An innovation campus in the Dublin Docklands (Ireland)
Google set up shop in the district in 2003, and was soon joined by other global giants including Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The Irish government will contribute funding to the Technology Campus of Trinity College Dublin. The project represents a new piece of the innovation district developing in the Grand Canal Quay area. The campus will play a unifying role for the local innovation ecosystem, bringing together the major groups already present, along with start-ups, educational and research institutions, etc.
Action plan for a City Port district in Port-Louis (Mauritius)
The action plan concerns a listed heritage district located on the boundary with the active port. The aim is to create synergies between the development projects of the various stakeholders concerned. A number of projects have been planned to regenerate the existing heritage and create new facilities, including cultural amenities. The plan is being sponsored by the Ministry of Housing and Land.
The winning project has been named in the competition we reported on earlier to create an environmentally-friendly, recreational and cultural precinct on the Seoul waterfront (South Korea)
Restoring nature to the city: the Gabiodiv’ project in Lyons (France)
Gabiodiv’ aims to restore aquatic environments and promote biodiversity in and around water courses whose banks have largely been concreted over, in Lyons as in many other port cities. Metal cages are attached to the quayside, with plants placed on them. They will be installed in public areas. The project is intended to have an educational impact and raise public awareness about the importance of natural heritage.
An innovation hub for Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
An innovation ecosystem is set to be created in the east of the city, on the edge of the Saigon river. It will bring together the worlds of academia and research, entrepreneurship, business, and the local community. The 22,000 site earmarked will be developed with six specific zones. They include a former river port, which has been selected to become a showcase for the smart city. Flood risks have also been taken into account. The ambitious project aims to cover a wide range of areas, including economic development, art and culture, research and education, high technology, eco-tourism, food industry, mobility, and resilience, making it a fine source of inspiration for many port cities.
Do all buildings and spaces need to be protected against the climate risk? An alternative view of resilience
Buenos Aires (Argentina) is set to be reunited with its river in the Costanera Ideal district
Exhibition “Container – the box that changed the world” in Fremantle (Australia), explains how the shipping container impacted the way we live
New book tells the stories of dockworkers in the port of Dublin (Ireland). ‘Dublin Port Diaries’, as it is titled, shows the social impact of the port, gathering memories otherwise lost
University and port work together in Sevilla (Spain)
The new Centre for University Innovation of the Port of Sevilla will be placed in the port territory, counting with 16 million € of EU financing. A committee selected in the beginning of 2020 the first 20 innovation projects, each of them including an industrial PhD. These researches will focus on topics such as renewable energies production and storage, new materials, Internet of things, logistics, blockchain in the food industry or marine detection of hazardous substances. The research projects must be operational before the end of 2021. This initiative shows the path towards fruitful collaboration between academia and industry, a relationship that has not always been easy, but it is crucial to answer to upcoming challenges.
Young maritime professionals will get more opportunities in Panama
A new program named “My first maritime work experience” has been. This program will give to young professionals the opportunity to learn about the different careers in the Panamanian maritime authority. It results of a collaboration between the maritime affairs and labour ministries, inspired by the national initiative “learning by doing”. The directorate of Gente de Mar (People from the Sea), will be in charge of forming the new generations of maritime professionals. The Maritime University of Panamá and the Panamanian Association of Navy Officers selected the first group of 20 trainees from different areas such as nautical sciences, shipbuilding or maritime administration. In the six-month period the young professionals will go through training to later join the different functions under the supervision of staff from the maritime authority.
Showcasing the Port: the observation tower at the Port of Tacoma (USA) has afforded views of the port since 1988, 365 days a year!
International project to facilitate sustainable tourism in Mediterranean coastal areas
Three European ports speed up towards carbon neutrality
Several European ports have presented their plans to reduce their carbon footprint in the coming years. The port of Helsinki (Finland), drafted the Carbon-Neutral Port 2035 including 50 measures, mostly destined to reduce the port’s emissions and those from vessels. These measures combine reducing the energy usage, acquiring energy from carbon-neutral sources and carbon offsets to compensate the remaining emissions. One example of the actions to be taken is the new price list for port operations, including significant “environmental” discounts. The port of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) is even more ambitious, aiming at carbon neutrality in 2030. Its priority is to boost clean energy production at port, such as the new project to generate hydrogen using electrolysis. Amsterdam port is also developing maritime wind energy fields. In Hamburg (Germany), the main terminal operator HHLA, wants to become carbon neutral by 2040, by using green electricity for all its operations. The company already reduced the CO2 emissions of container operations by 30% in 2019, aiming at 50% until 2030. The main challenge will be in the future to make the complete logistic chain carbon neutral.
