AIVP Days – Personal Comment

AIVP Days – Personal Comment

AIVP Days – Le Havre – June 2017

The theme of congress, port-city animation, invited from the beginning to have a holistic approach, considering different perspectives, from academia to practitioners, from municipalities to port authorities.

The same week before the congress, we had the opportunity to discuss the most innovative practices in terms of social interaction between ports and citizens, during the 4th meeting of the Port Center Network. This tool, empowered by the AIVP, has evolved from simple explanation centers, with the typical port model and ancient images, to interactive platforms where the local residents can actually play a more active role in the port clusters and planning. We saw innovative examples from private companies, such as Contship, education and cultural institutions, like the STC from Rotterdam. Also Port Authorities participated, such as Livorno and Marseille, explaining the development process of a Port Center in the different scales and strategies. Urban agglomerations, like Lorient, proposes first to establish a local network and only after to consider a physical location and the associated investment. All these approaches contribute to enhance and clarify the role of the port in society, explain their importance and give disclosure to aspects that often remain hidden, only seeing the light for the most negative reasons. The local inhabitants, either port neighbors or city residents, sooner or later will become involved in the port development process, being either participants in the externalities, or, worse case scenario, players in NIMBY phenomenon. It has been proved that it is better to prevent than to fight, to avoid the conflict, to bring them inside the planning process, and find common strategies. It is important that the peopled feel as part of the solution, not of the problem.

During the congress we were able to see the combination of different strategies, from more traditional perspectives, to others more innovative. The keynote presentation, by landscape architects Michel Desvigne and Inessa Hansch, introduced their project for Le Havre’s waterfront, that tries to establish a new contact with from the street to the port. One of the key features of their design is flexibility. It is achieved by creating a new simple public space where temporary facilities and events can be made. In their presentation they introduced an important concept, that of port beauty, and how challenging it is to share it.

Base Projet N&B  A0_1-500
New waterfront Project for Le Havre. By Michel Desvigne. Source: https://www.lehavre.fr/actualites/ensemble-imaginons-vos-futurs-espaces

The following round table brought representative from different European cases, with different backgrounds. We could see initiatives from Genoa Porto Antico, Rotterdam STC, and Dublin Port Authority (DPA). One relevant detail is the fact that, with the exception of Dublin, the other organizations were not the usual players in the port-city animation, showing the different paths that can be taken to increase citizens presence on the waterfront and provide them a more complete image of the port.

Mr. O’Reilly, from DPA, highlighted a relevant point, that two realities were being discussed. On the one hand, the animation of regenerated waterfront locations that historically hosted port activities, e.g Genoa Port Antico. On the other the challenge of developing a sustainable social relationship with the active port, such as what happens in Marseille Bassin Est, Lisbon or in Dublin itself. The core issue is the possible combination of both strategies.

In academia the descriptive geographic model developed by Bird, Hoyle and others, describes the separation process and port exodus from central historical waterfront location. Although this model has been broadly accepted, it can also be discussed. Waterfront regeneration projects, as the ones presented by the keynote speakers of Le Havre, the one from Las Palmas, or Quebec, still do take place. However, as more restrictive environmental legislation and ecological public conscience is developed, blue and green field port development will probably find stronger opposition and limitation. As said in other publications, port retrofitting is an alternative to consider. This strategy raises the problem of peaceful coexistence and the acceptance of certain port landscapes within urban tissues. Further on, the ISPS code presents additional challenges regarding the port-city-citizen interaction. However, the code has existed since 2001, giving enough time for creative solutions to be developed, as it was indicated by Mr. Renaud Paubelle, from the GPM of Marseille, mentioning  the Terrasses du Port project in the same city.

terrasses
Terrasses du Port Source: http://www.hammerson.com

Port retrofitting can be seen in some cases aforementioned. Although challenging , it might be the most sustainable alternative when we consider the global scale. The fact of being “under surveillance” of the public eye forces companies and institutions to innovate taking advantage of new technologies that are already available. During the conference, examples of this technology were discussed, such as the ships that are able to produce more energy than the one they consume, the electrified docks, providing power to the ships avoiding fossil fuels, or the use of LNG on cruise ships. These advances require initial investment to later produce economical benefits. In cities is where port companies will feel the pressure to implement these innovations, that later will also benefit them.

In order to achieve what is commonly known as the (Social) License to Operate (LTO), ports have to use all available resources. The simple hard figures expressing the economic impact in terms of employment or turnaround traffic are not enough. As Mr. O’Reilly mentioned, Soft Values (Van Hooydonk, 2007) have to be explored. The

9789044121483
The book Soft Values of Seaports by Prof. Van Hooydonk (2007). In this publication the soft values are explained, as well the evolution of the relation between the ports and societies. In order to improve their disclosure the author proposes a new figure in port authorities, the soft values manager.

associated cultural and social elements, explained by Hein, that ports used to produce as unplanned externalities provide an opportunity to explain the port and other positive, often intangible, values, such as port-city identity. This concept, studied mainly in the academic world, is key for a sustainable port-city relationship. If Lynch (1960) once was able to define the image of the city and how people absorb information in the urban environment, our challenge is the definition of the image of the port-city, a task to which all stakeholders can and must contribute. In this sense social sciences are one of the key paths, as pointed out by Hein, where innovations can be made, also to inspire and set the course for institutional change and later concrete actions in each port-city.

If we use Soft-Values, we have to consider unquantifiable elements such as “port beauty” as mentioned by the keynote speaker, Mr. Michel Desvigne. Although “beauty” can be considered a subjective element, it is undeniable that even modern ports are able to have a certain fascination beyond logistic or economic values. This is a key element, combined with extensive socio-economical projects that involve the community and spread out through the entire port-city, including all kinds of actors, from private companies to educational college such as what we saw in Barcelona´s maritime cluster or Rotterdam STC.

To conclude, two remarks. The first one refers to the composition of the audience. The presence of delegates from very different geographical regions highlights one particular characteristic of the port-maritime world. Although it is one of the pillars of globalization, with private actors and organizations often operating in a continental or global scale, each context has its own idiosyncrasies. It is not possible to copy-paste solutions seen during the conference. The goal of these meetings and of the AIVP is the exchange of experiences that can inspire to animate each port-city adapting global strategies to the local context and available resources.

The second remark refers to the return on investment, probably one of the main challenges port-city animation faces. It is not easy to explain and convince certain sector and political leaders to make the investment into port-city animation. Sociological, management and other academic studies could be used to explain the issue and gather the necessary support. However, if we consider the alternative, not doing anything, as it happened during most part of the 20th century, we should find some justification for the investment. If we observe the consequences of this long lasting inaction in the social port-city relationship during decades, the opposition that has gradually emerged, the lack of awareness we can find a strong enough motivation to invest and take action. As Eamonn O´Rielly said regarding social initiatives, and by extension port-city animation: “we do it because we have to”.

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Art Installation by Vincent Ganivet. One of many works and events celebrating the 500 anniversary of the city. Source: http://www.lefigaro.fr/culture/2017/06/03/03004-20170603ARTFIG00142-la-pause-photo-du-jour-le-havre-a-500-ans-et-c-est-beau.php

 

References

Bird, J. H. (1963). The major seaports of the United Kingdom. Hutchison.

Hoyle, B.S. (1989) The port City Interface: Trends, Problems and Examples, Geoforum Vol. 20, 429-435.

Lynch, K. (1960). The image of the City. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Van Hooydonk, E. (2007). Soft values of seaports. A strategy for the restoration of public support for seaports. Antwerp: Garant.

Port-City researchers

Port-City researchers

Young scholars investigating port-cities

Since this blog started I have been contacted by many interested on the port-city relationship. Initially I was surprised and pleased to see how many people share a common passion for this topic. During the time past I have gotten in contact with other researcher developing interesting investigation projects, from different perspectives that somehow complement themselves. This blog has been since its beginning a platform to share information about port-cities, for this reason it seemed appropriated and useful for its readers to briefly present the research from these colleagues and give their contact for networking opportunities.

In this first post about fellow investigators I will present four of them with whom I have shared discussions and coffee breaks during (sometimes boring) congresses. We all share the same passion for this topic and their work is worth knowing. The following lines give a short introduction to the research of Karel Van den Berghe, Beatrice Moretti, Paolo de Martino, Hilde Sennema, Marica Castigliano and Fatma Tanis. You will notice they all have different backgrounds, but share some similarities. The project descriptions have been provided by themselves.

Karel Van den Berghe

Analyzing the Relational Geometry of the Port-City Interface

Karel bnThis PhD research (Ghent University 2014-2018) applies a relational approach to the study of port city interfaces. Such approach allows us to analyse how actors are connected, transact and assign meaning and value to local development. Much of the literature and studies on the port-city interface have primarily focused on late 20th century transformation processes at the urban waterfront. This fails to appreciate the often continued presence of port activity within cities and falls short in understanding how development agenda of port cities are relationally constituted. Therefore, this PhD research has three main goals. First, we theoretically develop the hypothesis that the port-city interface is not a closed system, but a relational construct through which heterogeneous flows of actors, assets and structures coalesce and take place. Second, using this theoretical framework, a conceptual framework capable of categorizing different relational port-city interfaces is presented and applied in a schematic way to the port cities of Ghent, Belgium, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. By mapping the relational geometries of these port cities, our results show how both public and private actors through networking strategically relate in different ways, across different territorial scales, within different institutionalized structured and between different economic sectors. Third, by analyzing the relational geometries, they provide us with examples of different dynamic actor-relational interplays and how this results in particular development trajectories. Eventually, this research questions the perceived geographical dichotomy between port and city.

