Phase 2 of the Euroméditerranée project in Marseilles (France): moving towards a resilient city
Euroméditerranée has signed a framework agreement with the firm Leclercq Associés, partnered with Setec, to act as urban planning and design consultants for specific districts concerned by this vast development project. They will look closely at strategy on housing and public spaces. The wider aim is to design what could be the sustainable Mediterranean city, one capable of meeting the challenges posed by climate change. AIVP members will no doubt want to keep a close eye on the process and the resulting solutions.
(Euroméditerranée and Setec International are both AIVP members).
A creative district at Liverpool Docks (UK)
The old warehouse district of Ten Streets, in the north of Liverpool, are set for a new lease of life with artists’ workshops and new spaces for cultural businesses. Already a number of events have been held there, and one of the warehouses is now home to a market dedicated to art, fashion and furnishings. Two other redevelopments are planned at either side of the creative district, in the Liverpool Docklands: the Liverpool Waters programme, and 550 residential units to be built in Stanley Dock Tobacco Warehouse.
The Port of Dakhla (Morocco) set to be redeveloped for yachting and passenger activities
➜ Le 360
Audio guides to (re)discover the history of various places in Puerto Madero, the redeveloped district in Buenos Aires (Argentina)
International call for tenders to design a business district in an abandoned waterfront district in Thessaloniki (Greece)
Morocco’s National Ports Agency launches a study aimed at opening up the old port of Safi and integrating it more effectively into its urban environment
➜ Le matin
New urban uses on the Seine in Paris (France): a floating psychiatric hospital
“Aportem – Port of Valencia United” sees the light of day
The Aportem project has been officially launched by various partners from the logistics and port community of Valencia. Initiated by the Port Authority and Valenciaport, it aims to promote corporate social responsibility. (©APV)
In Ghent, free boat trips are a victim of their own success: The port is already taking bookings for 2014
A unique multimedia aquatic show in Quebec could inspire port cities
Every port should have a festival: Antwerp organizes Drakenboot Festival for September 2013
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.
Rotterdam: immersion day in the context of the Port Centre Network
Greta Marini, who is responsible for running the AIVP Port Centre Network, accompanied the delegation from the Port of Leghorn, an AIVP member, on an organised tour of the Port of Rotterdam, which has been also a Member of AIVP since several years.
The delegation, consisting of the executives responsible for communications services, human resources and public relations, discovered numerous local initiatives intended to bring the city’s inhabitants, especially the young, into closer contact with port activities and careers. The tour was organised in the context of an exchange of good practices with a view to setting up a Port Centre in Leghorn.
Under the direction of Henk de Bruijn at the Port of Rotterdam’s Corporate Strategy department, Nathalie Backx has particular responsibility for relations with young people and measures to increase their awareness of careers in the port. She also sets up cultural and artistic projects to further strengthen City/Port links in Rotterdam. Today there are already several sites which bear witness to a rich, innovative, modern port culture, resolutely facing the future: Futureland, EIC Mainport and the “Research, Design & Manufacture Campus”, RDM Campus. The latter, an old industrial site that was home to the “Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij” (Rotterdam Dry Dock Company), today holds several schools which collaborate directly with nearby port companies. Together with Nathalie and her colleague Maartje Berendsen, first of all we visited Futureland, the information centre for the Maasvlakte 2 project located on the construction site 45km from the city centre. The centre was opened in May 2008 by the Port Authority in collaboration with the port terminals construction company. It is managed and promoted by the Port, and now receives nearly 125,000 visitors per year. Here the object is to explain the Maasvlakte 2 construction project from the environmental, technical (notably polder construction techniques) and management angles. The Centre offers a permanent exhibition based on a fun, interactive information circuit which helps visitors to understand the challenges of an international project on such a scale. Futureland, which does not charge for entry, also offers visitors the chance to discover the site by boat and bus. A cafeteria offers people from further afield – including retired people with their families and groups of travellers attracted by the nearby beaches – a privileged view of the construction of Maasvlakte 2.
However, the Futureland initiative is linked to a construction site and is destined to disappear within a few years. This will coincide with the opening of the APM, DP World and CMA CGM terminals, and thus the arrival of the first containers. For the moment, there are no plans to continue visits to the site once it is fully operational. Discussions are under way to study the possibility of special visits, such as are already organised to other terminals at Rotterdam, for example Euromax Terminal ECT at Maasvlakte 1. These group visits are organised jointly with the EIC Mainport Rotterdam Port Centre, an educational centre directed towards industrial-port activities and an introduction to different careers associated with these areas.
When we arrived at the Port Centre (which is a member of AIVP’s Port Centre Network), the new director, Marie Dotsch, guided us round the permanent exhibition and the teaching modules aimed at a young and teenage public. 18,000 schoolchildren pass through the centre each year. They are offered guided visits on the ground coupled with a visit to the permanent exhibition. EIC is an associative, not-for-profit structure. The Port of Rotterdam has its boardroom and main office next to the industrial companies represented by the Deltalinqs group and representatives of the Shipping and Transport College.
In 2013, several public players in Rotterdam, including the port and the city, have adopted the education and awareness of young people as their mission. The port, which is the region’s biggest employer, has difficulty in finding qualified labour for careers in technical and industrial areas. For Natalie Backx, the Port Authority has been working on these aspects for a long time, trying to mobilise the economic players of the port. The creation of RDM Campus is the latest concrete manifestation of this policy. At all events, more effective coordination between the different associations, organisations and public bodies has become necessary; employment and training are a priority for the port and its surroundings.
Recently, the “Jinc” association, already very active in Amsterdam in the field of raising awareness in children aged 8 to 16, has been collaborating with the EIC Mainport Port Centre to develop immersion visits to companies in the industrial-port centre. The 10 – 12 age-group is being targeted particularly. This new partnership could double the number of visitors to EIC in the next few years. However it would appear to be necessary to target the efforts of each of the players involved more strongly. The Port of Rotterdam is also wondering how to re-focus its investments to make these different initiatives into the pillars of a better coordinated strategy. The closure of Futureland in a few years also raises the question of creating another site nearby to continue talking about the port to the many visitors to the sector. An old building close to the dredging spoil basin could be redeveloped for the purpose. However, its location a long way from the city centre remains a problem.
A bridge to link the old fortress of Leghorn with the city
At the end of this month, the city will publish notification of a project for the creation of a floating bridge. It will create a new pedestrian route between the port and the city, and improve the management of tourist flows from the Maritime Station. In the longer term, the fortress will be operated by the company managing the passenger terminal in order to hold cultural events and house the new Port Centre. (photo © AIVP)
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.