Whale protection program of the Port of Vancouver (Canada) celebrates 5 years
The Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program was created in 2014. It has ever since gathered a broad and diverse group of advisors, under the leadership of the port authority to protect the endangered southern resident killer whales. In order to do so, the ECHO program has measured the noise levels of more than 10 000 ships in the Salish Sea. Over 5000 vessels have voluntarily slowed down or detoured to protect the feeding area of this cetacean from underwater noise. The program also offered resources to help mariners to raise awareness of the effects ships can have on these animals. The program has produced in this period several documents including a “Mariner’s Guide to Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises of Wester Canada”, the “Whales in our Waters tutorial” or the app WhaleReport Alert System, besides yearly reports and scientific papers.
The World Bank – A Partner for City-Port Projects: An Interview with Marc Juhel, Sector Manager for Transport
The World Bank is one of the specialized institutions developed under the auspices of the United Nations (UN). The World Bank is an essential partner for port cities in helping them to implement their projects, but its strategy and work in the development of city-port projects still sometimes go unrecognized. In order to find out more, the AIVP interviewed Marc Juhel at the Bank’s headquarters in Washington.AIVP: The World Bank has on many occasions shown interest in the work of AIVP in improving the city-port dynamic. In what ways does AIVP’s work coincide with the current concerns and the strategic transport and urban development objectives of the World Bank?
M.J: More than half of the world’s population already lives in urban areas, and the great majority of growth envisaged over the 21st century will take place in the cities of poor, developing countries. The urban agenda must, therefore, form a critical focus for any modern sustainable development policy. At the same time, helping these countries to emerge from chronic poverty requires enabling them to emerge with strong growth. This is the only way to generate the necessary economic benefits. This growth will come largely from increased international exchange of goods, foreign trade and access to global markets: the most important aspects of economic development policies. 90% of trade is still carried out by sea, and this is where urban and transport policies come together. Port cities are now not only national platforms for commerce, but often also regional and international ones. The city-port dynamic must, therefore, reconcile the demands of balanced urban development with those of a logistics industry still looking to optimize transport flows in terms of time and expense. This sometimes leads to approaches that conflict with good use of space, and to the need to arbitrate these conflicts in favor of the aims of the city and the country as a whole. The World Bank, when it is able, advises its client countries and their port cities on how to best carry out this arbitration.
AIVP: Has the need for urban integration of ports, both spatial and functional, become an important criterion for the awarding of World Bank loans?
M.J: The Bank is keen to stress the importance of this spatial and functional integration, which sometimes requires the physical separation of urban and port traffic flows, but also often offers the opportunity to bring to light the complementarity of port and urban policies, particularly during port extension operations and the updating of economically obsolete infrastructure. As a result, when the Bank is approached in the context of an urban or port development project in a port city, our teams are careful to ensure that this interface, and the issues it can give rise to, are fully discussed.
AIVP: Which port city operations in receipt World Bank loans are, in your opinion, particularly symbolic in this regard? Why are they notable?
M.J: The Rijeka* project in Croatia is a recent example of a port operation which integrates opportunities both for urban redevelopment and for the enhancement of maritime heritage in coastal urban areas. More ambitious, perhaps, is the Port Cities Development Program Project for the Republic of Yemen which aimed to improve the investment climate whilst encouraging growth and job creation in the three port cities of Aden, Hodeidah and Mukalla. This program, spanning twelve years, started with small-scale investment in infrastructure, followed by the designing of City Development Strategies for each of the three port cities. Later came more specific projects, such as the First and Second Port Cities Development Projects of Yemen, which helped to implement the actions identified in the Development Strategies.
AIVP: The issue of “sustainable” and “livable” cities is on the World Bank’s agenda. In this context, what kind of initiatives do you think can be promoted in the area of city-port cooperation?
M.J: To make cities more economically efficient and more socially inclusive: this is the main aim in terms of development and the fight against poverty. This task should be seen within the larger framework that the World Bank defines as Green Growth for All. Cities in general, and port cities in particular, are important vehicles for economic growth. As ports are such key instruments for international trade, the cities that harbor them therefore find themselves at the forefront of global competition for access to new markets. International financial institutions, when assisting the port cities of their client countries, must ensure that the needs of ports in the international logistics chain are effectively balanced with the needs of cities striving for socially balanced development. This is the approach of the World Bank.