Follow Karel in Researchgate or Linkedin

Beatrice Moretti

PORTUALITY XXI – Models and Strategies for the Urban-Port Dynamic Threshold

Beatrice bn‘Portuality’ is a concept rooted in some urban centers from the very early on. A territorial quality which specifically denotes those cities born and developed through strong historic/symbolic and economic/functional relationship with its own port. So, ‘portuality’ is a landscape requirement or a constitutive specificity of some territories. The research supports the recognition of ‘portuality’ as a specific character and together believes that the urban-port threshold, – in its various shapes and patterns -, could emerge as the main symbolic field of exploration where the ‘portuality paradigm’ is expressed also as a planning principle for coexistence strategies between port and city. The urban-port threshold materializes in the complex space along the margin between the two authorities, in that recurring landscape in which the city and the port are side by side. This heterogeneous but unique system is marked by an administrative boundary and is subjected to continuous hybridizations becoming a medium, an accumulator of change and transit. The urban-port threshold is, indeed, a dynamic system, a ‘filter space’: precarious, discontinuous, fragmented into parts where the juxtapositions take sufficient shape to acquire a dimension and be recognizable. According to this approach it is possible to update the old dichotomy ‘city-port’ outlining a new vision in which the port city is a forma urbis in progress, a composite, plural and open figure affected by the speed of changing processes and influenced by the many factors that every day are embodied in its territorial palimpsest.

Follow Beatrice in Researchgate or Linkedin 

Paolo de Martino

Port-city development. An interdisciplinary analysis for port city in transition. Naples as case study

Paolo_di_Martino bn

Numerous actors have been involved in the planning of the port and city of Naples; actors who have different ideas and goals, different tools, and even time-frames. The European Union, the Italian nation, the Campania Region, the Municipality of Naples, and the Port Authority act upon the port at different levels of planning. Each entity has different spatialities and temporalities. Their diverse goals have led port and city to develop into separate entities, from a spatial, functional as well as administrative point of view. The different scopes of their planning are particularly visible in the zone between port and city. As a result of these different development goals, the interface between port and city, particularly in waterfront zones that form the geographical area between the old city and the modern port, is undefined and its future is in limbo; in fact, the whole relationships between city and port requires rethinking.

Since the XIX century, the multitude and heterogeneity of planning authorities has produced many uncertainties for the port-city relationship in Naples, and a stalemate for the areas where the port physically meets the city. Today, a real regeneration process of the port areas is not yet started, for different reasons and city and port are really separated. This research explores why the city and port of Naples, one of the most important historical ports in Italy, seems resistant to urban plans, as well as co-operation between various actors involved in the urban planning processes. Using the concept of path dependency theory, the research aims to develop an actor-institutional and spatial understanding of the changing port-city relationship in Naples and the resulting urban transformations.

You can know more about Paolo in TUDelft website, in the CGHD, or Linkedin. You can get in contact with him through: p.demartino@tudelft.nl

Hilde Sennema

The Port-City as their Business: the involvement of entrepreneurs in the Rotterdam policy network, 1930-1970.

Hilde bnDespite changes to the physical structure of port cities during the twentieth century,  ports continue to be connected to the urban scale through local policy systems, business networks, and labour markets. Moreover, ports are still recognized through city names and often build their marketing strategies on a port city identity. In her PhD research, Reinhilde Sennema (Erasmus University Rotterdam) looks at the case of Rotterdam analyze this phenomenon between 1930 and 1970, a time of severe crises (Great Depression, Second World War) and immense infrastructural innovations (petrochemical industry, container). She focuses on the role of port related associations, institutions and individuals in the Rotterdam policy network between 1930 an 1970, and asks why these actors were involved in urban developments, such as the reconstruction of the war damaged city center. In order to do so, she uses archives of, for example, the association for port interests (Stichting Havenbelangen), which was seen as the marketing department of the port of Rotterdam. It is expected that, already in the 1930s, the city of Rotterdam was considered to be an important asset in the world-wide marketing of the port. Conversely, from the 1930s until well in the 1960s, policy makers constructed and used a narrative that a strong port was the foundation of a wealthy city. This study therefore looks into early forms of public-private partnerships, and aims to shed light on the interests and values that are at play within present day collaborations between port and city as well.

Follow Hilde in Researchgate or Linkedin

Marica Castigliano

Port Systems as Driving Force of Regional Development Strategies – Planning towards Logistics and Urban Regeneration Scenarios

fotot bnThe research project focuses on port systems as networks of infrastructures that spread in the regional territory, for instance through seaport areas, inland terminals, logistics platforms and corridors.

The study starts from the question “how the ‘economies of the sea’ shape the lands?”. It specifically aims to investigate processes of governance involving Port Authorities, Cities and Regions and how they could support new strategies for development, beyond the border of the seaport and according to their specific ambitions.

The ‘spaces of flows’ (like flows of goods) are influencing contemporary landscapesand affect human behaviours and built environments. For this reason, the study investigates global networks focusing on the effects that the supply chain issues produce in the local context of port regions.Port areasof logisticsthat are part of the contemporary urbanized worldare also strategicin planning, especiallywhen new scenarios and urban regeneration programs are set up.

The theoretical framework of the study is based on Post-Metropolitan Urban Studies. According to this theory, the city is no longer a compact urban form. Urban planners have to deal with new ‘splintered’ forms of urbanization and urban structures spreading in wide regional areas. Considering that logistics areas vary in size, distribution and location, the study investigates the port system in a multi-scalar perspective focusing on the multiple actors involved in its governance processes. The port system, with its infrastructural nodes and links, is part of this multi-scalar urbanization and – as source of important transcalar economies–becomes the hard structure of port territories and the study argues that it should be considered in urban development strategies. This infrastructural armour constitutes the ‘operational landscape’ which supports the urban life as –even if it doesn’t seem part of our lives–it provides daily services and influences the organisation of the contemporary society.

The research project aims to investigate the port system and the aspect of governance, trying to answer to the main question “How the improvement of the port system could lead planning strategies for urban and regional development in Italy?”. It includes three sub-questions related to logistics, geographical and historical aspects:

  1. How do port economies shape the territory and whatare the infrastructural geographies of port regionalization?
  2. How do these new geographies affect the “surrounding environment” and how do they modifyspaces and plans of the Port-City at the local scale?
  3. How can we address the gap between transport/logistics and urban development policies?

The study focuses on different European port regions and it investigates the aspect of distribution related to processes of logistics geographies and the aspect of relations among Port Authorities, City, Region and other actors.International cases are used to identify key variables in spatial and governmental evolution of the selected port region.

Follow Marica in Researchgate or contact her through her email marica.castigliano@unina.it

Fatma Tanis

PORT CITY CULTURE OF IZMIR AS A CROSS-CULTURAL CONSTRUCT – Narratives of Izmir’s Border Crossing Practices since 16th Century

tanaThe thesis explores the importance of port city culture through narrative analysis of social-spatial developments in Turkish port city of Izmir. The research aims to investigate how city was constructed by short and long term immigrants and how narratives took position during this construction.Izmir is a particularly appropriate case for this analysis. Travelers have left narratives of the city since the 16th century describing daily life, events, Izmir’s built environment on waterfront and also hinterland. The PhD project has an intention and motivation to achieve to the present and points out how contemporary city and port city culture relation could be re-established through its trans-cultural history.

Port cities with their long-standing and diverse histories, their global networks and changing fates have attracted numerous commentaries and decision-makers have used them carefully to help build a local port city culture. This local culture thrives throughcontinuously evolving of international relationships, goods, people, and ideas, etc. Its locus is the contact zone, a range of diverse spatial figures—industrial, residential, leisure, religious, education, offices-  that are centred around the waterfront but also dispersed through the city.

Port city culture is related to numerous different cultures that clash in port cities, “under impacts of internal and external political, economic and social forces”[1] for beneficial of port and trade activities. Plenty of actors, users, protagonists from different countries, from different backgrounds contributed to Izmir’s port city culture. Collaboration of local and European knowledge created unique form.

[1]Alfred Louis Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn, “Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions,” Papers. Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, Harvard University  (1952).

 

Follow Fatma in Researchgate or Linkedin

Are you also a young researcher investigating the port-city relation? contact us!

We will do future posts featuring other researchers. I take this opportunity to invite young scientist dealing with the port-city relationship to get in contact and explain the research project to be featured in another similar article.

Evolution of the Waterfront and the Port of Lisbon from 1887 to 1974

Evolution of the Waterfront and the Port  of Lisbon from 1887 to 1974

Introduction

In the previous article we could see the pre-industrial evolution of Lisbon´s waterfront during the 18th and 19th centuries. We got to know the alternative visions for the port and the riverfront, and how the process to reach a final proposal for the new industrial harbor took some time and was considerably complex. As we saw this process culminated in 1887 with the final competition for the port development plan.

plano-final-cropped
FInal plan by Hersent, based in the one developed previously by Loureiro. Retrieved from Arquitectura – A Cidade e o rio. Actas do seminário Internacional “renovação urbana nas zonas ribeirinhas”, 1988

This article will explain how the winning proposal was developed during the first decades of the 20th century. We will also see how the industry and the port evolved, implementing new infrastructure that gradually separated the city from the river and the port.

Finally we will also a second key moment of the port-city relation, at the end of the first-half of the past century, when the waterfront starts to be specialized, segregating different functions At the same time this change allowed the implementation of urban programs on the waterfront for the first time. The changes here mentioned crafted the current image of the port and the riverfront. The final discussion at the end of the 20th century about the regeneration of the water edge and the relation with the river will be left for the next article.

Construction of the first section of the 1887 port plan

On October 31st of 1887 the construction of the new port of Lisbon began. That day was marked by celebrations both for the inauguration of the port development construction and the birthday of King D. Luis (Silva, 1923). The project was divided into 4 sectors. The first one considered the central part of waterfront, went from Sta. Apolónia railway station to Alcântara, the second from Alcântara to Belém, the third one was the eastern section of the riverbank and the 4th one was the south side of the Tagus river (Nabais& Ramos, 1987) (Costa, 2006)

The civil Engineer Hildernet Hersent was considered the winner of the competition in April 1887. His project took the one from Loureiro and Matos as starting point, but included several changes due to technical and economic issues. He was in charge for the development of the first section while the national railway company was responsible for the second one. The other two sectors were left for future construction.

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The construction of the first section of the port of Lisbon was not easy and found several problems along the way. Some authors (AGPL, 1958)(Costa, 2006) have divided the process into two phases, a first one from the competition date until 1894, and he second one from 1894 until 1907. During this period the court of arbitrage was forced to intervene twice in conflicts between the contractor and the state. In 1891 the contract was reviewed, extending it for 10 years. A new contract was made in 1894 and the court of arbitrage decided in 1902 to extend the arrangement until the final date of 1907 (AGPL, 1926). Although the construction was supposed to be finished several issues affected it´s normal development, afterwards there were several works necessary to the full completion of the plan, which was not finished until several years after. In 1907 the state took control of the new port facilities and the new territory. For the management of this infrastructure the Minister of public works created an autonomous board formed by seven elements coming from the different actors involved in the port and maritime activities[1]. The new organizations was named the Administração Geral do Porto de Lisboa (AGPL). (ibid.)(AGPL, 1938) (Nabais & Ramos, 1987).

