London: refurbishment of the marina in the three basins of St Katherine’s Docks
Bordeaux: super-yachts and watersports for the “Bassins à flot”. Integration with residential building to be discussed
WORLD SYSTEMS, a new approach to maritime traffic in the development policies of port cities
In the context of research projects into the dynamics of port cities, AIVP would like to draw its active members’ attention to the World Systems project. This project, financed by the European Union to the tune of one and a half million euros, began in March 2013 and will go on for 5 years. The World Systems project is under the scientific responsibility of César Ducruet, CRNS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) researcher and member of AIVP’s network of experts.“The World Seastems project aims to map and to analyze the changing spatial pattern of the world economy across 300 years from a maritime perspective. It will exploit untapped vessel movement data on a world scale since 1734, date of the first publication of Lloyd’s List. Such data offer disaggregated information on weekly inter-port flows with detailed descriptions of vessels as well as their dates of departure and arrival at world’s ports. Despite the vital importance of maritime transport for economic development and international trade, no research has been done on the long-term evolution of the global maritime network. There are three main goals of the project.
First, it will map for the first time the spatial distribution of almost 300 years of maritime flows in a dynamic and interactive manner. A geomatics visualisation platform will also integrate advanced analytical tools to simplify the pattern of shipping routes and corridors, and to extract meaningful information from the original data, with both scientific and pedagogical outcomes. Second, the project will look at the topological and spatial structure of the global network of inter-port links with reference to graph theory, social network analysis, and complex networks. The global properties of the network can be compared with general models of networks, while the evolution of macroscopic measures will be explored in relation with wider structural and conjectural changes in the world system (e.g. conflicts, revolutions, crises, territorial reconfigurations) in terms of network expansion, shrinkage, concentration and polarization. Internally, the search for tightly connected substructures (i.e. clusters, communities of ports, économies-mondes) will focus on the emergence of world regions and regional integration processes. Finally, we will examine the co-evolution of maritime flows and urban/regional development and compare the growth trajectories of port and non-port cities based on their situation in the combined sea-land network.
In a multidisciplinary fashion, the project questions both the contribution and the resilience of port activities and shipping routes to the transformations of the world system and economy from the local level to the global level. It will provide novel results about world systems theory, network theory, and location theory. ”
Debate between leaders of the cruise ship industry and port-cities
AIVP followed with much interest the work of the conference organised by the Cruise Europe association, which held a meeting for its members in Le Havre on 23, 24 and 25 April this year. More than one hundred delegates involved in the development of the cruise ship business in port-cities, from a score of countries in Northern and Western Europe, took part in the conference.The port-city as an economic adjustment variable?
The cruise operators represented among the speakers (Holland America Line, Celebrity, Carnival, AIDA…) testified to the good health of the cruise market in Northern and Western Europe, while stressing the difficulty of ensuring that the business remains profitable economically. The cost of fuel and port costs were mentioned to explain this apparently paradoxical situation. The direct and indirect costs associated with calls at European ports were once again vigorously denounced by the lines’ representatives. The question of the balance sought between passenger expectations of an attractive and comfortable programme of calls on the one hand, and the companies’ demand for maximum profitability on the other, is necessarily delicate. In the search for this financial balance, companies see the choice of the port-cities at which they call as an adjustment variable. These port-cities therefore have a strong incentive to offer conditions for ship calls which meet the companies’ strategic demands. For a start, every port-city must know how to negotiate a win-win partnership, while understanding that it is more and more difficult to make the most of the profits to be earned from their geographical situation in a context of strong competition between ports which are ever better equipped for cruise ship calls.
In search of authenticity
The structure of each cruise and, naturally, the question of the calls and the excursions available, were central issues in the debates. To reduce the variable costs of their operations, the companies look for new circuits which are linear rather than loops; passengers therefore embark and disembark at different ports. Moreover, slow steaming, already extensively used by cargo vessels, is an increasingly common practice among cruise ship operators. Steaming speeds at sea have been falling steadily for several years to save fuel. As a result of this, ports of call cannot be too far apart in order to optimise passage time, which is the least expensive for the operator and can generate the best profits for companies through consumption of the services offered on board. In the port of call, the companies are careful to ensure that the terminal is close to the city centre, and that good road infrastructure exists for day excursions. Failing that, the offer of launches (free of course!) by local players is naturally appreciated.
The quality of the excursions offered, the level of on-shore reception and the interest of each port of call contribute to the reputation and success of the cruise, and therefore of the company. For the cruise ship operator, novelty, authenticity and exclusivity are values which are sure to guarantee a satisfying “repeater” rate among passengers, who are also encouraged to recount their “experience” on the internet and social networks. For European cruises, this indirect marketing strategy is proving particularly successful.