*The port and the city of Rijeka are active members of the AIVP.
Industrial ecology, the port-city model
The presentations and debates on industrial ecology were among the most interesting areas of the 13th AIVP World Conferencein June 2012. The numerous projects in progress throughout the world, in Europe, China and Korea for example, show the level of interest in this new approach to development based on a circular economy which optimises the re-use of resources and promotes a carbon-free environment. At the heart of these new strategies, cooperation and mutualisation have been the key words of the AIVP message since its creation.
Read Kate Royston (MBA AIEMA, Robbee Smole – Sustainable Business Solutions)
Obama Administration : “We Can’t Wait” Initiative, Five Major Port Projects
Last July 2012, President Obama, the context of his “We can’t Wait” policy initiated in the autumn of 2011, announced the acceleration of the launch procedures for 5 major port projects in the United States, projects concerning the port cities of Jacksonville, Miami, Savannah, New York and Charleston. The objective is a modernisation of the infrastructures with the aim to encourage American economic growth, notably by adapting the ports concerned to the largest size of vessels which will use the new Panama Canal.
This decision has been the subject of numerous reactions and comments as to the true state of the network of the maritime and waterway infrastructures in the USA, and to the financial effort which it would be necessary to engage in order to avoid a loss of competitiveness of the country’s economy, and to its consequences in terms of employment.
The challenge is thus a major one and it has therefore appeared interesting to us to give space to one of our members, in the person of Franc Pigna, Managing Director of Aegir Port Property Advisers, regarding this dossier. Present in the AIVP network since 2004, Franc Pigna was one of the speakers at the closing round table of the 13th World Conference of Cities and Ports. He gives us here his point of view, in a personal opinion.
In the future, if you also, as a member of AIVP, wish to react on the news from port cities and bring your own thoughts to bear on the themes supported by AIVP, please do not hesitate to contact us. This enhancement of our debates is the foundation of our action and will contribute to the vivacity and dynamic of our Association.
Opinion by Franc J Pigna, CRE, FRICS, CMC, Managing Director Aegir Port Property Advisers
13th World Conference Cities and Ports : Lessons from Saint-Nazaire and Nantes
The 13th World Conference of Cities and Ports organised In Saint-Nazaire and Nantes from 18 to 21 June 2012 assembled 450 participants coming from 46 countries. This new World Conference of AIVP had the ambition to take bearings on the answers brought by the stakeholders of port cities to their problematics of development. The angle of approach of the city-port projects chosen this time by AIVP was that of the place of the port and of its functions in the implementation of the sustainable development strategies of the port cities and regions. Globalisation, the effects of which on cities and ports were more at the centre of the reflections over the last few years, is today perfectly digested by the territories. The participants to this latest AIVP Conference are no longer questioning themselves about globalisation but revealed the emergence of new territorial strategies and of cooperation illustrated by numerous examples: energy transition and reconversion of city and port territories; new cooperation between port activities, industrial sectors, and University and research spheres; “tailor made” governances, in particular associating the citizens…
Through the exchanges of experience organised around the projects developed in the port cities of all continents, the first of the observations to be made is that the question of the city – port connection remains central nearly 25 years after the foundation of AIVP. Over and above the classic strategies of the recuperation of abandoned port spaces for urban purposes for waterfront projects, it is the whole question of city port governance which is posed. The question of the city port integration of “how to build the port with the city” is at the heart of the debates in most port cities. Urban development projects are today much more than projects for the improvement or the reconversion of the city port interfaces, they stem from an overall reflection on the identity and specificities of the contemporary port city where the integration of urban and port functions finds its full place.
This new AIVP conference enabled the measure of the local challenges to be taken. These now go well beyond urban planning strategies to directly tackle more overall notions of economic performance, of the well-being of the citizens and of sustainable development.
In this respect, the creation in numerous port cities of research centres which constitute as many “think tanks” on the problematics of local development is revealing. It testifies to the desire of the stakeholders to place innovation at the centre of the strategic reflections in order to respond to global economic but also social and environmental challenges. Politicians, port managements, and enterprises are clearly mobilising to encourage a new spirit for the port cities and regions.