The second section of Lisbon´s waterfront included, besides the railway infrastructure, several docks, but were mainly destined to the navy or other uses rather than the usual commercial activities of the port. The landfills made in this section offered a location for the new industries related with the energy production sector. One example of this sort of settlements was the Central Tejo in Belém. This coal power plant started to be built in 1908[2] (Silva,1997). These sort of industries would remain in this part of the city until the 1940s (Costa, 2006), as we will later see.

During the first decades of the 20th century we see an increase in the maritime traffic of Lisbon. In several texts of the time we can find criticism to the development path of the port, mainly concerning the slow construction and some management issues (Silva, 1923). The construction of the first sector was not finished until 1926. During that time the existing infrastructure suffered few changes, including the transformation of the fluctuation dock into a “normal” one. In 1923 Silva complained about the delays in the completion of the works, the lack of new investment in machinery, the fact that the 2nd sector could not be used for real port activities, but only railway connection, leisure sailing or industrial areas. He also criticized that the 3rd sector was plan but never financed and the 4th section not even discussed.

Political Context

The first quarter of the 20th century was a period of political instability in Portugal. This situation did not contributed to the conclusion of the first port project and the development of the other sections. The increasing tension culminated in the assassination of the king D. Carlos I and his son and successor in the throne D. Luis Filipe in 1908. On October the 5th of 1910 the 1st democratic republic of Portugal was declared. During the following years the new regime was as well characterized by a very instable democracy with many changes in government. Finally in 1926 a coup d’état ended the democratic republic and started the military dictatorship. From 1928 to 1933 the regime evolved to become the “Estado Novo”, being António de Oliveira Salazar the key figure. First invited to the government of 1928 to be the minister of finance, gradually increased his influence until he became the president of the board of ministers in 1933, establishing the authoritarian regime that would rule Portugal until the revolution of 1974 (Saraiva, 1996) .

First decades of the 20th century.

In 1907 when the state regained control of the new port the infrastructure consisted in seven docks, with the correspondent technical apparel, a territory including 3500 m of ramps and embankments, 4700 m of piers, two dry docks, and over 14 000 m2 of warehouse space (AGPL, 1938). According to some texts of the time, during the following decades less construction was done, the interventions were mainlythe two new ship repair docks, more storage space and the conclusion of the pier of Santos.

The image of the port as it is known nowadays, started to be forged during this time (Costa, 2006). The separation between the city and the port became stronger and the difference of scale reduced the interaction between the citizens and the port.

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The political climate during the 1910s and early 1920s affected as well the port development. Until the new regime gained power and a certain stability was found, there were not many relevant constructions. During the late 1920s and 1930s the new government pushed further port development. The third section, planned in the competition, and already designed in 1916, was finally under construction. The dry docks 3 and 4 for naval repair were built, and the Alcântara and Santos docks were also rebuilt[3]. The construction quality of the first section of the port was far from ideal and different reinforcement works were necessary in the following years after its opening (ibid.) (Silva, 1923).

During this time other relevant infrastructures were built on the land side. The new buildings were designed with the predominant style of the time, the Português Suave[4] (Fernandes, 2003). This architectural expression, very valued by the regime, was chosen for many public constructions of the time. This style was related with the international movement known as rationalism, mainly used other countries with fascist dictatorships. This architectural language was used by the regime as propaganda to communicate their ideals, emphasizing the national identity. As result several relevant port buildings were constructed with this style, particularly the ones that hosted functions related with the public or that had a prominent location in the port-city interface.

The maritime stations

The passenger traffic, both regional and international, was quite relevant for the port of Lisbon. In 1937 more than 350 000 persons arrived or departed from Lisbon by boat (Brito et al. 2007). Three maritime stations were planned during the 1930s, but only two were finally built during the next decade. The maritime stations of Alcântara and Rocha Conde d’Óbidos are two examples of the mentioned architectural style and had an important role in the city´s structure, being the doors to Lisbon for the foreign passengers. Both buildings were designed by Pardal Monteiro, an important architect of the 20th century in Portugal, and the one in Alcântara included murals by AlmadaNegreiros, increasing their artistic value. The first one was inaugurated in 1943 and the second one was built between 1945 and 1948 (Gama, 1997). These stations remained the main connection with foreign countries until the construction of the airport. Afterwards were used mainly to welcome cruise ships.

To respond to the increasing traffic of people crossing the river from north to south several stations dedicated to the passenger fluvial traffic were planned. The first one was the south-southeast stations next to Praça do Comércio, by Cottinelli e Telmo in the late 1920s (ibid.). Several years later, inaugurated in 1940, another one in Belém was built. In this case the project was by Caetano de Carvalho, in the same style the stations from Rocha Conde d’Óbidos and Alcântara would be built in the same decade. This terminal was linked with the railway station in Belém, and also played an important role in the Exhibition of the same year that we will later explain (ibis.)

estacao-fluvial-de-belem-16
Fluvial station of Belém, built in 1940 for the Portuguese Expo. Arch. Caetano de Carvalho

Another interesting building was the refrigerated warehouse for cod fish, placed next to the rail line and the Av. 24 de Julho. This construction of large proportions had a strong visual impact due to its proportions and the architectural language including, a bas-relief with national heroes. We can see in the architectural expression or texts of the time that the port was still a an important element of civic pride was.

“(…) O que seríamos se esta esteira maritima nos nãos facultasse o precioso acesso ao Oceano e daí para todos os mares?O que seríamos sem este rio que preparous para os mares traiçoeiros os primeiros navegadores? A importância cital de Lisboa, não só para os portuguese como para o estrangeiro, é de tal modo, que a Europa  não teria outra entrada fluvial para o comércio africano e americano se este pôrto não fosse como é.”

Sanches(216: 1944)

In the same decade a relevant change regarding the jurisdiction of the Port of Lisbon took place. The AGPL gained control over the entire Tagus estuary, including the south side, from Alcochete until the bar of Lisbon (AGPL, 1938). This decision should facilitate the expansion of the port and port related industries to the south side. The possibility of moving certain activities to the other bank of the Tagus nurturedthe idea of releasing some sections of the waterfront in the north side to public use, regaining an access to the water for the inhabitants[5]. Several authors discussed this issue, particularly in the section between Cais do Sodré and the Customs, that included the Praça do Comércio[6] (Cid de Perestelo, 1938). In this same sector was the navy arsenal, one of the possible activities to be relocated to the south side, as eventually did happen.

“esta zona marginal debe ser aproveitada pelo municipaio para a construção de um jardim miradouro sobre o tejo, para o embelezamento da cidade e o gozo dos Lisboetas, visto os armazens do porto terem ocupado os antigos passeios marginais.”

Curado in O porto de Lisboa. Ideias e Factos (1928)

The expansion of the port towards the east in the third section included the construction of another 910 m of quays, 3830 m of stone slopes, 46 000 m2 of quayside area, a new dock, and 800 000 m2 of usable surface (Cid de Perestelo, 1938). The third section allowed as well the expansion of large industries in the east, later on enabling the transfer of the gas factory from Belém to Matinha, and the creation of the new avenue parallel to the river, Av. Infante D. Henrique.

During the 1930s and 1940s , once the regime had achieved a certain economic stability, the law for the economic recovery (Lei de Reconstituição Económica nº1914) was passed, planning the expenses for the following 15 years in the key infrastructure (Saraiva, 1993). The port received considerable investment for machinery and at the same time the different activities started to be more segregated. The development of the eastern section facilitated the settlement of larger industrial conglomerates in this area of the city, gradually releasing the western area, mainly Belém, from these activities. This way the urban programs existing in this section were enhanced, leaving this area with a representative function, related with its historical meaning and political connection (Costa, 2006).

If the first decades of the 20th century there were few planning initiatives regarding the port and the city. However, during the 1930s and 1940s, we could see several new plans that would affect the development of the waterfront. The first major urban intervention was the 1940 Expo, that implied the regeneration of the area adjacent to several national monuments such as the Jerónimos monastery and the Torre de Belém, the ex-libris of the city, that since the end of the 19th century until that decade had been surrounded by heavy industrial facilities diminishing its visibility and impact. At the same time, during the1940s, the first Masterplan for the city was being discussed. For this new document international experts were consulted to improve the existing urban environment and to organize the expansion of the city. Simultaneously, between 1943 and 1946, the port of Lisbon expansion plan was prepared. This document would set the path for the port development during the following decades. Also during this period the ZIP (Zona Industrial do Porto – Industrial Zone of the Port) was presented. We will discuss these different document and interventions in the following lines.

Major waterfront interventions in Lisbon during the 1930s and 1940s.

At the end of the 1930s and during the 1940s three key projects affecting the waterfront of Lisbon took place: the move of some industrial facilities from Belém to the eastern area of the city, the conclusion of the Tagus avenue in front of the Praça do Comércio, eased by the new location of the navy yard in the south side of the Tagus, and the Expo of the Portuguese World in Belém. These interventions had a significant impact in the image of the waterfront and would remain as the main projects on the by the riverside until the 1980s when the issue of the relation with the Tagus would be brought back to discussion.

Relocation of the energy industries from Belém to Matinha.

Before we have seen how, during the 1930s and 1940s, the third section of the port plan started to be develop. This area was already an important industrial core, that had grown linked with other structural element of the territory, the railway. The junction of both infrastructures potentiated development of larger industrial facilities in this area (Costa, 2006).The possibility of new industries eased a certain separation of activities on the waterfront, leaving the western section for leisure, culture and other urban activities. In 1937 the Ministry of public works issued an official statement in which insisted in the idea of releasing the area adjacent to the tower of Belém from the industrial facilities. The relocation of the CRGE (CompanhiasReunidas de Gás e Electricidade) gas factory from the west side of Lisbon, where it had existed since 1888, to Matinha, in the eastern section of the city, had been previously decided in 1935 with the law  25.726. This bill stated the need to move the industry and to regularized the edge of the river in the oriental section of the city, improving the connectivity of this area (Folgado, 2015).

