Phase 2 of the Euroméditerranée project in Marseilles (France): moving towards a resilient city
Euroméditerranée has signed a framework agreement with the firm Leclercq Associés, partnered with Setec, to act as urban planning and design consultants for specific districts concerned by this vast development project. They will look closely at strategy on housing and public spaces. The wider aim is to design what could be the sustainable Mediterranean city, one capable of meeting the challenges posed by climate change. AIVP members will no doubt want to keep a close eye on the process and the resulting solutions.
(Euroméditerranée and Setec International are both AIVP members).
A creative district at Liverpool Docks (UK)
The old warehouse district of Ten Streets, in the north of Liverpool, are set for a new lease of life with artists’ workshops and new spaces for cultural businesses. Already a number of events have been held there, and one of the warehouses is now home to a market dedicated to art, fashion and furnishings. Two other redevelopments are planned at either side of the creative district, in the Liverpool Docklands: the Liverpool Waters programme, and 550 residential units to be built in Stanley Dock Tobacco Warehouse.
The Port of Dakhla (Morocco) set to be redeveloped for yachting and passenger activities
➜ Le 360
Audio guides to (re)discover the history of various places in Puerto Madero, the redeveloped district in Buenos Aires (Argentina)
International call for tenders to design a business district in an abandoned waterfront district in Thessaloniki (Greece)
Morocco’s National Ports Agency launches a study aimed at opening up the old port of Safi and integrating it more effectively into its urban environment
➜ Le matin
New urban uses on the Seine in Paris (France): a floating psychiatric hospital
Cruise ships transformed into hospitals for Coronavirus patients
The cruise sector has been at the center of several negative news during the corona crisis. However, it can also be part of the solution and positive news. In the past days several major cruise lines and ferry operators like MSC, Carnival or Moby have offered several ships to be transformed into emergency hospitals, releasing the pressure from land-based hospitals and healthcare systems around the globe. The most concrete example of this measure is taking place in Genoa, Italy. MSC proposed that the MSC Opera cruise ship and three ferries from GNV (Superba, Suprema e Splendid), a company they own, could be transformed in just 10 days. In this action MSC collaborated with the region, the municipality, RINA (certification company) and the port. The first case has been the Splendid, already prepared to host the first 25 patients that have overcome the most serious phase of the COVID-19 but must remain in isolation. The ship could potentially up to 400 hospital beds and a reanimation and intensive care unit in its hangar. This operation shows other side of cruises and the capacity to cooperate of port city actors in crisis situations.
Open Innovation Challenge for green logistics and sustainability organized by the Thinkport Vienna (Austria). Ideas can be submitted until May 17th on the three main topics: Location of inland ports in energy, logistics and innovation; services for urban logistics and cities; and connectivity exploring waterways as supply routes.
The Clean Production Agreement (Acuerdo de Producción Limpia) of the Logistic Community of San Antonio (Chile) achieves excellent results after two years. 100% of the companies in the community are monitoring the sustainability indicators and 73% of them have reduced its carbon footprint.
The port of La Rochelle (France) celebrates its 130 anniversary inviting locals to share their stories about the port and displaying historical documents. The port also welcomes in the port house the « Le tour de La Rochelle en 52 tableaux » from Allan Stephens.
Plastic Whale: a company in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) is “fishing” for plastic in the city’s canals and transforming it in furniture and boats.
Generating clean energy from the wave movement in Valparaíso (Chile)
Since the beginning of March 2020, the new prototype BAM II will be tested in the Barón Pier of the Chilean port city. The new machine, developed by Maestranza Diesel and Asmar with the support of the port authority, could generate up to 3 kW. This is the second prototype from the same consortia, replacing the first one installed in late 2018. One of the main advantages of this new system is that it does not causes any negative impact on the environment since it does not use any fuel, nor produces any emissions. At a larger scale it could be a proper solution of green energy along for isolated companies or communities along Chilean coast. Several companies are currently exploring the movement of waves as a potential source of clean energy, like Eco Wave, making port cities a crucial area for the energy transition.
Citizens from Valencia (Spain) can now explore the port’s archives in a new digital platform
The port of Valencia has joined forces with Microsoft and ENCAMINA to develop PUBLICARME, a new digital tool to explore the historical archives of the port. This new platform includes more than 10 000 historical documents from the mid-19th century until the 1940s. PUBLICARME uses artificial intelligence to read the text from the documents and improve the research process. Additionally, the platform also establishes connection between the content of the document, speeding up potential investigations. The digital copies will be stored in a cloud system, guaranteeing the safety of their content beyond the paper’s integrity. PUBLICARME recently received the @asLan award for digital transformation. Port archives are cultural resource yet to be explored in most port cities. The port of Dublin (Ireland) has also invested in disclosing its archives and is planning a new facility. Lisbon, in Portugal, inaugurated last year a new building with the archives of its port and Setubal, in Barreiro. These initiatives facilitate the contacts of local citizens with port culture.
Culture and Students in the port
School visits and cultural events remain one of the main activities to bring younger generations to the port. In the case of Setubal (Portugal), the School Project of the port authority brought more than 750 students in 2019 from schools all over the country. The port of Tarragona (Spain) is intensifying the its cultural program with the occasion of its 150th anniversary including visits and the refurbishment of the port museum. On February 28th was the main institutional event, gathering 800 persons from the port community, companies, region, municipality, but also the neighbours. Last year, was the turn of the port of Barcelona and Trieste to celebrate the 150th and 300th anniversary, respectively, also with an intense cultural program for the citizens.
Amsterdam’s water canals are becoming cleaner. The famous canal boats are being converted to use electric power, reducing the emissions. At the same time, the port authority has launched a floating battery service to bring electric power to provide clean energy for the port and the city.
Marco Polo Programme: 434 M€ of environmental benefits and 21,900 Mt-km less cargo on European roads
Trieste: the search for new projects for Porto Vecchio
While a dispute is ongoing with the PortoCittà, company, the Port President, Marina Monassi, has launched a new call for a project to gather more expressions of interest in re-furbishing the oldest part of the port of Trieste. Source: Il Piccolo
Partout dans le monde la conscience du consommateur se développe et la chaîne logistique durable devient un atout commercial
Transform the Suez Canal corridor into a major economic zone and increase its revenue
Mexico: El reto es que los puertos no se conviertan en un cuello de botella para la economía
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.