Cruise ships transformed into hospitals for Coronavirus patients

 Health and life quality 

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.

ANSA, AGI, Carnival, Informazioni Marittime, The Medi Telegraph

Phase 2 of the Euroméditerranée project in Marseilles (France): moving towards a resilient city

 Climate change 

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).

Le Moniteur ; Euroméditerranée

A creative district at Liverpool Docks (UK)

 Port city interface 

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.

Liverpool Echo

Generating clean energy from the wave movement in Valparaíso (Chile)

 Energy transition and circular economy 

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.

Acera, El Mercurio, Revista Electricidad, Maestranza Diesel

Citizens from Valencia (Spain) can now explore the port’s archives in a new digital platform

 Culture and identity 

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.

Archivo Histórico Valencia Port, Aslan, Press Relesase (PDF)

Culture and Students in the port

 Culture and identity 

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.

Portos de Portugal, Metropoli Abierta, Port of Trieste, Port of Tarragona

Saint-Nazaire (France) gains “City of Art and History” status


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.

Saint-Nazaire ; Hitwest (+ podcast)

New spaces for the Port and City of Santander (Spain)


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.

El Diariomontanés

A new financial model for the Sydney waterfront (Australia)?


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”.

Brisbane Times1 ; Brisbane Times2; Brisbane Times3 ; Harbour Trust

Agreement for a City Port project between the Junta de Andalucía, the City and Port of Algeciras

 Port city interface 

The “Lago Marítimo” project will allow better City-Port integration and aims to provide new recreational spaces for residents, along with educational and research facilities. A multi-purpose building is also planned, to address the future needs of the port authority and the city. It will include an exhibition space and could host a Port Center and the future Port Innovation Center.

Andalucia informacion ; Video