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Gas Factory of Belém in 1938. Photo by Kurt Pinto. Arquivo Municipal Doc: PT/AMLSB/KPI/000238

Finally the change only took place in 1944 (Costa 2006). The issue of the location of heavy industries next to this important landmark had been subject of controversy, criticism and public discussion since the end of the 19th century[7]. Not been even clear what was the need of such a facility in this place considering that there were others providing the same service (Ramos, 2004). In 1910 the tower received the status of national monument. The change here described was one of the firsts concerning the new uses and the programs to be implemented in the west part of the city. During the following decades the transfer of industries from west to east continued, accentuating the different roles of each part of the city (ibid.)

East-West connection on the waterfront

In the central section of the waterfront, from Cais do Sodré to the customs –  placed in the eastern section of the Praça do Comércio – the landfills proposed in different plans were never executed. The main issue in this area was the connection from the east to the west part of the city. The plans presented during the second half of the 19th century often included a railway or a road in front of the square. In the previous article it was clear that this issue was particularly complex. The historical meaning of the place, named by described by Costa (2006) as representative pier, and the difficulties caused by the presence of the navy yard delayed an intervention until the late 1930s.

Finally, the new location for the navy was decided during this decade, the facilities would be relocated to the south bank, in Alfeite, next to Seixal. The long awaited connection was, after several decades, technically possible. Although in previous plans a railway linehad also been discussed, the final solution was the construction of a road. The new avenue, executed in 1939, connected the two railway stations, from Cais do Sodré until the Sta. Apolónia. Linking in this point with the newly planned Av. Infante D.Henrique. The new road was possible due to the development of new landfills, until that moment the buildings were literally on the edge of the river.

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Bird’s eye view of the central section of the waterfront of Lisbon, short after the construction of the landfill that would allow the completion of the road connecting the east with the west.

In the late 1940s a new plan for this area that was made, but never developed. In 1947 a design by Faria da Costa was released. In the project it was planned a regeneration of the area previously occupied by the shipyard, the redevelopment of Cais do Sodré, including a maritime station next to the railway one, and a tunnel connection to Restauradores Square. This intervention planned the creation of new monumental square in Cais do Sodré with two new 14 floors buildings, where the AGPL headquarters were supposed to be located (Pedras, 2014). In the drawing we can also see how the Tagus edge would be rethought, including new public spaces next to the water.

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Plan for the connection between the Av. 24 de Julho and Praça do Comércio. Arch. Faria da Costa. Arquivo Municipal: Doc. PT/AMLSB/CMLSB/UROB-PU/10/174

Although the development of the landfills along the entire waterfront damaged the relation with the river, they allowed the construction of a more efficient connection between the two extremes of the city, including the incipient public transport (Costa, 2006). At the same time, the East-West axis, running parallel to the river, consolidated the barrier of traffic and infrastructure between the river and the city.

As we saw in the previous article the Tagus avenue was an old ambition of some port and urban planners. Several times projects with a certain grandiosity were dreamt. The riverside road was eventually completed, connecting the eastern section of the city with Algés in the western boundary, but with less impact than what it was conceptualized (Barata, 2010). The main concern remained the efficiency as a key element of the road network of the Portuguese capital.

The issue of crossing the downtown, the Baixa, has remained one of the biggest challenges until today. The construction of underground connections has been discussed several occasions during the last 50 years, but the road intervention of 1939 has remained has the main east-west axis on the waterfront.

1940 Portuguese world Expo

The new regime of the Estado Novo had been in power since 1928. During this time there was a certain quest to praise the national pride. The history brought an opportunity to uplift the Portuguese spirit, since in 1940 there would be the possibility of celebrating a double anniversary. In 1140 D. Afonso Henriques was recognized as the King of Portugal, remaining this year as the official date for the foundation of the country. In 1640 Portugal regained its independence from Spain (Saraiva, 1996). At the same time there was the goal of establishing Lisbon as the capital of the empire (França, 1997). The colonies still played an important role in the political and social debate, it seemed necessary to have a metropolis that would represent the grandiosity of the overseas territories.

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Plan of the 1940 Exhibition of the Portuguese World

In 1932 the first discussions regarding the celebration of an international expo began to take place, but only in 1938 an official statement regarding the approval of the “Celebration of the Centenary of the Nationality” was published (Costa, 2015). The original idea was to create facilities that later would remain and be practical for the city. However, the tight deadline and the delay in the decision making process obliged to build temporary pavilions that later would be dismantled. Only in 1939 the final model of the expo was shown to the head of state, Salazar, leaving one year for the construction of the facilities (Acciaiuoli, 1998).

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Panoramic view of the construction site of the 1940 Expo in Belém. From Estudio Horacio Novais (1939 – 1940)

The location of the exhibition, in the western part of town, was clear since the beginning, being the only doubt if it would be in the landfill in front of the Junqueira, where the Cordoaria is, or if it was better in the land in front of the Jerónimos monastery. Finally the greater historical meaning of the second prevailed, playing the monastery a key role in the planning and image of the event (Nobre, 2010). In this location the plan for the Expo used an area of 45 Ha to implement its program[8] (ibid.). It was seen by the masterminds behind the project, mainly the Cotinelli e Telmo and the mayor and minister of public works Duarte Pacheco[9] (França, 1980), as the opportunity to reconnect the historic monastery with the river with square of great proportions. The intervention changed the scale and perception of Belém, bringing a new sense of monumentality contrasting with the previous smaller dimension of the popular architecture (ibid).This location was the first place along the Tagus where a new kind of relation with the river was established.

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Panorama of the imperial square, the central space around which the 1940 Expo was organized. we see the predominant urban role of the Jeronimo’s Monastery. Image from Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa, http://www.padraodosdescobrimentos.pt/pt/?galeria=1940

The exhibition, which opened its doors on June the 23rd of 1940, was organized around the main square (Praça do Império) with clear boundaries. There were pavilions dedicated to different topics, from the former colonies and overseas territories or invited countries, to the national history, the traditional culture and the newest developments in the railway and the port. In the exhibition there was a conjunction of different architectural styles that somehow expressed the duality of the regime´s image. On one side there was the intention of establishing an imperial character, in line with how other fascist regimes were doing in Europe, but at the same time there was a certain exaltation of the popular/vernacular architecture from the traditional village, as the source of the Portuguese values. This dichotomy was visible comparing some of the main pavilions with the reconstruction of a Portuguese village as part of the exhibition. Ironically one of the main critics to the event, at the time and still nowadays, was the fact that to release the land necessary for the new construction and the imperial square a considerable amount of demolitions were required. The buildings that were destroyed were a part of the traditional urban fabric of Belém (Nobre, 2010). Another replica that became one of the highlights of the exhibition was the “Portugal” ship, an imitation from a 16th century galley. The boat was docked in the Belém dock during the exhibition. (Acciauli, 1998).

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Jeronimos Monatery before the 1940 Expo. We can see part of the former urban fabric that was demolished for the Exhibition.

One of the main intervention that improved the connection with the water were the new crossings of the barrier that separated the river from the city. These bridges had as well a predominant role in the image of the event. They functioned as the east and west gates of the Expo. Another project with the same goal was the pedestrian tunnel placed near the dock of Belém. By the river, next to the new tunnel and symmetrical to the dock, a water mirror with a restaurant was built, giving the impression that the river was nearer to the city in that point. This restaurant, along with the museum of ethnography, has been one of the few remaining buildings of the exhibition. They were adapted to be used after the exhibition.

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Panoramic view of Belém during the 1940 Exhibition. Photo taken from the top of Padrão dos Descobrimentos. In the image we see two building that were refurbished after the Expo and are still in use nowdays

One of the most remarkable projects was the “Padrão dos Descobrimentos”, a monument to honor the memory of the great explorers. This sculpture of considerable size, 50m high and 695 m2 of surface, was originally built to be dismantled after the exhibition, but since it was a significant success it was afterwards rebuilt, (re)inaugurated 1960 (Acciaiuoli, 1998). The location of the statue, directly on the river edge, between the dock of Belém and the aforementioned water mirror, is, in the opinion of the author, a key decision in the relation of the city with the water. The river edge is no longer just for industrial or port activities, but can be used for cultural programs or artistic interventions. Also the presence of the new monument created a new language, following the example of the tower of Belém, vertical elements with considerable proportions, placed by the river, giving a certain visual rhythm to the waterfront, particularly in the western section.

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Padrão dos decobrimentos. Exposição do Mundo Português, 1940 – António Passaporte. Arquivo Municipal. http://www.padraodosdescobrimentos.pt/pt/?galeria=1940

In terms of architecture the exhibition was considered a success. Under the direction of Cottinelli e Telmo several pavilions were exercises of creativity and helped to expereiment with aforementioned national style. Some of the architects and artists that participated in the event were: Cristino da Silva,Carlos Buigas, Lacerda Marques, Antonio Lino or Antonio Duarte, just to mention few of them.

The Expo did not attracted the number of visitors it was expected[10]. However, the event did helped the local and national governments to implement a series of large projects inLisbon, crucial for the development of the capital (Pedras, 2014). In the local scale the Av. da India became an important  axis due to the connection with the Av. 24 de Julho and Marginal (Nobre, 2010). Some other examples are the road network connections to Cascais, both the riverside road and the highway, the national stadium in Jamor, the park of Monsanto, the airport, and the maritime stations above mentioned, that were aimed to receive the international guests of the exhibition. Many of these projects were only finished during the next decades.

During this decade the waterfront suffered significant changes. The project of the Portuguese Expo was in some aspects a predecessor of what would happen in the post-industrial port-cities (Costa, 2006). This operation was the most successful cooperation between the Municipality and the ministry of public works, both lead by Pacheco, and also one of the key examples of the “New Lisbon – Capital of the Empire” (Elias, 132: 2013). Although Belém suffered important changes in its urban structure, there was the goal to leave “useful” facilities and there were plans for what would happen once the exhibition was over, after the event the area remained as an expectant space, without a clear program (ibid.).

