From Tuesday 28 to Thursday 30 March, the thirteen partners involved in the European “Connected River” project met in Amsterdam (Netherlands). The meeting marked the start of work by this new cooperation initiative focusing on rivers, waterways, and waterfronts. The AIVP is among the participants in this major European project (see earlier article).

Our association has agreed to disseminate the best practices identified following pilot schemes in five countries: the port of Amsterdam and the city of Nijmegen (Netherlands), the port of Hamburg (Germany), the ports of Lille (France), the city of Vordinborg (Denmark), and the Kleine Nette river in Flanders (Belgium). The ambitious consortium has a shared goal, to find solutions to mitigate conflicts between the different uses of these spaces in river port cities.

Bruno Delsalle, General Manager, and Théo Fortin, Head of International Cooperation, were in Amsterdam on behalf of the AIVP.

The first day’s proceedings were live streamed, and a replay is available. The three phases of the Connected River initiative were outlined to the watching audience: 1. Build an ecosystem of waterway stakeholders. 2. Test innovative solutions. 3. Incorporate the results into a new guide to allow these solutions to be replicated across Europe.

A second day of discussions was arranged, this time exclusively for members of the Connected River consortium. A working plan and concrete objectives were identified. The deliverables, which will be available in 2026, will be of interest to AIVP members. The second day concluded with a tour of the port of Amsterdam.

A training session took place on the third day with assistance from the University of Antwerp (Belgium), where incidentally several of AIVP’s experts studied.  Professor Wouter Van Bockhaven brought the consortium members up to speed on the new techniques of open innovation and design thinking.

It was the ideal way to round off this important event, following discussions that were, as the Connected River project’s slogan goes, “as fluid as water”!