The energy problematic constitutes without doubt a fairly good illustration of this phenomenon. Faced with the energy and industrial challenge represented by the programmed disappearance of fossil energies, the port cities are mobilising. The existing port infrastructures, the density of networks and the proximity of centres of industrial production and consumption make port cities privileged places for the implementation and experimentation of renewable energies connected with their marine or waterway environment and of systems of industrial ecology connected with the economic tissue. Offshore wind farms, marine current power, thermal energy of the sea or wave mechanics, even the production of hydrogen on offshore platforms are so many paths being explored or which are already the subject of industrial wagers. In thus becoming a producer of energy, the port adds to its classic functions at the service of the transport of goods a new sector and a new challenge. It also obtains a new image vis-à-vis the community and the populations.
Still in the context of this research for a new spirit for the port cities and regions, the debate is today opening around questions of multimodality and new territorial strategies. Initiatives having recourse to the waterway in order to assure proximity logistics in the big cities are multiplying and becoming economically viable as well as desirable from the environmental and urban development point of view. Through the port and its functions, the connection is thus made better between the port city and the metropolitan region.
After the time of coexistence of the first years of AIVP, then of cohabitation organised between city and port, and even beyond the sectorial cooperations which are developing today, the time is henceforth appearing for the implementation of closer partnerships, or even to the mutualisation of resources and territories; a mutualisation on the local scale between city, port and their partners but also on a regional scale.
In a context of global economic and environmental crisis the field of competition is being displaced. The port cities of a same geopolitical and economic territory are now allying to become more coherent and more competitive ensembles in the face of other regions of the world. This 13th AIVP Conference has shown that regional, national and even transnational “gateways” and “clusters” are multiplying. It is now a question of promoting, around the port functions, a regional territorial development associating several cities and several ports and capable of integrating and handling simultaneously, granting them the same degree of importance, social, economic and environmental problematics.
We have perhaps there the strongest message given by the Loire Estuary to the delegates participating in the works of AIVP: the answer to global challenges now supposes having the capacity and the intelligence to make the port cities evolve from competition to cooperation!
World in crisis, port cities evolving
If I believe the information conveyed by the media, the commentaries of numerous stakeholders in economic and political fields and very recently the conclusions of the report remitted to the Secretary General of the United Nations on 30th January last, everything leads one to believe today that the profound economic and social crisis which most of the developed countries are going through is not just a accident of growth but, very much to the contrary, a severe reminder of the fragility of a model of development incompatible with the evolution of the global demographic, geopolitical, and environmental data. From crisis to crisis, 20 years after Rio
The next Earth Summit Rio +20 will not fail to remind us next June: in order to ensure by the middle of this century, for 7 billion humans, a still viable and peaceful world, it is urgent to take act of the division between resources and demography so as to construct a totally new economic and social development, less unequal, more respectful of the local and global ecological balances, and economic in resources. The European sovereign debt crises following the debt crisis of households sadly comes to remind us that a model of societal development based on an ever-growing consumption of goods and services leads to an economic, environmental, and political dead end.
As a global organisation bringing together the political and economic stakeholders of port communities, AIVP has naturally been very attentive, since its foundation over twenty years ago, to the global and local contexts in the framework of which the projects of cities and ports can bloom. Already in 1993, our Montreal Charter resumed the conclusions of the first Earth Summit of Rio and encouraged the stakeholders of cities and ports to integrate environmental concerns in their development strategies. We have not ceased since then, at the end of each of our exchanges of experience, to exhort local stakeholders to think in terms of sustainable development (see the Sydney Charter of 2006 and the Declaration of Buenos Aires of 2010) and we have always put into value the initiatives of cities and ports who implement innovatory solutions.
The time to put things into question
Essential players in each of these port cities, the port authorities are strongly incited to reflect on the pertinence of their development policies and strategies in the medium and long terms. During decades, the quantity of tonnes handled has been the principal – if not the only – criteria of port performance, however, with ponderation to try and establish the idea that “not all tonnes have the same weight!” This curious formulation naturally aimed to explain that the economic value of the tonne carried by container is far higher than the tonne of bulk cargo. The attempts to correlate tonnages handled with “the real economy” of the port city, in terms of job creation for example, have given rise to endless discussions on the methodologies employed. The spectacular development of activities connected with the logistics sector has certainly created hundreds of new jobs, but often less qualified ones and in a number often inferior to the expectations of local politicians. In the end, the logistics revolution has not enabled the regular drop in employment in the big port industrial zones of the middle of the 20th century to be compensated.