Plano Director de Lisboa – Plano de Gröer

During the 1930s and 1940s the authorities of Lisbon Municipality were aware of the need to plan the expansion of the city and to transform it into a capital of the 20th century. The demographic growth was a significant challenge, the population grew from 486 000 in the 1920s to 709 000 in the 1940s (Pedras, 2014). During the first decades of the regime several international experts were consulted for the development of Lisbon. Forrestier in 1927 presented a plan for urban improvements which included several changes that eventually did took place, such as the relocation of the nay arsenal to the south bank of the Tagus or the connection of the Av. 24 de Julho with the Praca do Comércio (Barata, 2010). Later on, Donald Alfred Agache was as well called for the development of the Plano de Urbanizacao da Costa do Sol[11]. This internationally acclaimed planner would afterwards recommended Etienne de Gröer[12] for the development of the urban masterplan (André, 2015).

The year 1938 can be considered a turning point for the urban planning of the Portuguese capital (Silva, 1994) (Tostões, 2001). We have seen that in this year Duarte Pacheco, was elected mayor at the same time he kept his position as minister of public works. His direct connection with the government eased the flow of funds for the development of key projects in Lisbon. Besides the public financing new  juridical[13] and technical capacities were developed during this period (Brito et al. 2007). One of his decision was to give to de Gröer the responsibility of developing the PGUEL (Plano Geral de Urbanização e Extensão de Lisboa – General Plan for the Urbanization and Expansion of Lisbon). The plan started to be developed in 1938 but was only approved by the municipal assembly in 1948, already with a different name, the PDCL (Plano Director da Cidade de Lisboa). The document was never officially ratified by the central government, a mandatory step, but it guided the development of Lisbon during this time and the following years (Silva, 1994).

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Plano Director de Urbanização de Lisboa. 1938 – 1948. Work led by Ètienne de Gröer. Retrieved from: http://www.cm-lisboa.pt/viver/urbanismo/planeamento-urbano/plano-diretor-municipal/enquadramento-do-pdm

One of the original goals of the plan when the process started in 1938 was to correct the urban development direction. De Gröer, as many others before him, believed to be a mistake to plan de growth of the city in opposite direction to the river, considering it the” main beauty element of Lisbon” (Silva, 15:1994 ). Forrestier had already defended this idea before, recovering the old aspiration of building an avenue by the Tagus. The new plan for Lisbon might have been influenced by the plan for the Sun Coast. This document enhanced the development of the capital towards the west, connecting with Estoril and Cascais. De Gröer implemented some of the concepts that had influenced his education, such as the principle of the Garden City, an anthropomorphic organization with strong zoning (Brito et al., 2007). The key ideas in the PDCL according to Silva (1994) were:

  • Create a radiocentrical road network
  • Organize decreasing population densities from the city center towards the periphery.
  • Create an industrial area in the eastern section of the city, lied with the port development.
  • Build a bridge crossing the river, linking Poço do Bispo with Montijo. Connected with one of the circular roads.
  • Build an international airport in the north area of the city.
  • Create a new monumental axis from the Av. Antonio Augusto Aguiar towards the road to Porto
  • Create a green ring around the city, from the new park of Monsanto to Loures until the river.

The two most relevant ideas for the port-city relation were the goal of reconnecting the city with the river and the development of industrial areas in the eastern part of town. The interaction with the port activities was not one of the main issues, the discussion around this topic was limited to the connection with the national infrastructural network. The main concerns of this time in the capital were the housing needs, planning the predicted expansion and establishing the main road network of the city (Silva, 1994). This plan would eventually have an important influence in the development of Lisbon and the documents that were developed after. It created the image of the city that we know today (França, 1997).

Port changes in the 1940s

During the 1940s several bills were published that structured the port development in the national and local context. In 1942, following the ideas of the de Gröer plan previously explained, the bill 19/10/1942 was approved, which stated that the eastern section of the city should host the bigger industrial facilities. This bill demanded new infrastructure from Poço do Bispo to Matinha first, and after until Beirolas, already in the limit of the city. Associated with this development several important industries were established, such as the Gas factory in Matinha, Oil refineries in Cabo Ruivo, the slaughterhouse of Lisbon, the milling of Lisbon and the factory and deposit of war material, all of them in Beirolas (Nabais & Ramos, 152, 1988). This industrial development of the eastern section of town was complemented on the south bank with the bigger autonomous industrial complexes, affecting the port economy and territory. They were the Quimigal in Barreiro and Lavradio, the Siderurgia Nacional (National steel plant) in Seixal, and the Lisnave shipyards of in Almada (Costa, 2006).

In 1944 the national government passed the law DL 33922 5/9/1944, responsible for the 2nd phase of the national port plan. The port of Lisbon was not included in this document since it was considered that it required a separate plan due to the size and complexity of the infrastructure. The “Plano de Melhoramentos do Porto de Lisboa”- Plan for improvements for the port of Lisbon, was approved on the 24th of June of 1946, with the bill DL 35716. This new document, besides setting the path for the port development, also assigned the necessary financing. The key works included in the plan, many of them related with the aforementioned industrial area, were: In the eastern section: the construction of new piers and dock in Poço do Bispo, new pier in Xabregas, regularization of the coastline between Matinha and Cabo Ruivo, and Cabo Ruivo and Beirolas, including the new dock of Olivais (destined to work as maritime airport). Also new warehouses and industrial facilities were planned, such as the refinery of Cabo Ruivo. In the western part, the main project was the dock of Pedrouços, dedicated to fishing activities, also known by the name of the managing society Docapesca. New landfills on sludge areas were also planned, with the goal of improving the general hygiene of the port and the city. On the south side the main intervention was the regularization of the coast line between Cacilhas and Alfeite (Nabais& Ramos, op. cit).

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Plano de Melhoramentos do Porto de Lisboa, 1946.

Finally, in 1948 another relevant law was passed. In the 2nd article or the DL 36976 20/7/1948, the jurisdiction of the AGPL was updated and increased, including 110 km of riverbanks. The new boundaries were the bridge of Vila-França de Xira, on the east, and the line defined by the fortresses of S. Julião e Bugio on the west. This area included 50 km of river banks on the north side and 60 km on south. The area and river edge controlled by the AGPL had borders with 11 municipalities.

1940s – 1974

The period that goes from the late 1940s until the end of the regime, in 1974, was characterized by the implementation of national plans for the development of the country and the key infrastructure. These plan were also known as the “Planos de Fomento”. During this time three main plans and a partial one were prepared. The first one went from 1953 until 1958, the second from 1959 until 1964, then the intermediate plan, from 1965 until 1967 and finally the third development plan from 1968 until 1974. These documents set the path for the key investment in the main infrastructure and also influenced the urban development strategies (Silva, 1994).

The Port

The first development plan (1953 – 1958) was mainly focused in financing and completing the projects scheduled in the document from 1946, without major innovations. The second development plan (1959- 1964) was focused in general interventions to improve the conditions of the port and be able to host the bigger ships, mainly in the third section. In this plan the Docapesca in Pedrouços was one of the project that received more investment, mainly with new buildings and facilities for the fishing activities (Nabais, Ramos, 1987). The infrastructure for fluvial traffic, mainly the ferries, was also improved. In this second plan was also foreseen the change of use of the dock of Bom Sucesso, in Belém, from navy activities to nautical sports and leisure.

The strategic investment decided in these plans had a clear goal of gradually increase the industrial activity in the country. During the 1950s and 1960s we see how the municipalities next to Lisbon received financing to develop key infrastructure, easing the path for the private sector. During these decades the large industrial conglomerates in Lisbon metropolitan area, mainly in the south side of the Tagus as we have already seen, grew from a local/regional scale to compete in the Iberian market (Costa, 2006). The industrial facilities employ thousands of workers in activities related with the petrochemical sector, steel plants and shipyards.

Finally, during the 1970s, the port started to receive container traffic. This new type of cargo, in use since1950s, gradually gained more importance in the international logistic chains. The first terminal prepared to handle this kind of traffic was the one in Sta. Apolónia, adapted with the necessary technology since October 1970. This change opened a new phase in the history of the port activity and the relation between the port and the city (Nabais & Ramos, 1987).

Mas os efeitos da escala ainda tardam, pois a revolução da contentorização só se impõe no Porto de Lisboa, a partir de 1970. Esse é o momento da criação de uma autêntica barreira física na Lisboa ribeirinha, desde Cabo Ruivo àAlfândega.

Folgado & Custódio,1999

Only later, in 1985, the dock of Alcântara would be prepared to handle containers. This terminal was, and still is, operated by a private company named Liscont, working with a concession contract.

The urban development and plans from 1940s until 1970s

After the de Gröer document, and until the end of the regime, other two plans were prepared to tackle the urban development of Lisbon. Both of them used the previous plans as the base for their work, establishing a certain continuity with core ideas, but, at the same time introducing key changes that would shape the future of the Portuguese capital. Another common feature is the fact that both were approved in municipality, and guided the development of the city, but were either never or much later approved by the central government.

The plan published in 1959 (PDUL – Plano Director de Urbanização de Lisboa) was a revision from the one of 1948, with few new concepts and ideas. From an initial vision closer to the garden city in 1938,  it evolved to embrace the concepts defended in Athens Charter. One of the key changes was the relocation of the connection between Lisbon and the south side of the Tagus. Instead of placing it in the eastern sector of the city, it was planned between Alcântara and Almada. The bridge would eventually be built in this location, but only opening to the public in 1966. New road connections, including two urban highways, were also planned, enhancing the role of the car in the society.  This plan was led by Guimarães Lobato.

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Aerial view of Lisbon in the 1960s, before the construction of the Salazar Bridge (later known as 25 de Abril)

The second plan started as revision of the previous one, led by George Meyer Heine, but eventually it became a new full plan, approved in 1967 by the municipality. This new document, also known as the PDUL, had to deal with the increasing traffic of vehicles and the evolution of the demographics. At the same time the new plan identified several issues related to the previous development. The radio-centrism was considered a problem, the delays in some key infrastructure was affecting the urban development of the city, and there was a deviation between the expected population in the existing plans and the real one. The recently inaugurated infrastructure, such as the subway system and the new bridge, required new strategies for the city. The plan proposed a new south-north highway, connecting the Salazar bridge (today known as bridge 25 de Abril) with the airport. A new monumental axis, like in previous plans, from Av. Da Liberdade, was also planned. The concept for distribution of population densities changed in comparison to the previous documents, from a model that defended a decrease from the center to the periphery, to establish an uniform distribution of the population. This plan was only approved by the national Government in 1977 with the ministerial ordinance n.º 274/77, of 19 of May.

