Urban Port

25 November 2020

Heritage as an asset

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The specific identity of our port cities comes mainly from their port heritage. Re-using that heritage to redevelop a site and enhance its appeal is a strategy that features regularly in our publications. Currently, some new examples have been seen. These include redeveloping warehouses and converting them for new uses, such as the Fénix Museum in Rotterdam or concert halls in Brussels. Also in the Belgian capital, the former Tour&Taxis ferry terminal which dates from the early 20th century is set to be turned into offices, shops and leisure facilities, housed in a sustainable building. These transformative projects are also an opportunity for architects to suggest ways of increasing urban density, by grafting new additions onto existing buildings. Examples include a former industrial mill in Dublin, and an old shipbuilding plant in Brisbane. Investors are often among the first to spot the potential offered by existing heritage, as shown with the buildings recently put up for sale at the listed Sullivans Cove site in Hobart (Tasmania).




25 November 2020

The winning design for the new passenger terminal in Valencia (Spain) has been announced

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The Port of Valencia has opted for the project proposed by Baleària. Due to be built on the site of a former shipyard, the sustainable terminal will be powered by renewable energy and will be 100% self-sufficient. It will also house a centre for innovation and eco-efficiency, along with a cultural space. The Mayor of Valencia has suggested creating a tunnel to access the terminal, in addition to a pedestrian and cycle route, as a way of reducing the building’s impact on the local landscape. The port has given the green light and is set to carry out a technical feasibility study.

Autoridad portuaria de Valencia ; El Diario

25 November 2020

The Port of Amsterdam official opens a sustainable, “circular” building using geothermal energy, solar power, specially chosen materials, …

Port of Amsterdam

25 November 2020

In Ghent (Belgium), a primary school and crèche are under construction at a disused port site

ArchDaily (+ images, plans)

18 November 2020

The port of Dublin: ever closer integration with the City

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The Port of Dublin has unveiled the Liffey-Tolka project, with plans for a 1.4 km dedicated cycle and pedestrian route between the river Liffey and the Tolka estuary, through Dublin port lands. It will bring cyclists and pedestrians from the Liffey to the start of a second Port-City integration project, the Tolka Estuary Greenway, a 3.2 km route along the northern perimeter of the port. These green links will provide safe thoroughfares while providing better views of the port and its activities, symbolising the commitment to Port-City integration highlighted by the Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, Eamon O’Reilly. That commitment is also reflected in the masterplan for 2040, with plans for the Alexandra Dock area including the redevelopment of a former flour mill. It will house spaces to present the port archives and its current activities, two 300-seat performance venues, working and studio spaces for artists and exhibition spaces.

Port of Dublin ; Liffey-Tolka project, Grafton Architects ; Flour Mill masterplan, Grafton Architects

18 November 2020

New governance for the Deux-Rives project in Strasbourg (France), with a new president and joint management by the SPL (publicly-owned local development corporation) and the SEM (public-private partnership)

Le Moniteur

18 November 2020

The City of El Puerto (Spain) looks to regain control of its river

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The Mayor of El Puerto and the President of the Port of Cadiz have together unveiled plans to redevelop the area along both banks of the Guadalete. The project includes a new riverside promenade running for 1.7 km along the right bank, which will be divided into ten zones designed to showcase the city’s identity, including traditional shipbuilding and wine. Information points, public stages for cultural events and performances, as well as new green spaces, landscaped areas and sports and leisure facilities will be available by 2022. Meanwhile on the left bank, water sports activities will be developed, and the fishing port will be integrated. The local population will be invited to participate in the projects.

La Voz de Cadiz ; Port of Cadiz Bay

18 November 2020

“The Factory”, a flexible cultural complex, is set to open in Manchester (UK) in 2021. Virtual tours have been available since July

Design boom (+ images) ; video 

18 November 2020

A new riverside park in the historic centre of Saint Petersburg (Russia) will connect the city’s green spaces via a continuous pedestrian promenade

Competition results ; Inhabitat (+ images)

11 November 2020

Boston looks to tackle climate change

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The recently opened public debate provided an opportunity to look at the various options and solutions for the different waterfront precincts, in response to the short, medium and long term challenges posed by rising sea levels and flooding caused by climate change. So-called “resilience” solutions discussed with residents and businesses in the districts affected include raising sections of the waterfront, and some roads and cycle lanes, raising existing public spaces or creating new ones, redeveloping the port promenade, and installing new coastal protection measures. Most of these solutions should be completed by 2030.

