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.
The Port of Talcahuano (Chile), presents its 2019 Sustainability Report online, emphasizing its efforts in gender balance, the safety of the workers, clean production and educational programs.
Protecting Salmons in the Fraser River Estuary, in Vancouver (Canada). The port is working with indigenous groups, local communities and agencies to safeguards this species.
Port Community of Valencia (Spain) strengthens its commitment to reduce plastic in the “No plàstic” project.
Supporting young talents for a more sustainable future
Port and city need to work together to provide career opportunities and facilities for local talents and students. In the case of Dakar (Senegal), the port and the city are working together with national institutions and NGOs in a new project to rehabilitate local middle-schools and reforest green spaces. However, providing schools is only part of the way. The work of young talents can be also a valuable resource for the port, as it is visible in the port of Helsinki (PDF). In the Finnish case, the master thesis of a young student will help the port to reduce the carbon footprint of its procurements. The research was done under the guidance of the port authority and the end result is a practical guide for assessing procurement processes, introducing a stronger sustainability perspective.
Climate change adaptation in The Netherlands and Senegal
Sea level rise is a global challenge. We can see how different regions of the world are developing project to cope with it. For example, in the Netherlands, the Resilience by Design program from Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam is showing how climate adaptation is becoming a part of integrated investment decisions in area development now and in the future. The project will lead to seven joint insights for climate adaptation in the region and with nine demonstration projects that show how climate adaptation can lead to more attractive cities and landscapes and a healthy living environment. Already three results of the project are available. On a completely different context, in Senegal, the project for the coastal integrated management and resilience is entering its 2nd stage in the Delta of the Saloum and Petite Côte. The initiative includes planting trees to slow coastal erosion, and building dikes to prevent rising water levels. Breakwaters will also be constructed to protect the coastlines against extreme events.
Art, culture and solidarity in port cities
Ports contribute to the local communities in many ways, beyond its economic impact, for example in art and culture, or with solidarity initiatives. The port of Lisbon (Portugal) is celebrating its 133rd anniversary virtually opening its headquarters, sharing the murals from Almada Negreiros. The port is also hosting a regatta and a photography challenge. In Barcelona (Spain), the port is connecting arts and solidarity by inviting children aged between 3 and 12 to participate in the collective mural by artist Carme Solé Vendrell to raise awareness on child rights. Still in Spain, in Huelva, the port is collaborating with the Arrabales Association to help in the rehabilitation of young people with addiction problems. The port of Algeciras (Spain), is supporting the Red Cross to help homeless people, in a critical moment due to the pandemic. On another scale, the Port of San Diego (USA), is developing a project for an artist-designed lighting project for the Coronado Bridge. The goal is to create a monumental signature artwork for the region.
Artistic illumination for port facilities
During one month, the port silo of Malteries d’Alsace in Strasbourg (France), will have a new artistic face. The port and SPL Deux-Rives challenged Prof. Thomas Voltzenlogel and 8 visual arts students from Haute école des arts du Rhin to reflect on the poetic value of shadows in these times dominated by light. Their response came using gobo projections, exploring the Rhine mythology and the industrial and port history of the Coop district. The light shows will be visible until the 6th of November 2020. In other port cities like Las Palmas de Gran Canarias (Spain), the first port-city visual and plastic arts festival will take place in November. The event will be organized by Factoría de Cohesión and will reflect on the connection between port and city.
New autonomous ship to collect garbage from the water will be tested in Bergen (Norway)
The Valenciaport Foundation has launched its first Port Hackathon to focus on solutions for smart, green and resilient ports
474 Start-ups and companies will compete for the Spanish port innovation Fund “Ports 4.0”
[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
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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
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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.