In the map of the plans we can see that the port area is considered outside the boundaries of the municipal control. The AGPL (nowadays known as APL) was, and still is, a central government body, responsible for the management of a territory that belongs to the state, not the city. For this reason, the connection and interaction between both institutions, and also between the different plans, has been often limited to the connection nodes necessary for the infrastructure. In the last plans we see a more functionalist approach, where the relation with the river is not as important as it was previously considered. The debate about the interaction between the Tagus and Lisbon would only be recovered in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Both realities, city and port, regained a certain need to cooperate and to find a way to give to the city and citizens a new contact with the water.

Conclusion

The main goal of this research is to discover how the relation between the port and the city has worked in the context of Lisbon and it can be improved. It is widely accepted that to understand our present and plan our future it is necessary to comprehend the past, the path that has taken us to our current situation. In these three articles, the two written so far and the next one, we try to understand how have the port and the city evolved during the last 300 years. We have seen that the international models presented by other senior researchers are more or less accurate in Lisbon, although with slightly different timeline. We can also observe that in the history of this port-city, as in many others, the evolution is not lineal, but rather marked by long periods of stagnation interrupted by moments of intense activity. However, the evolutions does not stop. Since 1755 we have seen how a myriad of small piers evolved into a large industrial port. How in the process several alternatives for more balanced port – city – river – citizen alternatives were dismissed. We could identify the break up moments, the change from a local industry to international, the changes in the waterfront. In the process we have also seen how in the first transformation of the waterfront, the public space regained a lost central role, and how, at the same time, the segregation and intensification of port activities could have caused a certain sense of negligence in the areas of the city that hosted these activities. This last issue, particularly clear since the arrival of the container traffic, along with the infrastructural barrier could be one of the reasons causing the distancing between both realities.

In the following article we will see how the riverfront debate becomes once again a hot topic in the public realm. Since the 1980’s there have been several planning initiatives to recover the city – river relationship. But then, what role has the port played? What were the key concept of this rapprochement? The port remained as a barrier or became an active element of change? In the past decades there has been considerable research done related with this topic, from Master and PhD investigations to architectural and urban planning competition, even initiatives focused in the cultural value of the port and the river. We will see all these activities before we focus in the analysis of the current situation and we try to formulate possible solutions.

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Costa, S. V. (2015). Pensar Lisboa. A obra capital de Duarte Pacheco. Rossio – Estudos de Lisboa, (5), 84–97.

Curado, B. De P. (1928) O Porto de Lisboa. Ideia e factos.Livraria Rodrigues. Lisbon.

Elias, H. (2013). A monumentalização de Lisboa ocidental: arte pública e intervenções urbanas na frente ribeirinha de Belém. Rossio – Estudos de Lisboa, (2), 130–141.

Folgado, D., & Custódio, J. (1999). Caminho do Oríente – Guía do património industrial. (J. Sarmento de Matos, Ed.). Lisbon: Livros Horizonte.

Folgado, D. (2015). Lisboa industrial. Um caminho da e para a modernidade. Rossio – Estudos de Lisboa, (5), 98–109.

França, J. A. (1980). Lisboa: Urbanismo e Arquitectura (1a ed.). Lisbon: Instituto de Cultura e Língua Portuguesa Ministério da Educação e Ciência.

França, J. A. (1997). Lisboa: urbanismo e arquitectura (3rd ed.). Lisbon: Livros Horizonte.

Gama, E., & Miranda, I. (1997). Lisboa ribeirinha e as suas estações – síntese histórica. In A. Caessa & M. G. Martins (Eds.), Actas das sessões do II Colóquio temético Lisboa Ribeirinha (pp. 201–224). Lisboa: Câmara Municipal de Lisboa – Departamento de Parimonio Cultural Divisão de Arquivos.

Lobo, L. M. (1976). Porto de Lisboa (1963-1974). AGPL. Lisbon.

Mangorrinha, J. (1999). Papéis de(o) Arquitecto na intervenção municipal urbana: notas sobre projectar Lisboa no século XX. Cadernos Do Arquivo Municipal, 1(3), 216–229.

Matias, R. (Ed.) (1961)O porto de Lisboa , in: Portugal de Hoje(1). Eco. Lisbon.

Nabais, A. J. C. M., & Ramos, P. O. (1985). Porto de Lisboa: Subsidios para o estudo das obras, equipamentos e embarcações na perspectiva da arqueologia Industrial. AGPL – Administração Geral do Porto de Lisboa. Lisbon.

Nabais, A. J. C. M., & Ramos, P. O. (1987). 100 anos do porto de Lisboa. Lisboa: Administração do Porto de Lisboa.

Nabais, A. J. C. M., & Ramos, P. O. (1991).Referências Históricas do Porto de Lisboa. Administração do Porto de Lisboa. Lisbon.

Nabais, A. J. C. M., & Ramos, P. O. (199x?). Roteiro das fontes da História do Porto de Lisboa. Administração do Porto de Lisboa. Lisbon

Nobre, P. A. (2010). Belém ea Exposição Do Mundo Português: Cidade, Urbanidade e Património Urbano. Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

Pedras, M. R. (2014). Uma Capital para o Império: a Lisboa sonhada do Estado Novo. Rossio – Estudos de Lisboa, (4), 198–215.

Perestelo, A. M. C. (1938) in Cinquentenario da inauguração das obras da1ª secção do Porto de Lisboa, feita em 31de outubro de 1887. Discursos proferidos na sessão solene de 30 de outubro, presidida por S. Exª o Presidente da República, Sr. General Antonio Oscar de Fragoso Carmona. Administração Geral do Porto de Lisboa. Lisboa, Imprensa Nacional. Lisbon.

Ramos, P. O. (1992). Lisbon’s Historic Waterfront. Industriekultur Und Arbeitswelt an Der Wasserkante – Zum Umgang Mit Zeugnissen Der Hafen- Und Schiffahrtsgeschichte / Industrial Culture and Industrial Work in Coastal Areas – How to Handle the Heritage of Port and Shipping History, Arbeitshefte Zur Denkm, (11), 41–45.

Ramos, P. O. (2004). A Torre de Belém e a Fábrica do Gás – Contra o gasómetro, marchar, marchar. Pedra & Cal, (21), 12–14.

Ribeiro, O. (1987). A formação de Portugal. Lisbon: Instituto de Cultura e Língua Portuguesa Ministério da Educação.

Sanches, J. D. (1944). O porto de Lisboa através dos séculos. Lisbon.

Saraiva, J. H. (1993). História de Portugal. (F. L. de Castro, Ed.). Mem Martins: Publicações Europa-América.

Silva, J. J. C. (1923). Desorganização do trabalho no porto deLisboa e as suas consequências no custo da vida. (Tese apresentada ao congresso das associações comerciais e industriais portuguesas reunido em Lisboa e Novembro de 1923). Tip. da Emprêsa Diário de Noticias. Lisbon.

Silva, C. N. (1994). Política Urbana em Lisboa, 1926-1974. Lisbon: Livros Horizonte.

Silva, F. M. da. (1997). Tempos difíceis: a Central tejo e a cidade de Lisboa nos anos trinta e durante a II Guerra. In A. Caessa & M. Gomes Martins (Eds.), Actas das sessões do II Colóquio temático Lisboa Ribeirinha (pp. 353–361). Lisbon: Câmara Municipal de Lisboa – Departamento de Parimonio Cultural Divisão de Arquivos.

Sousa, A. A. De (1926). Le Port de Lisbonne. Commission Administrative du Port de Lisbonne. Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa – Betrand. Lisbon

Tostões, A. (2001). O bairro de Alvalade no quadro do desenvolvimento urbano de Lisboa. In M. H. Barreiros (Ed.), Lisboa, conhecer, pensar, fazer cidade (pp. 64–71). Lisbon: Câmara Municipal de Lisboa – Direcção Municipal de Urbanismo – Departamento de Informação Urbana

Official Documents:

AGPL (1913?). The Port of Lisbon.

AGPL – Organização do serviço de Publicidade e Turismo (1958). Imagens do Porto de Lisboa. Lisbon

Ministério das Comunicações.  (1943). Planos de arranjo e expansão. (Decreto.lei nº 32842). Imprensa Nacional. Lisbon.

Ministério das Comunicações. (1948). Plano de Melhoramentos do Porto de Lisboa.Tipografia Portuguesa, Lda.Lisbon

 

[1]The new organization was a significant innovation in the port management models existing at the time. The port of Lisbon was the first one to have this kind of structure, discussed for the first time in the 10thinternational Maritime Congress in Milan in 1905. The board included a president named directly by the government, the director of the customs in Lisbon, an engineer as chief of exploration, the chief of the central maritime department and representatives from the railway companies, the shipping sector, and the commerce. (Perestelo, 1938)

[2] The power plant “Central Tejo”, was built to provide electricity to the city and the Lisbon-Cascais railway line. There were several expansions during the following years, in some cases even adding an entire new building, like it happened in 1939 (Silva, 1997). It remained in operation until 1968 (Ramos, 1992). Several years it was deactivated it was refurbished to accommodate the electricity museum and to work as a temporary exhibition hall. The new function was implemented in 1990s,being included in what can be considered the Belém museum axis. To this axis belong as well other cultural facilities such as the CCB, the Cordoaria or the Museum of carriages.

[3] In 1919 the wall of the dock of Alcântara crawled requiring repair. For this reason reinforcement interventions were necessary. Several authors indicate that the low quality of the construction of the piers was due to the short exploration contract given to the contractor, Hersent. This issue could have forced him to build excessively fast and cheap to have a return of his investment, instead of what could have happened if the contract would have been made for a longer period allowing him to build with higher quality standards and recover his investment in a longer period.

[4]We can find buildings from the beginning of the century in Portugal designed in modernist style, such as the fluvial station from Cottinelli e Telmo. Gradually the architects started to develop the Português Suave language, very valued by the regime .This style has been studied by several serearchers in Portugal. For example it was descibed by Pedras(2015) as it follows: (…) caracterizava-se pela reaproximação a uma estética joanina, com elementos característicos como as varandas do andar nobre, as linhas austeras, a monumentalidade das entradas, os telhados em mansarda e a simetria sóbria e regular que marcava toda a edificação.

