Heritage as an asset
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).
The winning design for the new passenger terminal in Valencia (Spain) has been announced
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.
The Port of Amsterdam official opens a sustainable, “circular” building using geothermal energy, solar power, specially chosen materials, …
In Ghent (Belgium), a primary school and crèche are under construction at a disused port site
The port of Dublin: ever closer integration with the City
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.
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)
The City of El Puerto (Spain) looks to regain control of its river
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.
Boston looks to tackle climate change
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.
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)
Rotterdam: Art in the Submarine Wharf
The Port of Rotterdam, in collaboration with the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, is mounting a cultural exhibition to make the most of this exceptional port site. A ceiling more than 20 metres high has given three internationally famed artists a chance to let their imaginations run riot.
The Port of Antwerp receives the CSR Charter initiated by the Chamber of Commerce and the Province of Antwerp
President Port of Cagliari Massidda reduces taxes in order to attract businesses and create jobs for youngsters
The International Maritime Organisation adopts additional measures from the Cruise Industry to enhance passenger safety
The use of dredging for roads is complex and should only be carried out at a suitable distance around ports.
[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.
In Sète (France), cold ironing facilities will be installed by Enedis within two years
➜ Le Marin
Mozambique and Malawi sign a deal to strengthen rail freight to Mozambique’s ports
Danish shipping line Maersk says no to LNG and “megamax” ships of more than 20,000 TEUs
➜ Le Marin
The “Port of the Future” will first and foremost be an “integrated” port
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.
A new transhipment terminal for food industry products is to be built in Seattle (United States)
In Antwerp (Belgium), “BoxCatcher” technology is enabling smart container management using mobile rail-mounted cameras
New containerised coastal shipping line between the ports of Kribi and Douala (Cameroon): decarbonising infra-regional transport?
Wood pellets, natural gas and wind power: how port cities are renewing their energy mix
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.