It is hard to say who is winning this game in which port-cities and cruise ship companies try not to be first to blink. The strong market dynamic is sufficient to keep everybody happy for the moment: the companies who are permanently refining their economic model, the port-cities who are polishing their images and can expect substantial economic benefits, and finally the passengers, who every day are offered more, at more competitive prices. However the equilibrium is fragile and the importance of the role played by the industry’s professionals in each port of call should be stressed. In a few years, they have become essential points of contact for the companies and the first to encourage the formation of local “cruise clubs”. A great advantage of meetings like this is that it brings them together and allows them refine the strategies of their own port-cities.
Kengo Kuma: the Japanese architect builds culture into the old river port at Besançon (France)
The recently inaugurated “City of the Arts” at Besançon brings together the FRAC (Regional Fund for Contemporary Art), located in an old brick-built warehouse, with a new building housing the Music Conservatory. The public esplanade serves the whole ensemble, creating a link between city, art and the river.
Source : Kengo Kuma And Associates ; Le Moniteur
Shanghai : un 3e terminal passagers pour faire face à la croissance du trafic croisière
Malaga: “El Palmeral”, a development which reinforces port-city integration, wins an architecture award
Virtualisation of cruise terminal information systems in Venice
“Venezia Terminal Passageri” hopes that their investment will reduce considerably the risks associated with a breakdown in computer systems, which could potentially cause an interruption in services and a loss of data with disastrous consequences for the company.
Source: La Repubblica
Copenhague: inicio de las obras para la construcción del Centro Nacional de Arquitectura diseñado por Rem Koolhass
El Centro se implantará en el emplazamiento de una antigua cervecería donde también se prevén oficinas y viviendas. Dicho centro permitirá vincular el centro de la ciudad con el frente costero histórico y el barrio cultural de Slotsholmen.
Source : OMA ; Cyber Archi
Alotau in Papua-New Guinea preparing to receive cruise ship calls
The Port of Alotau will be restructured by PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNGPCL) between now and October to enable it to receive the first cruise ships operated by Carnival Australia, one of the biggest operators in the Australian market. This will make it the biggest cruise ship port in the country.
Source: PNG Ports Corporation
Cruise ships transformed into hospitals for Coronavirus patients
The cruise sector has been at the center of several negative news during the corona crisis. However, it can also be part of the solution and positive news. In the past days several major cruise lines and ferry operators like MSC, Carnival or Moby have offered several ships to be transformed into emergency hospitals, releasing the pressure from land-based hospitals and healthcare systems around the globe. The most concrete example of this measure is taking place in Genoa, Italy. MSC proposed that the MSC Opera cruise ship and three ferries from GNV (Superba, Suprema e Splendid), a company they own, could be transformed in just 10 days. In this action MSC collaborated with the region, the municipality, RINA (certification company) and the port. The first case has been the Splendid, already prepared to host the first 25 patients that have overcome the most serious phase of the COVID-19 but must remain in isolation. The ship could potentially up to 400 hospital beds and a reanimation and intensive care unit in its hangar. This operation shows other side of cruises and the capacity to cooperate of port city actors in crisis situations.
Open Innovation Challenge for green logistics and sustainability organized by the Thinkport Vienna (Austria). Ideas can be submitted until May 17th on the three main topics: Location of inland ports in energy, logistics and innovation; services for urban logistics and cities; and connectivity exploring waterways as supply routes.
The Clean Production Agreement (Acuerdo de Producción Limpia) of the Logistic Community of San Antonio (Chile) achieves excellent results after two years. 100% of the companies in the community are monitoring the sustainability indicators and 73% of them have reduced its carbon footprint.
The port of La Rochelle (France) celebrates its 130 anniversary inviting locals to share their stories about the port and displaying historical documents. The port also welcomes in the port house the « Le tour de La Rochelle en 52 tableaux » from Allan Stephens.
Plastic Whale: a company in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) is “fishing” for plastic in the city’s canals and transforming it in furniture and boats.
Generating clean energy from the wave movement in Valparaíso (Chile)
Since the beginning of March 2020, the new prototype BAM II will be tested in the Barón Pier of the Chilean port city. The new machine, developed by Maestranza Diesel and Asmar with the support of the port authority, could generate up to 3 kW. This is the second prototype from the same consortia, replacing the first one installed in late 2018. One of the main advantages of this new system is that it does not causes any negative impact on the environment since it does not use any fuel, nor produces any emissions. At a larger scale it could be a proper solution of green energy along for isolated companies or communities along Chilean coast. Several companies are currently exploring the movement of waves as a potential source of clean energy, like Eco Wave, making port cities a crucial area for the energy transition.