[5] During the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the construction of the port (1938), in the speech made by Prof. Eng. Afonso de Melo Cid de Perestelo, the layout of the port, occupying the entire waterfront was criticized. It was also suggested that the central section should be left for the city to “breathe” and have a contact with the water, insisting, once again in the creation of an avenue or boulevard in front of the location of the navy shipyard.

[6] In the book “Port de Lisbonne” the possibility of relocating the navy arsenal was very clear. This publication was published by the AGPL itself to promote the port of Lisbon. We can see that even the official stand was to ease the access to the river in specific locations, such as the Praça do Comércio.

[7] There are texts from different authors and intellectuals of the time referring this topic and criticizing the municipality that approved the construction of the industries close to the Tower, authors such as Castilho, Ramalho Ortigao or Bordalo Pinheiro. For more information check the article by Ramos “A Torre de Belém e a Fábrica do Gás – Contra o gasómetro, marchar, marchar”, published in 2004.

[8] As said by Nobre (2010) there are contradictory information about the territory occupied by the Exhibition. For example Costa (2006) indicates a territory of 56 Ha.

[9] Duarte Pacheco (1900 – 1943) was a key figure in the transformation of Lisbon and Portugal during the 1930s and 1940s. He would be the minister of education in 1928 and of public works from 1932 until 1935, and once again from 1938 until his death in November 1943. He became the mayor of Lisbon from 1938, keeping both position officially only for a few months. His influence in the city and the country was much broader than this period (Costa, 2015).

[10] Some authors state that, as often happens in authoritarian regimes, the official numbers were distorted and only the first and last days attracted a considerable number of visitors. (Accialiui, 1998)

[11]The “Plano de Urbanização da Costa do Sol” (Urbanization Plan for the Sun Coast) started to be developed by Agache in 1933. This plan was created for the development of the region between Lisbon and Cascais, being the road network one of the key elements. It was the first regional plan developed in Portugal. The project remained on hold until Duarte Pacheco, in 1938, became the mayor of Lisbon and Minister of Public Works. At this point the plan was resumed by De Gröer, at the same time he was working in the Plan for Lisbon. (Costa, 2015)

[12]Étienne De Gröer was hired by the municipality between 1938 and 1940, and once again between 1946 and 1948 (André, 2015)

[13]Particularly relevant was the new legislation that allowed an easier expropriation procedure when necessary. This favorable law allowed the municipality to become one of the main urban and real estate developers of the city. It was able to get 35% of the total development area until 1951 (Franca, 1997).One of the goals of Duarte Pacheco was to keep the right to urbanize exclusive for the public institutions, i.e. the municipality. (Brito et al. 2007)

Initiatives focused on the Port-City relation II

Initiatives focused on the Port-City relation II

Last spring we noticed several initiatives focused in the port-city relation. This autumn we also have several events that will bring interesting inputs to the debate from different perspectives.

In this post we will also mention two congresses that took place during the summer months. The proceedings of these events are already available and include interesting papers.

15th AIVP World Conference Cities and Ports ‘Crossovers’

One of the main events focused in the port-city relation will take place this week in Rotterdam. From the 5th to the 7th of October more than 400 delegates will meet to discuss different issues related with relation between the port and the city. The AIVP in collaboration with the Port Authority of Rotterdam have prepared a dense program with speakers coming from different contexts and backgrounds. There will be interesting synergies between the professional and the academic worlds.

Here is the official statement explaining the conference:

Port cities everywhere are facing up to new challenges, both locally and globally. Factors such as energy, climate, e-commerce and “uberisation” of the economy, major geopolitical developments, are all overwhelming 20th century organisations and structures that are proving unequipped to deal with contemporary issues. New synergies, gateways, bridges and other crossovers need to be devised and developed, to ensure that ports, cities, economic stakeholders and citizens are able to play their part in the modernisation of port communities. The aim is to build a city-port relationship that is responsive, resilient, and competitive, while also taking into account the needs of the local population and the environment.

It is possible to work together. A whole host of initiatives have already been adopted, with increasing success. Our 15th worldwide conference in Rotterdam aims to showcase them, working with you to build YOUR future.

Topics:
1. How can crossovers between cities and ports enhance the circular economy?
2. How can crossovers between cities and ports stimulate innovative business climate?
3. How can we use smart technologies for green logistics and industries in port and city?
4. How can joined urban and port planning facilitate the next economy – flexible frameworks of port and city?
5. How can crossovers allow the creation of resilient ports cities facing up to the challenges of climate change
6. How can port cities enhance social innovation, develop new skills and raise the profile and image of the port?

More information here

Port of Lisbon: the future is prepared today

During October a series of conferences and debates has been prepared to discuss several issues related with the port in the context of the Portuguese capital.

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The port day in Lisbon. Retrieved from http://www.portodelisboa.pt

Each week there will be a debate with presentation from various professionals, focused in different specific topics. The issues to be discussed will go from the port-city relation, to the role of the port in the metropolitan area or even the maritime tourism, a hot topic nowadays in Lisbon.

The conclusion of the program will probably take place during the celebrations of the day of the port, on October 31st.

We leave you here a brief glance of the program:

Friday the 6th : Maritime tourism – a new dynamic

Friday the 14th: Innovative solutions for the port-city relation

Friday the 21st: A port with two shores – Multimodal platform of Barreiro

Thursday the 27th: The port of Lisbon – The future is made today

More information here

ISOCARP YPP/YPTDP Workshop Glasgow

The Young Planning Professionals of the ISOCARP workshop will take place in Glasgow by the last week of October. In this meeting the participants, 20 young professionals, will have the chance to discuss the redevelopment of Clyde Waterfront in Glasgow. The  connection new infrastructure and the integration of above and below ground urban design will be the main challenge the participants will have to face.

One of the most interesting aspects of this workshop is the fact the work will be developed by an interdisciplinary team, formed by 10 architects/urban planners and 10 civil engineers.

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The relation between infrastructure and public space to be discussed in Glasgow. Photo retrieved from: http://isocarp.org/ypp-workshop-glasgow-uk-oct-2016-rethinking-clyde-waterfront/

3rd International Workshop “Cities from the Sea – Maritime identity and Urban Regeneration”

In the city of Naples, organized by the Federico II university the 3rd International Workshop “Cities from the Sea – Maritime identity and Urban Regeneration” will take place between the 26th of November and 3rd of December.

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Cities from the Sea. 3rd International Workshop Retrieved from http://www.cnr.it/

In this workshop the participants, 30 student and 6 tutors, will have the chance to discuss the present and the future of the waterfront and port of Naples. The focus of the meeting will be development of port-cities from different perspectives, from urban planning to community psychology. There will an opportunity to interact with the local stakeholders and attend to several conferences from experts from different fields.

The Call for applications, both for students and tutors, is currently open. The deadline is October 14th.

We leave you here some information from the official website.

Topics

  • Urban planning and design in seaside cities, collaborative strategies, community psychology
  • Urban regeneration, place branding and urban marketing for seaside cities
  • Case study and field work areas: Port of Naples and San Giovanni Coast + Nisida Islet, Coroglio and Bagnoli + Historic Waterfront of Naples
  • Interaction with international referees and real stakeholders

Program Remarks

  • Integrated economic/enviromental/social approach
  • Focus group on port cities and coastal urban areas
  • Working with “hungry and foolish” people
  • Real interdisciplinary collaboration among planning, architecture, psychology, economics, ecology, art, social sciences, etc.
  • Interaction with key actors of Napoli metropolitan coast on the land and on the sea
  • “On board” site visits and views from the sea of Napoli metropolitan coast

4th World Port Hackathon

The 4th World Port Hackathon took place on the 2nd and 3rd of September, in the RDM Campus in Rotterdam. During twenty-four hours, 100 hackers took on the challenges from the port of Rotterdam and the port of Singapore. Throughout the World Port Hackathon, the hackers experienced active participation from the port community and there were also many visitors during the Expo and the Grand Finale. (Text retrieved from the official website).

17th IPHS Conference

Last July , the 17th Conference of the International Planning History Society was held in the TU Delft. In this event there several sessions with interesting papers. We can highlight one of them, more related with the port-city topic, titled: Resilience, Path Dependency and Port Cities. Several senior researcher ins the field of waterfront and port-city relations participated in the conference, such as Carole Hein (organizer of the event), Han Meyer or Dirk Schubert.

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IPHS. Retrieved from https://planninghistory.org/

 

The proceedings are already available in the congress website here.

13th International Conference on Urban History

A second congress also in the field of urban history, that took place this summer was the 13th Conference of the EAUH – European Association for Urban History. The event, realized in Helsinki, developed sessions about many different topics, being two particularly relevant for the ongoing investigation. The first one was the M21 European Seaport Culture. In it, several researchers presented investigation concerning several study cases, some of them already analyzed here, such as Rotterdam, Genoa or Marseille. Considering the type of conference the approach was from a historic point of view, but it gave interning insights to specific issues, like for example the origin of the Hafengeburtstag in Hamburg.

The second session relevant to the port-city relation was the S23. Reinterpreting Global History: Second Cities, an Alternative Road to Global Integration in the Nineteenth and Twentieth century. The discussion about the concept of second city, very often connected with the one of port-city, was particularly interesting. The papers were particularly incisive, discussing some cases aforementioned.

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Port Centers, the spearheads of Seaport Culture disclosure

Port Centers, the spearheads of Seaport Culture disclosure

Several authors have studied the evolution of the relation between cities and ports, developing different models, identifying a conflict situation that in many cases continues until today[1]. In this article we will try to briefly summarized some of the causes of the conflict and their impact in the relation. After, we will mention some strategies used by the port authorities and communities and how they can be complemented by the Port Centers. Finally we will see how this concept works and how it has evolved from the first generation to the second, explaining two examples from each one.

The Port-City relation

We can find complains regarding the port infrastructure and how they cut the access to the water already in the late 19th century[2]. However, the positive outcome of having a port at that time it was clear. The number of jobs associated with the port activities and the economic advantages granted a certain social support for the port development. The evolution of the logistic chain, the maritime technology, the world economy, planning practices or new legislation[3] forced changes during the 20th century in the port configuration and functioning. Due to these changes, among other things, the positive effects of the port activities began to spread over the region or the country, while the negative externalities, mainly related with the environment and traffic, remained in the port-city (Ircha, 2013; Merk, 2013,2014).

