Providing personal developing opportunities is crucial for human capital development. There are numerous examples of port cities, where ports and universities work together to facilitate trainings and educational courses to the employees. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the port just signed a new agreement with the Economic Sciences Faculty of the local University, to allow as well new research cooperation. In Rotterdam we can find other examples of this kind, such as the cooperation between the port and the Erasmus University. In a similar way, the Mauritius Ports Authority has signed a new protocol with the University of Mauritius to created new training programmes that will allow port employees to expand their careers. Other agreements may also support port workers differently, as in the protocol signed between the port of Valparaiso and SENDA in Chile, to prevent drugs and alcohol abuse.
Education is also fundamental to reduce inequalities and increase the diversity of port workers. For that purpose, the Port Authority of New South Wales has launched a new training program designed for Indigenous women, partnering with the not-for-profit organization Tribal Warrior. The port also sponsors the Deck Cadet Program to help young seafarers to kickstart their career. Indeed, engaging younger generations in port city activities is a necessary for developing the local human capital. For that reason, this kind of programs or other initiatives are becoming more common. Another example is the internship program by the Bilbao Puerto y Ría Foundation designed for young graduates. All these efforts only make sense if there are ways to couple job offers and demands, in order to facilitate this, Talent in de Haven 2.0 will take place in Antwerp to facilitate the match between companies and job seekers.
During the coming weeks, AIVP will focus on port city culture. There are many different ways to enhance the port identity as we have seen recently. In Antwerp, the Havenland Run & Walk 2020 edition will allow participants to run or hike along the Rietveld Kallo nature reserve, viewing the port. The event will take place on November 7th and 8th, adapted with “corona-proof” safety measures. Another example to discover the waterfront can be found in San Diego, USA, where the port is highlighting the arts and culture program, with a series of self-guided tours to experience the art locations. In Fremantle, Australia, the port is organizing free port walks, with the help of volunteers enrolled in a new program, to better educate the public about port operations and the history of Victoria Quay. Another way to culturally link port and city is supporting local initiatives, as the port of Huelva in Spain is doing, collaborating with Ibero-American Film Festival.
The presence of women in the maritime world is no longer novelty, and their contribution is a crucial added value for ports. This was the main message from the Minister of Women and Gender Equity of Chile in her visit to the port of San Antonio. However, there is still a long way to go. For that reason, three Argentinian ports have launched initiative addressing gender issues. The Dock Sud port and the Port of Buenos Aires have created commissions on gender perspective in accordance with the ministry’s directives. The port of Bahía Blanca has developed an action protocol for situations of gender violence. The main objective is to define the actions to be taken in situations of discrimination and/or gender violence against women and people from the LGTBIQ+ collective, guaranteeing a work environment of trust, security and respect for people’s rights.
As we will see during the next month, disclosing port city culture is crucial for the social integration of ports. Events such as the Italian Port Days form last week can bring the population close to the port. The second edition of this event organized by Assoporti was supported by many Italian port authorities that hosted open days or cultural activities. In the case of Genoa, the festival Zones Portuaires contributed to the celebration of port city culture with concerts, exhibitions and debates, including one webinar with the participation of AIVP. In other port cities similar initiatives are taking place, like in Viana do Castelo (Portugal), but this time virtually due to the limitations imposed for the Covid-19.
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.
This years’ Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the Word Food Program for its efforts to end hunger and provide quality food. Port Cities play a key in the distribution of food for all, as we saw this week with the new agreement between the port of San Antonio (Chile) and the local fishermen collectives to support sustainable fishing techniques. The discussion about food will continue, particularly this week when FAO celebrates the World Food Day. There will be several events such as the Food Talks in Valencia (Spain), in Las Naves of La Marina.