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.
Different ways to discover the port
During the coming weeks, AIVP will focus on port city culture. There are many different ways to enhance the port identity as we have seen recently. In Antwerp, the Havenland Run & Walk 2020 edition will allow participants to run or hike along the Rietveld Kallo nature reserve, viewing the port. The event will take place on November 7th and 8th, adapted with “corona-proof” safety measures. Another example to discover the waterfront can be found in San Diego, USA, where the port is highlighting the arts and culture program, with a series of self-guided tours to experience the art locations. In Fremantle, Australia, the port is organizing free port walks, with the help of volunteers enrolled in a new program, to better educate the public about port operations and the history of Victoria Quay. Another way to culturally link port and city is supporting local initiatives, as the port of Huelva in Spain is doing, collaborating with Ibero-American Film Festival.
The new NextGen District in Antwerp (Belgium) will become a hub for innovative companies, from start-ups to industry leaders, in the field of circular economics
The Port Sustainability Plan from Port Authority of New South Wales (Australia) wins Good Design Award. The plan, co-created with employees, defines a framework for sustainable initiatives in four main areas: people, operations, environment and communities
Taking gender equality seriously in port cities
The presence of women in the maritime world is no longer novelty, and their contribution is a crucial added value for ports. This was the main message from the Minister of Women and Gender Equity of Chile in her visit to the port of San Antonio. However, there is still a long way to go. For that reason, three Argentinian ports have launched initiative addressing gender issues. The Dock Sud port and the Port of Buenos Aires have created commissions on gender perspective in accordance with the ministry’s directives. The port of Bahía Blanca has developed an action protocol for situations of gender violence. The main objective is to define the actions to be taken in situations of discrimination and/or gender violence against women and people from the LGTBIQ+ collective, guaranteeing a work environment of trust, security and respect for people’s rights.
Port Culture: the foundation for social integration of ports
As we will see during the next month, disclosing port city culture is crucial for the social integration of ports. Events such as the Italian Port Days form last week can bring the population close to the port. The second edition of this event organized by Assoporti was supported by many Italian port authorities that hosted open days or cultural activities. In the case of Genoa, the festival Zones Portuaires contributed to the celebration of port city culture with concerts, exhibitions and debates, including one webinar with the participation of AIVP. In other port cities similar initiatives are taking place, like in Viana do Castelo (Portugal), but this time virtually due to the limitations imposed for the Covid-19.
Mobility in port cities: different approaches to a complex problem
One of the challenges for port-city relationships is managing the impact of port traffic in urban areas. To address this issue, the port of San Diego (USA) has presented the plan “Harbor Drive 2.0.” to keep trucks out of local neighbourhoods. The port will collaborate with the San Diego Association of Governments, and the California Department of Transportation to create a dedicated road for trucks. The plan also calls for better sidewalks, bike lanes and mass transit stops. Other solutions to make port city mobility more sustainable are based on river transport. One example is London, where express delivery companies are combining it with bicycles for the last mile. In Paris and Lisbon we can find examples of river passenger traffic using electric boats, both for leisure and commuting. Electromobility has been one of the main solutions many port cities are considering, as it is also happening in Aveiro (Portugal), where the port with new charging stations. Other cases are going one step further and testing new transport methods, such as drones, as we saw in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) some days ago.
The importance of food and port cities
This years’ Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the Word Food Program for its efforts to end hunger and provide quality food. Port Cities play a key in the distribution of food for all, as we saw this week with the new agreement between the port of San Antonio (Chile) and the local fishermen collectives to support sustainable fishing techniques. The discussion about food will continue, particularly this week when FAO celebrates the World Food Day. There will be several events such as the Food Talks in Valencia (Spain), in Las Naves of La Marina.
Port of San Pedro (Ivory Coast) partners with the local cultural festival to support the local maternity wards
New station for Natural Gas for Vehicles will contribute to green mobility in Le Havre
The Port of Algeciras strengthens its support to the Food Bank
[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.