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.
Preserving biodiversity in waterways
Water based transport is the most sustainable logistic modality. However, waterways also require maintenance and construction works. It is possible to connect these works with measures to protect the local biodiversity. In Seville (Spain), the port authority has started the dredging of the navigation channel in the Guadalquivir river. The extracted sand and sediments will be used to regenerate several beaches, improve agricultural soil and construction. Linked to these works, the port will cooperate with the national research council to improve the dumping site for aquatic birds, providing nesting spaces and better nutrients. In Paris (France), we can find another example of biodiversity restoration in waterways: HAROPA has invested over the past five years on the revegetation of the port banks of Point du Jour providing nesting places for aquatic animals.
Food, Port Cities and Blue Economy
Besides challenges such as climate change adaptation or the energy transition, coastal territories also play an important role in the food sector, particularly linked to the blue economy. For that reason, there are several research projects trying to understand how aquaculture can be improved. One example can be found in Port Atlantique La Rochelle (France), where the QUALIPERTUIS project wants to bring a new look at the causes of mortality of certain shellfish and fish in port and coastal areas. Another example is the ASTRAL EU research project, which will develop new, sustainable, profitable and resilient value chains for integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) production in Atlantic markets. This aquaculture production method integrates the by-products of some species as inputs for others, so the waste produced by some fishes can become nutrients or fertilisers for other molluscs or sea plants, in a circular way. Ports and cities can also contribute to the production of food in many other ways. For instance, the port of HAROPA-Paris (France), harvests honey in hives installed in its territory. In 2019 they collected more than 200 kg! It is also possible to produce food in the urban environment, as can be seen in Montreal (Canada), where we can find the biggest rooftop greenhouse. The company Lufa Farms has another four greenhouses in the city producing more than 100 varieties of fruit and vegetables.
Sun glasses made from ocean plastic. The Ocean Cleanup initiative implements a circular economic model, producing products from the plastic they have gathered in the seas
Citizens invited to give their feedback in the new Port Masterplan of San Diego (USA).
Protecting sea turtles in Ghana. Meridian Ports launches its new conservation initiative.
Agreements and projects to link companies and educational offer
Linking educational curricula and labour market needs is not easy. For this reason, we see how port and urban actors are creating different program to close the gap and adjust the educational paths to real labour opportunities. For example, the vocational training initiative “FP Dual – Inmersión Portuaria” started this school year in the port of Valencia (Spain) (Youtube), providing high-school students better opportunities for a career in port companies. In San Antonio (Chile), the port just signed an agreement with the Maritime Commercial high-school Pacífico Sur in order to allow the students to learn closer to the industry and makes internships. On a different level, the port of Tarragona (Spain), is cooperating the university Rovira I Virgili in the Master course dedicated to Logisitic Operation Management, as part of the long-lasting relationship between the educational institution and the port. Another cooperation example can be found in Marseille (France), where Euroméditerranée just signed a collaboration protocol with the region and the employment agency. The goal of the charter is to coordinate their interventions and competences, to support local employment creation in the construction sector, anticipating the needs of the future worksites of the second phase of urban redevelopment project.
New tools to disclose the Port City Culture
This month, the main topic for AIVP is Port City Culture and in the last few days, our members have shown several new projects to disseminate it. In San Antonio (Chile), a new museum dedicated to sea books hosting valuable ancient volumes just opened in the port institutional building. The project will also include a library and a bookshop. In Algeciras (Spain) (PDF), the new multifunctional building that will host a Port Center, museum and innovation center is moving forward, with the call for tender for the assistance to draw up the project in the Lago Marítimo Plan. Another Port Center (YouTube) will open shortly in Côte D’Azur (France), linked to the GrITAccess EU project. It also includes the creation of a Great Tyrrhenian Itinerary to make its maritime heritage accessible. Additionally, you can learn about the new Port Pavilion of the port of Rotterdam (The Netherlands) in our recent interview. In the meantime, online tools are becoming increasingly accessible, as the port of Tarragona (Spain) shows in the virtual educational programme recently launched with the Port Museum.
Port and City to work together for the development of the outer harbour in San Antonio
Cleaning up the fjord in Oslo. Port works with companies and NGOs to help WWF in their fight against plastic in the oceans
How to invest in Human Capital?
Providing personal developing opportunities is crucial for human capital development. There are numerous examples of port cities, where ports and universities work together to facilitate trainings and educational courses to the employees. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the port just signed a new agreement with the Economic Sciences Faculty of the local University, to allow as well new research cooperation. In Rotterdam we can find other examples of this kind, such as the cooperation between the port and the Erasmus University. In a similar way, the Mauritius Ports Authority has signed a new protocol with the University of Mauritius to created new training programmes that will allow port employees to expand their careers. Other agreements may also support port workers differently, as in the protocol signed between the port of Valparaiso and SENDA in Chile, to prevent drugs and alcohol abuse.
Education is also fundamental to reduce inequalities and increase the diversity of port workers. For that purpose, the Port Authority of New South Wales has launched a new training program designed for Indigenous women, partnering with the not-for-profit organization Tribal Warrior. The port also sponsors the Deck Cadet Program to help young seafarers to kickstart their career. Indeed, engaging younger generations in port city activities is a necessary for developing the local human capital. For that reason, this kind of programs or other initiatives are becoming more common. Another example is the internship program by the Bilbao Puerto y Ría Foundation designed for young graduates. All these efforts only make sense if there are ways to couple job offers and demands, in order to facilitate this, Talent in de Haven 2.0 will take place in Antwerp to facilitate the match between companies and job seekers.
[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.