In port cities, carbon capture and storage will no doubt be central to the new circular economy. Why? Because not only do port cities usually host carbon-emitting industrial activities, but most storage facilities will be sited offshore! In Australia, Perth-based company Transborders Energy is set to launch an offshore project with Japanese partners. The constructors are already lining up, with the likes of K-Line or Stena Bulk having already created prototype carbon storage vessels. Port infrastructures will enable carbon to be centralised and then shipped to storage sites, as is the case with the Northern Lights project based in Bergen (Norway) and operated by Total, Shell, and Exxon-Mobil. Another project of interest is CinfraCap, currently being designed in Gothenburg (Sweden) by five Nordic firms. And of course, we have previously reported on the EU Commission-funded Porthos project in progress at the port of Rotterdam (Netherlands). Its operators are confident, and a progress update in December indicated that the project will be completed on time!
Coastal areas around the world are facing the same challenge: adapting their territories against the consequences of climate change, including seal level rise and extreme weather events. In New York (USA), the ambitious Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency Project will cost the city $19bn, but now, in pandemic times, may be difficult to get the funding. Experts claim for political support, to guarantee financing before new natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, occurs. In the other side of the spectrum, less-resourceful countries like Benin are also making significant efforts to fight against coastal erosion. These investments are visible for example in an area of 15 km of Cotonou’s eastern coast, including artificial dikes of 200 to 300 metres long. Climate change adaptation is the first goal of the AIVP Agenda 2030.
The recently opened public debate provided an opportunity to look at the various options and solutions for the different waterfront precincts, in response to the short, medium and long term challenges posed by rising sea levels and flooding caused by climate change. So-called “resilience” solutions discussed with residents and businesses in the districts affected include raising sections of the waterfront, and some roads and cycle lanes, raising existing public spaces or creating new ones, redeveloping the port promenade, and installing new coastal protection measures. Most of these solutions should be completed by 2030.
Sea level rise is a global challenge. We can see how different regions of the world are developing project to cope with it. For example, in the Netherlands, the Resilience by Design program from Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam is showing how climate adaptation is becoming a part of integrated investment decisions in area development now and in the future. The project will lead to seven joint insights for climate adaptation in the region and with nine demonstration projects that show how climate adaptation can lead to more attractive cities and landscapes and a healthy living environment. Already three results of the project are available. On a completely different context, in Senegal, the project for the coastal integrated management and resilience is entering its 2nd stage in the Delta of the Saloum and Petite Côte. The initiative includes planting trees to slow coastal erosion, and building dikes to prevent rising water levels. Breakwaters will also be constructed to protect the coastlines against extreme events.
The project put forward by SOM has been chosen for the new waterfront development in Zhuhai, with plans for a new mixed-use district combining offices, housing, shops, and public spaces, around the port and ferry terminal. The goal is to make the waterfront a low-emissions zone relying heavily on solar and marine energy, and reflects the local development policy with its major focus on technological innovation.
The State Government of Penang has organised an international ideas competition for suggestions on building a resilient “City-State” across the island’s different neighbouring districts. The aim is to build on the area’s historic and natural advantages to develop a new type of city, combining culture, nature, economy and new technologies, with an emphasis on innovation. There are also plans for a creative and technology precinct in George Town, while Butterworth is set to get an innovation centre based around the port installations and Penang Sentral multimodal terminal.