The Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network calls for the full potential of the many navigable waterways to be redeveloped for travel and tourism
Djibouti: when a port city becomes an international business centre
Construction work on this business district on the site of the former port of Djibouti was officially launched by the country’s President on 8 October. The first phase involves the creation of a hotel, exhibition and conference rooms, along with a marine research centre. Eventually, there will also be a pair of twin towers, shopping mall, marina, cruise terminal, aquarium, and other amenities. Above all, though, the project is about creating a new vision of the port city based on the “Port-Park-City” concept developed by the China Merchant Group, a key partner of Djibouti. Originally created by China Merchants Group for the Chinese port of Shekou, the concept is based on the integrated development of ports, industrial parks, services, and the city. China Merchant Group had already made clear its aim of applying the idea to several ports in Africa, including Djibouti..
A new future for Penang Bay (Malaysia)
The State Government of Penang has organised an international ideas competition for suggestions on building a resilient “City-State” across the island’s different neighbouring districts. The aim is to build on the area’s historic and natural advantages to develop a new type of city, combining culture, nature, economy and new technologies, with an emphasis on innovation. There are also plans for a creative and technology precinct in George Town, while Butterworth is set to get an innovation centre based around the port installations and Penang Sentral multimodal terminal.
The Mayor of Tampico (Mexico) and the Chief Executive of the Port continue their dialogue to promote City-Port integration
Video: the planned Art Gallery of New South Wales on the Sydney waterfront (Australia) will be a sustainable building
The Port of Busan announces a new operation for its North Port project
The North Port Development Project was launched in 2008. It concerns a vast swathe of waterfront, which the Port wants to turn into a world-class maritime and urban tourist centre. There are plans for a business district, a multi-use port district focused on passenger-based activities, cultural and leisure districts, and a residential area. The project is currently on display in the international passenger terminal, which also overlooks this North sector of the port. The Port’s current headquarters will be converted into a cruise terminal. The port is also looking at the feasibility of a new HQ, which would be housed in a smart building in the North sector, accompanying the port on its path to innovation.
Paris: the Seine set to form the focal point of the Olympics
The proximity of the Seine was one of the big arguments underpinning Paris’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which focused heavily on the river’s potential benefits as part of an environmentally-friendly Games. As a result, the waterway is being used to transport the materials and excavated earth and waste from the worksites where the various venues and facilities are under construction. One such site is the future Olympic Village, with its 3,000 residential units. Haropa Ports de Paris and Voies Navigables de France are both working to ensure the Olympic-related activity is compatible with usual river logistics, whether in terms of port traffic or tourism. However, the Paris Games are being organised with an eye firmly on the future, with the Olympic Village set to be turned into an eco-district, while Haropa Ports de Paris is keen to use the Games as a way of accelerating its existing efforts to promote the energy transition, and to improve water quality in the Seine.
Innovation Centre Las Naves and La Marina de Valencia (Spain) will work together to make the historic dock a test field for innovative projects in mobility and environmental monitoring
Technological challenge proposed by the Port of Algeciras (Spain) wins the “Fiware Zone” contest, hosted by the region and telecommunication company. The challenge will focus on innovative technology for environmental impact data.
City and Port work together in Livorno (Italy) to clean the “New Venice” district canals
New initiative for community dialogue in Bahía Blanca
The Port of Bahía Blanca (Argentina) has started the new online participative forums “Puerto Abierto” to establish new dialogues with the local community. The first meeting included representatives from the agricultural and food sector. The goal of the forums is to debate and align the expectations and needs from the local community with the actions of the port authority. The dialogue will be structured in three phases: diagnosis, discussion of ideas and starting the agreed projects. The participants of the future debate sessions will include representatives from the academy and scientific sector, business organizations, workers, environmental, and cultural initiatives. The final result will be a new strategic plan built from the social agreements.
Protecting biodiversity: Education and positive environmental effects
Port cities host a rich biodiversity. Protecting it can bring associated positive effects, besides the obvious ones. In Tarragona (Spain), the green areas policy of the port authority is showing excellent results. These areas must reduce the water footprint, promote the biodiversity and mitigate the CO2 emissions. The port has focused on the reforestation of degraded spaces and replacing water intensive plants for others more adapted to the Mediterranean climate. Every year, these areas neutralize 1500 tons of CO2 and provide shelter for endangered species such as bees. In Ceuta (Spain), the Port Authority supports the local Sea Museum (Museo del Mar), that is responsible for studying, protecting and disclosing the local biodiversity. This institution publishes several books and magazines promoting the results of their research, for example on the impact of ships on whales and dolphins. The museum also organizes educational activities and leads projects to include coastal areas in the European networks of protected natural reserves. Additionally, it is responsible for a unique facility, the “pudridero” a facility to preserve the carcasses and collect the bones to study and learn about marine animals.
Port Cities supporting the food production sector
The crucial role of port cities in food logistics is well known, but they can also be relevant in the production, particularly of seafood as one project from Valencia (Spain) shows us this week. The salinity, nutrients and location of nurseries in port waters are excellent for the production of clòtxina valenciana (Mediterranean Mussel). In the case of Valencia, the yearly production reaches 1200 tons. The quality of the water is guaranteed by the port authority and the mussels are controlled by the regional authorities to guarantee that they are safe for consumption.
