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.
The fisherman’s wharf (Muelle Pescadores) of Bahía Blanca (Argentina) will be refurbished by the Port Authority to improve the working conditions of the fishing community and welcome visitors.
The port of Port of Trois-Rivières (Canada) supports local artists by acquiring the Hommage au Saint-Laurent collection of canvas artworks.
How to improve the water quality while protecting the biodiversity?
Water quality is one of the priorities in port cities and there are many ways to improve it. In the Balearic Islands (Spain), the Port has deployed an innovative system to collect marine waste that includes a catamaran powered by solar energy, a semi-rigid hybrid boat and a modern electric drone to reach the most inaccessible areas. Nature-based solutions are also possible, as it is visible in the port of Gothenburg (Sweden), where the port planted eelgrass beds. These serve as protection for several fish species, while at the same time help to improve water quality and protect beaches from erosion. It is also necessary to monitor closely the quality of the water for submarine species. One positive example of this is the port of Ceuta (Spain) that is promoting the Sentinel Stations project in the port area through marine biological indicators, such as microalgae, sedimentation or the concentration of micro-plastics.
Innovative mobility in port cities: logistics, waterbuses and bus stops
French water transport is increasingly relevant in construction site logistics. Key stakeholders, including HAROPA and the municipality, are collaborating to promote river logistics for the Olympic Games of 2024 in Paris, including the construction of the Olympic village. In Strasbourg (France), 6 tonnes of paving stones have been delivered for the first time using barges and bicycles took place, reducing the impact of construction material logistics. Innovative logistics also concerns passengers, such as the new waterbuses in the Province of South Holland, since 6 will be hybrid and 3 electric. User’s experience is one of the key aspects in public transport, as it is clear in the new self-sufficient bus stops financed by port authority of Algeciras (Spain). The new canopies include solar panels to power the lighting and will allow the user to charge its phone while waiting for the bus.
Online debate about port city heritage organized by Venice Port
In the framework of the European Project REMEMBER, the port of Venice is organizing an online event on the 24th of November at 10:00 (CET) entitled “Cultural heritage as a driver of port cities’ sustainable development”. This online talk, will include the intervention of the Special Commissioner of Venice Port, Mr Pino Musolino, UNESCO’s assistant director, Mr. Ernesto Ottone Ramírez; Prof. Carola Hein and AIVP’s International Project Manager José M P Sánchez to share ideas about Port Centers. The project REMEMBER is focused on making natural and cultural heritage a leverage for sustainable and more balanced territorial development. Several AIVP members are involved, including the ports of Venice, Trieste and Dubrovnik.
National Institute of Social Services and Port Authority sign an agreement in Bahía Blanca (Argentina) to strength the bond of the elderly with the city and the port with new actions.
Solidarity in the Vieux Port of Montreal (Canada). The Port will help the homeless in the Grand Quai with shelter, meals and health service.
➜ La Presse
The quest for innovation of the Port of Algeciras, member of AIVP, rewarded by a European prize
The 2020 edition of the ESPO awards for social integration of ports focused on innovation strategies and capacity of ports to attract start-ups into its ecosystem. The online award ceremony took place last week, recognizing the good work done by the Port of Algeciras (Spain), particularly the “the Innovation Journey” project. This project is part of a broader innovation strategy that will help the port to exceed its traditional roles as a landlord, and turn it into a business and efficiency partner. It will contribute to the port-city relationship, by creating new jobs for the local population. This broader strategy is complemented with a physical facility that will include a Port Center.
The other 3 finalists were the Port of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Puertos del Estado (Spain) and Port of Lisbon (Portugal), all AIVP members as well. Their projects included respectively the Prodock, an innovation hub focused on circular economy, the Ports 4.0 Fund, a national program to foster open innovation in the port-logistics ecosystem and the Ocean Campus, an ambitious plan for the waterfront creating an ecosystem of excellence in RD&I, bringing together researchers, entrepreneurs, main companies, academics and experts in the sea-related field.
AIVP was part of the jury evaluating the project, as it has been since the first edition of the award.
Citizens invited to express their opinions in Saint-Malo (France). The region of Brittany is hosting a consultation process including physical meetings and online tools.
Multimodality is key to port-city performance
Fierce competition between port territories has always come down to onshore mobility issues. As a result, rail and river links are strategically important, since they are the only ways to transport goods to and from the port whilst respecting the public’s environmental concerns. The future European Transport Commissioner has made the issue a central policy plank, while there is also visible investment on the ground. Kiel (Germany) is developing the capacity to support 740 metre-long trains, while Long Beach (USA) is committed to expanding its main rail infrastructures. In Canada, the ports of Quebec and Halifax are making rail links to the centre of the country and the American Midwest a key component of efforts to develop container activity. In many cases, the choice for ports is a multimodal future, or no future at all.
In-situ trials begin on an autonomous container barge in Belgium, to enhance the economic and social attractiveness of the river.
Offshore wind in ports also means training: the Port of Blyth (UK) has created a wind turbine training facility.
The new port of Trellenborg (Sweden) will generate 50% of its energy needs from wind and solar power.
Offshore wind: port cities are not resting on their laurels!
For the International Energy Agency, investments in offshore wind are set to reach 900 billion euros by 2040, with a 15-fold increase in generation capacity by 15. While Europe is leading the way, port cities all over the world are taking a proactive approach to the issue, including in the United States, despite the Trump administration’s reluctance. Not a week goes by without some major project or initiative being announced, at varying stages of advancement from one country to the next, or even from one port to the next, depending on the extent to which the industry has developed locally. Examples announced in recent days include the creation of logistics hubs in Connecticut (USA) and France, prototype installations in Spain, and energy conversion strategies in Japan
Mexico: on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, ports are working together to forge coherent development strategies.
Five ports in Andalusia (Spain) table a joint bid to operate the dry port of Cordoba, with a view to increasing the share of rail transport in port logistics.
Inter-business cooperation: La Ciotat (France) aims to strengthen its naval cluster to boost competitiveness
➜ Le Marin