NorthEnd waterfront ; Final Report


Citizen Port

5 September 2013

A week to discover the port of Le Havre and the careers it offers

Some dozen tours are offered to give the region’s inhabitants a chance to discover the many activities and careers associated with the maritime and port world of Le Havre. The main object is to make young people aware of the opportunities and encourage them to talk to professionals who work in this environment.
Source: CCI Le Havre

5 September 2013

The Flemish ports of Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Ghent and Ostend will open their gates on 22 September

The Flemish ports are inviting the general public to discover the extraordinary environment of the world of ports. A number of demonstrations have been organised for the occasion. At Antwerp, PSA and DP World will invite families into their terminals to see these usually inaccessible sites at close hand.
Source: Port of Antwerp

22 August 2013

Long Beach: the port has reduced its emissions of diesel particles by 81% since 2005

Source : Green Port

24 July 2013

Waterways – a sector looking to recruit but lacking applicants

The magazine Navigation Ports & Intermodalité presents a complete file on young people and waterways. This sector needs to provide a new vision of its industry and the opportunities for development which it offers. Reflections, testimonies and training opportunities will be presented.

Source: NPI

19 July 2013

The film “Cargo” takes a prize at the Genova Film Festival dedicated to the theme : Today’s port – between local identity and global networks

Source : Porto di Genova

18 July 2013

“Aportem – Port of Valencia United” sees the light of day

Valence_gm_APORTEM_12_07_2013The 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)

Source: Port de Valence – Valenciaport

17 July 2013

In Ghent, free boat trips are a victim of their own success: The port is already taking bookings for 2014

Source: Port de Gand

17 July 2013

A unique multimedia aquatic show in Quebec could inspire port cities

Source: BateauInfo

17 July 2013

Every port should have a festival: Antwerp organizes Drakenboot Festival for September 2013

Source: Port d’Anvers

16 July 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.


AIVP Days Helsinki June 2013 : Presentations available here

Photos Gallery

Enterprise-driver Port

25 November 2020

[Correction]: in our previous newsletter, we wrote in the article “Wood pellets, natural gas and wind power: how port cities are renewing their energy mix” that a field of offshore wind turbines was being installed in St-Brieuc. In fact, the turbines will be installed in Brest, and the parts were being delivered from St-Brieuc.

The article from our previous newsletter

25 November 2020

In Sète (France), cold ironing facilities will be installed by Enedis within two years

Le Marin

25 November 2020

Mozambique and Malawi sign a deal to strengthen rail freight to Mozambique’s ports

Agence Eco Fin

25 November 2020

Danish shipping line Maersk says no to LNG and “megamax” ships of more than 20,000 TEUs

Le Marin

25 November 2020

The “Port of the Future” will first and foremost be an “integrated” port

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The flagship theme of the European “Docks The Future” project, which culminates this week, the “Port of the Future” concept appears to combine digital innovation and the energy transition. On the digital side, in Barcelona (Spain), a consortium that includes the port authority along with IBM, Vodafone and Huawei, is set to develop 5G services. In the same vein, Singapore’s maritime authority is funding eleven projects that are intended to speed up the digitisation of the shipping industry. Meanwhile, on the energy side, a string of initiatives are aiming to reduce carbon emissions. A floating offshore wind hub is set to be created in Cromarty Firth (Scotland), while in Agadir (Morocco), solar power is being harnessed with a “solar caravan”. To each their own resources! Yet UNCTAD is most concerned with highlighting societal integration, particularly in Valencia (Spain), where the port foundation has provided strong support to SMEs during the crisis. Citizens’ aspirations are looking to a greener “port of the future”, whereas a shock survey by Yale University and Climate Nexus (USA) shows that a majority of Americans are ready to change their habits to support greener shipping.

Docks The Future website ; Splash247 ; Offshore Energy ;  Splash247 (2) ; Vivafrik ; Diario del puertoPacific Environment

18 November 2020

A new transhipment terminal for food industry products is to be built in Seattle (United States)

Journal of Commerce

18 November 2020

In Antwerp (Belgium), “BoxCatcher” technology is enabling smart container management using mobile rail-mounted cameras

Camco Technologies

18 November 2020

New containerised coastal shipping line between the ports of Kribi and Douala (Cameroon): decarbonising infra-regional transport?

Agence Eco Fin

Eolienne offshore
18 November 2020

Wood pellets, natural gas and wind power: how port cities are renewing their energy mix

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LNG, one of the keys to cleaner maritime shipping, is undoubtedly experiencing a rapid rise in popularity, and a new LNG terminal is due to enter service soon in Livorno (Italy), after 24 months of work. On the other side of the world it is a similar story, with Johor (Malaysia) now fuelling vessels with LNG. However, electricity seems to be the way ahead when it comes to reducing onshore carbon emissions. Wind turbines, highly efficient in coastal areas, have been targeted by the port of Zhuhai (China) which has acquired stakes in two companies specialising in wind power. Offshore turbines offer another solution, as in St-Brieuc (France) where work on construction of a farm of 62 turbines continues, with the necessary parts currently being delivered from Brest. Older technologies also remain important, the oldest among them being none other than wood! A Norwegian company based in Oslo supplies the city of Rotterdam (Netherlands) with pellets, which combust relatively cleanly and generate large amounts of energy.

Ship2shore ; GreenportSplash247 ; Le TelegrammeOslo Havn

12 November 2020

The Brittany Region (France) adopts a roadmap for 2030 focused on renewable hydrogen and smart grids

Mer et Marine