In this context of the decline of the dynamics of employment for most of the industrial port communities in developed countries, the global crisis of 2008 has widely contributed to dramatise an already difficult situation. The drop in global consumption has very rapidly had consequences on port activities which have sometimes collapsed in extremely large proportions, sometimes by as much as a third of the activity of certain medium sized ports, in Spain for example, in 2009. In most of the developed countries, faith, some would say blindness, in an exponential growth of port activity has been seriously compromised by the significant and lasting fall in trade. The future and a detailed analysis of traffics will tell us if the revival noted practically everywhere in 2011 is purely “technical” or if it indicates a new economic vitality which is being put in place. It will then be especially interesting for the port cities and regions to look closely at the evolution of cargo flows and to draw conclusions from them in matters of industrial strategies. Even if for the moment, the volumes of goods are displaying for certain big ports a two figure growth and if the cargo flows, notably South – South, are reorganising themselves and are going to benefit new ports, the wait and see policies and the prudence of local stakeholders and investors are more often the case for projects.
Imagining a sustainable growth…
Growth is dead, long live growth! This asserted optimism for a new growth is above all for a different growth. A sustainable and responsible growth which remains largely to be invented but the first results of which can be seen just about everywhere, in the emerging countries as in the developed countries. In this respect, the port cities constitute fabulous laboratories for experimentation. At the centre of dense urban regions, they often associate complex environmental and social issues with a developed industrial foundation strongly connected to globalisation by the functions of the port. Port cities are without doubt, more than other urban centres, cities in movement borne on global technological and societal evolutions. They are also much more strongly exposed to crises of all kinds. In order to adapt to the economic cycles, port cities have always had to innovate. Those that have not known how to do so have inexorably declined. Today, the proliferation of projects has to be noted : projects of off-shore wind farms for clean energy are multiplying in Germany, in the United Kingdom and everywhere in Europe, creating new economic sectors and employment; Venice are developing in the lagoon the biotechnologies of tomorrow for a new industry more respectful of the environment; Copenhagen are reinventing an exemplary sustainable city on their port wastelands; Los Angeles are setting themselves up as the champions of the fight against greenhouse gases in the management of their port traffic…
We shall be discussing all this in the context of the next World Conference of Cites and Ports organised by AIVP in Nantes and Saint-Nazaire from 18th to 21st June next. All these cities have understood that the port, its knowhow, its territory and its functions were always a force and therefore a major advantage in this new development cycle which is starting. All these cities have asked themselves the question of the city-port strategies to engage in today in order to maintain employment and produce wealth in a global context of the search for sustainable development which will only be able to impose itself in the next decades. Antwerp, Rotterdam, but also Le Havre, Santos, Singapore and many others still, are asking themselves these essential questions for their future.
Urban, entrepreneurial, citizen: a new era for the port?
Beyond the issues of “port wastelands” to be reconverted for new urban usages, a theme pursued by AIVP for over twenty years, the question of a productive mix of port and urban functions is posed clearly by numerous port cities. The necessity for putting in place sustainable development and a control of greenhouse gas emissions gives a renewed interest to the presence of an urban port. Making the city more attractive, more compact but also more mobile, is a strategic challenge and, in this respect, the port can constitute a decisive advantage : the berthing of cruise liners as close as possible to the city centres, as in Malaga or Hamburg to generate a new commercial vitality; re-utilisation of former dock basins for activities connected with yachting as in Barcelona or Le Havre; utilisation of the waterway for the transport of bulk materials in the centre of the city as in Seville, Paris, Bordeaux… enable a new enhancement of the port heritage for a sustainable urban renewal.
Player in the sustainable urban development, the port is also placed today at the centre of the new industrial strategies. The new economic sectors connected with renewable energies, such as the offshore wind farms in Bremerhaven or Saint-Nazaire, or the marine current power, marine thermal energies, or the wave power farms in project in numerous regions of the world will create the jobs of tomorrow. The port cities are preparing to receive them. Industrial ecology is a concept of the future for the port cities and regions who will know how to associate in a same strategy industrial development and sustainable city. The niche port activities around activities of the recycling of materials are also henceforth being watched with attention by port authorities looking for a diversification in traffics.
The port is also showing itself to be more and more citizen. Integrating with the life of the city, reconnecting with the population to encourage the dynamic of city port development is becoming indispensible. Port Centers are multiplying in Europe on the models of Antwerp, Rotterdam, Genoa or, elsewhere, in Melbourne. Educational programmes bearing on the place of the port cities in the new global commercial and industrial dynamics are participating towards the construction of every port city.
The era of the port is here. Whether it be urban, entrepreneurial, or citizen, the port today wants to be an inevitable partner in the sustainable development of port cities and regions.