of goods moved by road, and increasing short distance transport by rail, river and sea. Finally, innovating for more efficient logistics is the third solution. The aim is to reduce overall energy use, while ensuring that emissions avoided at sea are not simply moved onshore, particularly as a result of increased congestion in port cities.
The growth of cruise tourism and the decision on whether to host liners is a choice for society, according to the President of the Port of Valencia (Spain).
Environment and climate: how far has the maritime and port sector progressed?
Reducing carbon footprints, developing new energy sources, promoting multimodality, and electrifying installations are all areas in which ports have been taking responsibility for nearly ten years. AIVP provides you with regular updates on the latest developments in these areas, in which there is also a trend towards greater cooperation, with ten Nordic ports recently announcing initiatives to tackle the issues involved. At sea, with one month to go before the new IMO regulations come into force, things appear to be moving more slowly. In a recent report by the Global Maritime Forum, the maritime industry itself expressed concern about its preparedness for the new regulations, decarbonisation and the demands of civil society.
Port territory: planning a shared City Port future
Associated British Ports is arguing in favour of shared governance of the City Port territory, calling on politicians to do more to take account of port master plans in their policies. The scale of the commercial, environmental, technical and social changes requires a concerted approach, bringing together all local communities (City Port). These observations go hand in hand with the Port Futures programme, through which ABP is urging its members to innovate).
Multimodality is key to port-city performance
Fierce competition between port territories has always come down to onshore mobility issues. As a result, rail and river links are strategically important, since they are the only ways to transport goods to and from the port whilst respecting the public’s environmental concerns. The future European Transport Commissioner has made the issue a central policy plank, while there is also visible investment on the ground. Kiel (Germany) is developing the capacity to support 740 metre-long trains, while Long Beach (USA) is committed to expanding its main rail infrastructures. In Canada, the ports of Quebec and Halifax are making rail links to the centre of the country and the American Midwest a key component of efforts to develop container activity. In many cases, the choice for ports is a multimodal future, or no future at all.