Officially awarded by the French Ministry of Culture, the status recognises the proactive policy aimed at regenerating and showcasing the industrial, port, maritime and natural heritage of a port city that was devastated by the Second World War. The policy also forms a key plank of the City Port project, which includes measures to redevelop the submarine base for new uses. Local residents and associations have been included in the process, notably through the creation of a Heritage Council. With this major project, the city and its various stakeholders are forging a new identity.
2020 will be a crucial year for the launch of two projects by the Port of Santander: the transfer of the Antonio Lopez hangars, and the relocation of ferry activities. The existing hangars will be demolished, enabling the City to redevelop the land freed up. Ferries currently dock at the passenger terminal, along with cruise ships. Separating the two will allow for improved management of the fast-growing passenger activity. The ferry terminal will be able to accommodate larger vessels and will be equipped with LNG, a requirement of Brittany Ferries. Speaking about the projects, Jaime González, President of the Port of Santander, highlighted the importance he places on the quality of relations between Port and City.
A collaboration between the New South Wales Government and the residents of Sydney led to the creation in 2001 of the “Harbour Trust”, to preserve certain iconic waterfront sites and open them up to the public. The Harbour Trust is currently under review. Its Chairman is concerned that its funding may be under threat. He is calling not just for a financial commitment from the government for the next 5 to 10 years, but wants to be able to sign long-term 49 year leases. The move would allow private investment to be used to restore and re-use heritage, which is currently not possible. The stance is also a reaction to current controversy surrounding the risks of privatising certain sites, following proposals by a private foundation to turn one of the sites managed by the Harbour Trust, Cockatoo Island, into a permanent “art island”.
The port authorities have just approved the special port plan to refine the way in which its various spaces are used. Some 1 million square metres will be set aside for activities relating to goods and passenger transport, while a 335,000 square metre area has been earmarked to redefine the relationship between City and Port. The area will host new activities and open spaces, to complete and better integrate the existing cruise activity. The plan also focuses on the use of renewable energy and will see specific smart energy saving programmes incorporated into the new facilities.
The CEOs of the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam have laid out converging visions for the future development of their respective ports, one having just returned from the World Economic Forum, the other speaking about in an interview about forward-looking prospect for the port. Both agree that the fight against climate change and the need for a carbon-neutral port economy are absolutely crucial. Technological innovation, both onshore and offshore, and moves to optimise logistics chains, will of course form part of the solution. Beyond that, however, the success of these changes will depend on the ability of ports to forge new partnerships and work collectively, by bringing their communities together around a shared process of transformation.
➜ Port of Rotterdam / Flows