Education and dialogue: two crucial elements of sustainable port-city relationships

 Governance 

The complexity of port-city territories demands constant dialogue between institutions and citizens, supported with educational actions. This is clear for the Chilean ports of San Antonio and Valparaiso. In the case of San Antonio, the port joined the webinar “educate to create” along with municipality to explain how the port functions and its relevance for the city, where it has offered great social support. In Valparaiso, the port company requested the local universities to join the debate about the port future. In port cities like Marseille, local politicians, including the special rapporteur for maritime affairs and ports, are demanding to enlarge the port-city debate to include the citizens. In this frameworks Port Centers are crucial tools to support educational programs and citizen dialogue.

Portal Portuario – San Antonio, Facebook Puerto San Antonio, Portal Portuario Valparaíso, Presse Agence

Best ways to we disclose port city culture

 Culture and identity 

The port-city connection is not only economic and environmental, but also cultural. This week we have seen several ways to disclose the port city culture. One option is to collaborate with local events and institutions. The port of Dublin is cooperating with the local Festival of History in a series of online events. In other ports, like Lisbon, the port authority also collaborated with the Museo do Oriente in the framework of the European Heritage Days with free visits. In Spain, for example the port of Seville just signed a cooperation protocol with the regional heritage institute to study and protect the port’s industrial heritage. Another option is to host port days, as the port of Leixões just did, even though this year’s edition took place virtually. In a similar way, the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority (Genoa and Savona) is preparing the 2020 edition of their port day including visits, lectures and exhibitions. Other activities to disclose port-city culture are historic pedestrian rallies, as the one from the port of Quebec, Canada. Finally, ports can also contribute to the city’s cultural life be hosting exhibitions in their historical venues, as the port of Valencia is doing.

Port of Dublin, Port of Lisbon, Port of Leixões, Junta de Andalucía, Port of Quebec, Diario del Puerto, Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority

Supporting sustainable agriculture and biodiversity

 Biodiversity 

The Port of Montreal, in Canada, is committing to preserve biodiversity and the quality of water, air and the environment in several farms in the region by supporting the ALUS Montérégie environmental program. This initiative is connected to the expansion of the Contrecoeur terminal and will help to preserve ecosystems and support farmers in their efforts to protect the environment.

Port of Montreal, Alus Montérégie

Spanish port cities are investing in human capital

 Human capital 

Spanish ports are increasingly investing in new programs to innovate in the port city community. On a national scale, the Ports 4.0 fund from Puertos del Estado is already open for applications including projects and ideas, with a budget of 12 million €. The port of Bilbao has already identified 40 potential projects to apply to the national fund and to be integrated in the new Bilbao Port Lab. Other Spanish ports are also developing or expanding their innovation labs. In the case of Sevilla (PDF), the port and the university signed an agreement to increase the facilities of their innovation centre to include an industrial area for prototyping and a start-up incubator. Other example is Valencia, where the port is creating with other partners the #SuperLabPorts, to focus on climate change. The port of Valencia also launched recently a program for dual vocational training in ports, in cooperation with the regional government. Other ports in Spain, such as Barcelona, have similar programs to support the growth of companies and students.

Puertos del Estado, Port of Bilbao, Port of Seville (PDF), Port of Valencia, Valenciaport Foundation, Port of Barcelona – Spanish ports

Port of Saint John (Canada) supports supporting the local Art Centre

 Culture and identity 

The Port Authority of Saint John will sponsor a signature gallery in the Saint John Arts Centre for the next six years. The partnership also includes a biennial artist residency where a professional artist will be selected to create original works over a period of 10 months. The residency will include an exhibition in the Port Saint John gallery in September of 2021, 2023, and 2025, focusing on the Port themes. Artists can already apply for the first period of residency.

➜ Press Release PDF in English, French; Video (Youtube)

New initiative for community dialogue in Bahía Blanca

 Governance 

The Port of Bahía Blanca (Argentina) has started the new online participative forums “Puerto Abierto” to establish new dialogues with the local community. The first meeting included representatives from the agricultural and food sector. The goal of the forums is to debate and align the expectations and needs from the local community with the actions of the port authority. The dialogue will be structured in three phases: diagnosis, discussion of ideas and starting the agreed projects. The participants of the future debate sessions will include representatives from the academy and scientific sector, business organizations, workers, environmental, and cultural initiatives. The final result will be a new strategic plan built from the social agreements.

Port of Bahía Blanca