South American Port Cities continue fighting the Covid-19
With the threat of the second wave of contagions grows in many countries, in South America, port city actors continue their solidarity actions to reduce the effects of the Covid19. The port of Valparaiso (Chile) continues to support the local community, with donations of equipment to the local hospital and food to disadvantaged collectives. In the meantime, in San Antonio (Chile), the port community lead by the port authority has sponsored a new laboratory to obtain faster test results. In Buenos Aires (Argentina), the port authority has extended the subsidies to concessionaries to reduce the economic impact of the crisis.
Port and City work together in Ceuta to improve the air quality.
The Talcahuano (Chile) Logistic Community (Comlog) will deploy an agenda oriented towards community relations and sustainability.
Referendum in Key West (USA) to decide the future of cruises
The citizen non-profit organization “Key West Committee for Safer Cleaner Ships” has successfully gathered enough signature to call for a referendum in November’s ballot. The referendum will include three questions:
1 – limit the number of pax disembarking to 1,500/day;
2 – ban ships with more than 1,300 pax;
3 – prioritize cruise lines with the best environmental and health records.
This initiative arrives in a critical moment, when the industry is debating when the activity should restart. At the same time that some companies announce national or regional cruises, for example in Italy or Germany, the control institutions of some countries such as the USA, extend the “No Sail Order” for all cruise ships. AIVP hosted a webinar dedicated to cruises last June, and will retake the debate after the summer period, framed under goal 9 of the AIVP Agenda 2030, considering the health and life quality of port city citizens.
The Ruakura logistics hub (New Zealand) will include a 10 hectare area of wetland to offset environmental impacts
Swedish company Wallenius Marine is set to launch the biggest wind-powered RoRo vessel ever built
ValenciaPort will accompany Callao (Peru), Valparaiso (Chile) and Kingston (Jamaica) in the field of smart technologies
The Indian Ocean: central to the energy transition with LNG?
With the mega-ship CMA-CGM Jacques Saadé now in service, the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a fuel for seagoing vessels is now a reality. This 23,000 TEU ship’s propulsion systems are powered by LNG, an energy source that allows a 20 to 40% reduction in CO2 emissions, and also emits low levels of sulphur oxides and fine particulate matter. The Mozambique Canal boasts vast LNG resources that could drive this energy transition, and the port cities of the Indian Ocean are preparing for the revolution. One example is Longoni (Mayotte, France), which is redeveloping as a support base for the industry. On the other side of the Canal, the terminals at Durban (South Africa) are being upgraded to handle LNG. Demand is high, with India expressing an interest in this cleaner form of energy. A substantial volume of LNG extracted will pass through Indian ports. Meanwhile, Total is maintaining its major investment (13 billion euros) in the province of Cabo Delgado (Mozambique), despite attacks by terrorist groups in Mocimboa da Praia. The company is also set to collaborate with Siemens on LNG turbines.
North Sea Port (Netherlands): Yara launches a plant producing ammonia for use as a marine fuel
AI and “smart” technologies, for greener and more efficient port cities?
According to recent studies, the “smart port” market is set to be worth 14 billion dollars by 2027. Artificial intelligence, automation, blockchain, and the Internet of Things all offer possibilities for improving the efficiency of port installations. Incidentally, AIVP has previously touched on these issues in an interview for the European programme “Speed”.
The port of Rotterdam (Netherlands) has created a coalition to develop AI, which includes the Muncipality of Rotterdam, InnovationQuarter, Netherlands Maritime Technology and TU Delft university. Blockchain is among the priority technologies, as seen with the “Distro” platform, also in the Netherlands, which allows electricity to be bought and sold via blockchain. In Busan (South Korea), the City Authorities have signed a MoU with the Port, universities and a technology centre to develop smart technologies as part of the South Korean Government’s “Digital New Deal” strategy. These technologies are also being developed through competitive events such as “Hackathons”. One such event took place on 14 October, organised by Ports de Lille (France) in partnership with the “Speed” programme, on the “digital and environmental revolution”.
Green hydrogen: a future energy source for port cities?
The future seems to lie with “green” hydrogen, made from non-fossil based electricity. It would require a virtuous chain between renewable energies and hydrogen production plants, to which city-port ecosystems are particularly suited.
In that vein, the Port of Bordeaux (France) has signed an agreement to develop a green hydrogen production industry locally. It is a similar story in Bilbao (Spain), where the port authority has given the go-ahead for construction of one of the world’s largest green hydrogen plants.
These industries are often organised in the form of hubs like the one at Port Kembla (New South Wales Port Authority, Australia, helping to stimulate the local economy.
Mass-produced hydrogen could power ships and help to improve the environmental footprint of maritime shipping. To that end, some companies are researching hydrogen-based propulsion systems, including Engie and ArianeGroup which have joined forces. Prototypes of hydrogen engines are even now being tested by the Italian company Fincantieri.
There is a real market for this new fuel, as can be seen with the agreement that will see Portugal supply green hydrogen to the Port of Rotterdam, which needs the resource for its future operations.