Discovering literature’s masterpieces in Trieste and San Antonio

 Culture and identity 

From Hemingway, to Melville or Joseph Conrad, the maritime world has inspired many famous novels by well-known authors. Exploring this connection, the port of Trieste (Italy) has launched the initiative “Ti porto un libro”, as part of their #IORESTOACASAENAVIGO program. The port authority invited four contemporary authors to recommend four books inspired by the sea, and to read excerpts and record them in four port locations usually not accessible to the citizens. The four video stories have been published during the Christmas period and are available in Youtube. The sea has also inspired famous poets, like Neruda, as the first exhibition of the Sea Book Museum in San Antonio, Chile shows. The exhibition, the inaugural activity of this institution created by the port authority, is 100% virtual and is the result of the cooperation between Chilean and Italian organizations, a country with which the author also developed a special connection.

Port of Trieste, Youtube Channel, Portal Portuario, Exposición

Climate change: adapt to avoid exorbitant costs along coastlines

 Climate change 

A study by a Frankfurt-based group estimates the costs of natural disasters during 2020 at 210 billion dollars, emphasising the effects of rising sea levels in China and the Pacific Ocean. Coastlines are particularly affected. Unless they adopt energy transition measures, ports dependent on hydrocarbon traffic will be affected by a drop in their trade; Amsterdam (Holland) has taken the message to heart and wants to increase cargo movement by getting greener. For the sake of the associated cities, port-related traffic also needs to reduce hydrocarbon consumption to avoid both economic and ecological disaster: for example, in Lagos (Nigeria) congestion costs 55 million dollars every year, and the city government is now diversifying to reduce road traffic into the port. Other developing countries have already introduced initiatives to this end, for example a programme in Cotonou (Benin), in cooperation with AFD, which should be completed in 2021; or the coastal protection megaproject in the port of Khulna (Bangladesh), the second largest in the country (after Chittagong): the Bengali authorities consider that it is essential for the survival of the south-west of the country.

The Medi Telegraph ; Offshore Energy ; Jeune Afrique ; ; Dhaka Tribune

Increasing the port community’s social engagement in Bilbao and Oslo


Many port companies have demonstrated during the covid-19 pandemic their social engagement with the local community. Now, the port authority of Bilbao (Spain) is launching a pioneer program, with the support of regional government, to support, coordinate and improve CSR actions of port companies. The program will count with the assistance of specialized consultants to better identify CSR actions and how to assess their performance in the first 6 months. At the same time, in Oslo (Norway), the port authority has launched a call for application to establish new agreements with organizations creating new activities for children and teenagers focused on communicating the maritime culture. The potential partners can receive financial support, free spaces for activities and promotion in the port authority’s several communication channels.

Port of Bilbao, Port of Oslo

The Port of Dublin aspires to become a cultural hub

 Culture and identity 

It plans to convert the old pumping station in the Docklands sector into an exhibition and live performance centre. Five plays have already been produced and filmed last summer. The building and adjacent wharf will be redeveloped. Also in the Docklands, the Dock Mill project has just been unveiled: a 14-storey block with a wood structure whose design was inspired by the original mill on the one hand and the Docklands identity on the other.

Irish Times ; ArchDaily (+ images)

The Port of Halifax (Canada) will create a Living Lab

 Port city interface 

“The Pier” will be a laboratory for innovation in transport. It will be opened on the waterfront on the site of the existing Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, which is to be relocated in March. The Farmers’ Market will be held in the open during the hottest months, and under cover during the winter months in a building which normally serves cruise ship passengers.

Halifax Today

The Cork Docklands (Ireland) set for redevelopment

 Port city interface 

With 160 hectares of land and 4 km of waterfront, the Cork Docklands site has vast potential. Following numerous studies over the last 20 years, projects are now beginning to emerge. In the North sector, this means offices, housing, and a recently-opened hotel. Planning permission for another 241-room hotel has been obtained. And the Port of Cork has commissioned a master plan specifically for the Tivoli Docks site, which will become available around 2025 after port activities are withdrawn. In the South sector, planning permission has been approved for a 25-storey residential tower block, while Marina Quarter Ltd has unveiled plans for more than 1,000 apartments. The relocation of a fertilizer firm will also open up new possibilities. All in all, the Docklands are set for far-reaching changes that are sure to trigger debate about the future of the area’s industrial and port heritage.

Irish examiner 1 ; Irish examiner 2

Waste: Eldorado for port cities?

 Energy transition and circular economy 

Industrial ecology is a means of pooling and recycling emissions from industry to assist other companies and focus development on a virtuous circle. Port Salford in Greater Manchester (UK) is set to be extended using recycled construction materials, avoiding a significant amount of pollution that would otherwise be generated by concrete production. This port development mirrors other urban initiatives, including one in Brussels (Belgium), where city hall has selected 38 projects. These will also be actively supported by the port, which is providing land to store the recyclable materials. However, the idea is not limited only to European countries. Kenya has signed an ambitious partnership with the firm ENI to convert agricultural waste into biofuels in Mombasa, the country’s largest port city.

The Business Desk ; DH Net ; Le Magazine du manager

Pakistan’s government approves the master plan for Gwadar Smart Port City

 Port city interface 

The project was designed to bring the city’s development into line with that of the deepwater port created with Chinese help and opened in 2007. It aims to make Gwadar an economic hub for South Asia, while generating 1.2 million jobs. Some 15,800 homes will be needed by 2025, rising to a total of 254,500 by 2050. There are also plans for theme parks, exhibition centres, seaside resorts, gardens, and museums.

Business Recorder ; Globe Estate & Builders ; Vidéo Gwadar Masterplan 2020

Carbon capture and storage: an opportunity for port cities

 Climate change 

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!

OedigitalSplash 247 ; Splash 247 (2) ; Oedigital (2) ; L’Usine Nouvelle ; Hellenic Shipping News ; Port of Rotterdam (web)

Zaha Hadid produces a master plan for Shenzhen (China)

 Port city interface 

The plan will transform the port area of Huanggang into a dedicated research and innovation zone for sectors such as micro-electronics, artificial intelligence, materials development, robotics, medical sciences, and more. The project is based around two large squares, and includes plans for residential and leisure facilities for people working at the science park. There are also plans for numerous green spaces, particularly along the Shenzhen river.

➜ Design boom (+ images)