Citizens from Valencia (Spain) can now explore the port’s archives in a new digital platform
The port of Valencia has joined forces with Microsoft and ENCAMINA to develop PUBLICARME, a new digital tool to explore the historical archives of the port. This new platform includes more than 10 000 historical documents from the mid-19th century until the 1940s. PUBLICARME uses artificial intelligence to read the text from the documents and improve the research process. Additionally, the platform also establishes connection between the content of the document, speeding up potential investigations. The digital copies will be stored in a cloud system, guaranteeing the safety of their content beyond the paper’s integrity. PUBLICARME recently received the @asLan award for digital transformation. Port archives are cultural resource yet to be explored in most port cities. The port of Dublin (Ireland) has also invested in disclosing its archives and is planning a new facility. Lisbon, in Portugal, inaugurated last year a new building with the archives of its port and Setubal, in Barreiro. These initiatives facilitate the contacts of local citizens with port culture.
Culture and Students in the port
School visits and cultural events remain one of the main activities to bring younger generations to the port. In the case of Setubal (Portugal), the School Project of the port authority brought more than 750 students in 2019 from schools all over the country. The port of Tarragona (Spain) is intensifying the its cultural program with the occasion of its 150th anniversary including visits and the refurbishment of the port museum. On February 28th was the main institutional event, gathering 800 persons from the port community, companies, region, municipality, but also the neighbours. Last year, was the turn of the port of Barcelona and Trieste to celebrate the 150th and 300th anniversary, respectively, also with an intense cultural program for the citizens.
Amsterdam’s water canals are becoming cleaner. The famous canal boats are being converted to use electric power, reducing the emissions. At the same time, the port authority has launched a floating battery service to bring electric power to provide clean energy for the port and the city.
The sustainable port is both smart and collective
The CEOs of the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam have laid out converging visions for the future development of their respective ports, one having just returned from the World Economic Forum, the other speaking about in an interview about forward-looking prospect for the port. Both agree that the fight against climate change and the need for a carbon-neutral port economy are absolutely crucial. Technological innovation, both onshore and offshore, and moves to optimise logistics chains, will of course form part of the solution. Beyond that, however, the success of these changes will depend on the ability of ports to forge new partnerships and work collectively, by bringing their communities together around a shared process of transformation.
➜ Port of Rotterdam / Flows
To ease congestion on the roads, the Port of Melbourne (Australia) has confirmed plans to develop its rail infrastructure (with a €16 million investment)
Kribi (Cameroon): first 31 businesses now setting up in the port zone, with another 150 set to follow.
Vlissingen – North Sea Port (Netherlands): first developments for the Borsele 1+2 offshore wind farm that will eventually provide power to a million homes
Major trends and scenarios for the evolution of logistics
In the majority of port cities, logistics activity is increasingly structuring the territory. Marking out the future of this sector is becoming necessary. To this effect, the Urban Planning Agency of Marseille (France) remind us of a few key points. The massification of world trade flows will continue leading to the concentration of shipowners, the adaptation of ports, the extension and robotisation of warehouses, the emergence of single operators. In the era of e-commerce, the optimisation of the last mile has also become crucial. Nevertheless, land transport remains the weak link in this ecosystem with difficulties in massifying flows and proportionally a heavier CO2 impact. Pooling could be part of the answer but not all sectors believe in it. At the heart of these developments, the issue of employment appears to be an additional challenge for the territories.
Rwanda: Four ports on Lake Kivu earmarked as an alternative to road transport
Lake Kivu in western Rwanda marks the border with the neighbouring DRC. The four ports will be built with the help of the Netherlands, and spread out from the north to the south of the lake. They will promote improved mobility for passengers and goods between the various districts along the bank. Within twenty years, they should handle the majority of commercial cross-border trade and some 3 million passengers. The Government is also keen to use the ports as a platform for more ambitious plans to kick-start water-based transport on other lakes and rivers in Rwanda. The aim is to reduce the use of onshore transport infrastructures, maintenance of which represents a significant portion of the national budget. Finally, the project will help to boost competitiveness for both the food industry (beer, tea, coffee) and the cement industry, while also giving a lift to the tourist sector.
Whether fixed or floating, offshore wind power is now becoming truly industrialised. Cooperation between ports will need to be strengthened as a result.
Port of Montreal (Canada): fluid activities vital for combining economic efficiency and respect for the local population
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.