In Spain, a torrent of investment in new technologies and Port-City-Territory connectivity

 Governance, Mobility 

Spain central government has given the green light to a series of innovation plans in the country’s port cities. In Malaga, some 52 million euros has been earmarked for a plan to support the local economy and transfer disused land to the municipality. A similar project to bring the City and Port closer together has been budgeted for in Huelva. The issue of freight intermodality is crucial, and explains why Tarragona is set to invest 330 million euros to tackle the challenge in the coming years. In the same vein, Ferrol is to release 102 million euros in funding to develop its rail links. There is also a focus on the energy sources of tomorrow, for example in southern Catalonia where there are plans for a new platform dedicated to green hydrogen. An approach that combines both economic growth and environmental sustainability is vital for the future of Spain’s port cities. Bilbao is spearheading the trend, with the renewal of its EMAS and EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) certifications. Incidentally, it was the first port in the world to obtain the EPD in 2019, with the help of the leading R&D company Tecnalia. ValenciaPort is also committed to this approach, and has unveiled plans for a new, greener terminal model, 98% of whose energy supply will come from renewable sources.

Spanish Ports (Malaga) ; Spanish Ports (Huelva) ; Spanish Ports (Tarragona) ; Spanish Ports (Ferrol) ; Aguaita ; Portal Portuario (Bilbao) ; Portal Portuario (ValenciaPort)

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.

Port of San Diego – KPBS, DHL, Paris – NPI, Lisbon – Eco Sapo, Aveiro – Revista Cargo, Port of Rotterdam