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Port of Lisbon in the first half of the 20th Century Source http://iolanda-andrade.blogspot.de/2013/05/do-vasto-e-belo-porto-de-lisboa-on-huge.html

Along with the diminishment of the positive externalities, the raise of an ecological conscience[4] during the second half of the 20th century had as well an impact in the way people saw ports. This phenomenon created social concerns about the environment and the negative effects certain industries could cause. These concerns eventually resulted in a movement opposing some industrial infrastructures, including ports and their expansion projects.

The process aforementioned, particularly the decrease in the economic impact of the port-maritime activities in the local society, has been named by other researchers as demaritimisation (Musso et al. 2011). This term can also include the decrease of the cultural presence of the port in the port-cities, which results in a loss of maritime character. The lost of port conscience could eventually lead to the reallocation of public resources into other sectors, further harming the port development. It is also possible to observe that the ports, and more specifically the port authorities, have not, for the major part of their history, maintain a transparent communication with the city or the local citizens. As result, the physical and symbolic distance between cities and ports has been increasing.

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Port of Rotterdam. Port Landscapes of the 21st Century. The port areas are no longer open to the inhabitants and the port is in many cases totally separated from the city Author: José M P Sánchez

Simultaneously a new type of project began to take place in port-cities, the urban waterfront regeneration plans. This sort of intervention, which started in the 1960s in the USA, was initially based in the transformation of port brownfields near the city center. By the end of the 20th Century, the evolution of this type of projects and the changes in the urban development tendencies had transformed the waterfront area into one of the most appealing locations for new city districts, changing the previous industrial activities for housing projects, office buildings, public spaces or cultural facilities (Schubert, 2011). Among other issues, the increase of value of the waterfront plots put more pressure on the port to leave the locations close to the city center. In some cases, like Oslo, the port authorities also saw this process as an opportunity to finance new port infrastructure outside the urban core. The result of these changes was that in numerous cases ports were no longer visible nor existed close to the everyday routines of the city as it was before, separating themselves from the general image of the local identity.

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Waterfront project for Seattle Waterfront

The evolution of the port-city relation as previously described have resulted in a significant diminishment of the social support of ports. In the late 20th century and beginning of the 21st, we could see a shift in the priorities of the port authorities. They start to include the social integration of ports in their program and projects (Merk,2013). In the early 21st century several documents from European initiatives were published showing the concern about this issue[5]. In this context one of the aims of the port authorities was granting the Social License to Operate. As explained by other authors (Dooms ,2014, Boutilier and Thomson,2011) the SLO is, in its broader concept, fulfilling the expectations of stakeholder and local communities in dimensions that go beyond the creation of wealth, i.e. the social acceptance of port activities by local communities, that take in consideration other elements, besides the economic impact of the port.

Soft Values

To achieve the SLO, a common strategy has been to appeal to what was named by Van Hooydonk as the Soft – Values, “the non-socioeconomic values which include among others historical, sociological, artistic and cultural sub-functions that form the soft-function of seaports” (Van Hooydonk, 2007). In some of the bigger port-cities, such as Rotterdam or Hamburg, the port festivals have been an important event in the festivities calendar. This sort of events are being implemented in port-cities around the world with relative success in terms of local participation. The use of the soft-values has been enhanced by different port authorities, developing a socio-cultural agenda, from movie festival to concerts or sport events[6].

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The book Soft Values of Seaports by Prof. Van Hooydonk (2007). In this publication the soft values are explained, as well the evolution of the relation between the ports and societies. In order to improve their disclosure the author proposes a new figure in port authorities, the soft values manager.

The practices using soft-values have been able to attract people to the port territory, create a visual relation with the port atmosphere and in some cases help to keep the port-maritime identity of some port-cities. However, there is a tendency to a certain romanticism in the cultural events, sometimes detached from the real functioning of the port. As mentioned by Verhoeven (2011), both soft and hard values are necessary to regain the public support of ports. In order to develop a process of remaritimisation of port-cities, it is mandatory to combine innovative port activities, that generate new port related jobs and locally created added value, with the aforementioned Soft-Values and a clear communication channel. Considering the discredit of many political institutions and the tendency of the bottom-up planning policies, it seems reasonable to look for new tools for the port-city relation, adapted to the new scenario, such as the Port Centers.

The Port Center Concept

The Port Center concept can be described as  a ” museum and didactic structure oriented to the diffusion of port and maritime awareness and knowledge” (Ghiara, 2012). This structure has a physical location, a permanent exhibition and staff focused in the organization of visits to the center and the port territory. This structure has been used to articulate the relation between the port and the citizens, including local and foreign visitors. As we will see in the examples, the Port Center has also been created as a two way communication channel where, not only the people can get information about the port, but also is possible to organize a debate about the port-city relation or the port expansion projects. In most European countries the public discussion of large infrastructural projects is mandatory by law, which is also an opportunity to involve the locals in the port development debate and generate a certain feeling of appropriation of the port.

Port Center Schema
Port Center Concept. Adapted from Marini et al. 2014

The Soft-Values of seaports, as mentioned before, are one of the main assets ports can use to regain the social acceptance and visibility. The management of these values can also be made using the Port Center as the hinge for the port-city interaction, developing the socio-cultural agenda and the educational programs, fostering the public debate or implementing new information channels. The Port Centers form an alternative way to communicate with the citizens, complementing the existing initiatives. We can identify two different generations of this sort of structure since they started to be used in the late 1980s.

First Generation

Antwerp Port Center

The impact generated by the larger ports usually requires them to develop innovative strategies to reduce their negative externalities and increase their social integration, including innovative ways of information disclosure (Merk, 2013, 74). In 1988 the first Port Center was created in one of Europe’s biggest ports, Antwerp. This new facility was, and still is, located in the center of the port territory, on the right bank of the Scheldt river, next to the Lillo fort, 20 Km. from the city center. The scope for which it was founded was mainly educational, seeking to change the negative perception the port had, mainly among the younger generations. This issue is particularly relevant, not just regarding the social acceptance, but also concerning the lack of qualified workers.

The educational scope of the Antwerp Havencentrum, previously also known as Lillo Port Center,  was clear since it was initially thought exclusively for school classes. The fact of being far from the public transport was not a problem since the groups would arrive directly with their own means. Later, the Center allowed different types of groups, increasing their impact in the local society, welcoming pensioners and company delegations visiting the port.

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Location of the Antwerp Port Center in the middle of the port territory

The Port Center of Antwerp is mainly financed by the province, responsible for 70% of its budget. In an initial moment it did not included other organism in the board of directors, but this situation changed in 2014 when the representatives of the logistics and industrial sectors of the port were invited to the board. The integration of the different stakeholders of the port community is important, not just for possible economic support, but also for the legitimacy of the project and the organization of the port visits.  Secondary financing strategies have also been developed, including an entrance fee for the visitors and the sublet of meeting rooms as venue for the interested companies.

The exhibition space (800sqm) explains the functioning of the port and its impact in the regional, national and international level. The pedagogic project has been developed following the principle of edutainment, combining the explanation of the logistic chain, the ships and the port territory with interactive games in order to captivate the attention of the students. This strategy was inspired by the science museums, and later was followed by Port Centers developed afterwards.

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Images from the Lillo Port Center

The integration of former employees in the guides team is another positive aspect of the project. This initiative allows to maintain a certain sense of port community and gives first hand testimonies to the visitors. In order to grant the correct communication between the youngsters and the retired port workers, the latter received an specific training for the interaction and explanation of their experiences.

So far the Antwerp Port Center has enjoyed reasonable success according to the number of visitors, over 47 000 per year (AIVP, 2016). The coordination with the educational community has been as well positive. Other forms of collaboration have been developed, particularly relevant with the high schools focused in the maritime education and with the institute of maritime management and transport from the university of Antwerp. The main critic could be that, for the moment, it has not been possible to organize a two way interaction as some examples of the second generation, limiting the possible communication (Ghiara et al. 2014). Another issue could be the fact the Port Center of Antwerp still is reserved for groups visits from the target audiences, not allowing individual visits, limiting its social impact capacity.

Rotterdam EIC

The second Port Center of the first generation is the EIC (Education and Information Centre) of Rotterdam. This structure was created in late 1993 by Deltalinqs (Association of port companies of Rotterdam) and the port of Rotterdam Authority. It shares several characteristics with the case of Antwerp regarding location, scope and type of visitors. It is placed next to Rozenburg and the Europoort terminal, 20 km from the city center and without a good public transport connection.

The main goal was to explain the port to the new generations and show them that the port can be a good option to pursue a professional career. As it happens in Antwerp, the port was no longer seen as an attractive location to work (Aarts et al., 2012) . The strategy to explain the ports is similar as well to Antwerp. It includes a permanent exhibition with games and didactic activities and organizes port visits for the groups that come to the center. It also offers their services and facilities to the port companies, including the possibility of hosting private events. This service, along the entrance fee, provides a secondary financing source. In the website we can find educational material to assist the school teachers to better prepare the visit and take the maximum profit of it.

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EIC Rotterdam

The success of this initiative is clear, receiving 22 000 visitors per year (Merk, 2013) but, as the aforementioned example, for the moment it does not allows individual visitors. Nevertheless the Port of Rotterdam decided to develop a second Port Center, already part of the second generation, including some changes in the model followed so far.

Second Generation

The concept of the Port Center has been implemented in different contexts and we can find examples in port -cities in and outside Europe. It took more than two decades for the concept to be used by other port-cities. To this second wave, developed since the first decade of the 20th century, belong for example the cases of  Genoa, Melbourne, Vancouver, Busan, Rotterdam- FutureLand, Le Havre, Ashdod and Livorno. In the initiatives that integrate this second generation we can find a greater variety of solutions for the challenges faced by the centers from the first one.

In terms of financing we can see different approaches. On one hand, there is possibility of a collaboration between different institutions, related with the port, including port authorities, municipalities and regions or the chamber of commerce. This approach can be found in Genoa, Le Havre or even in the port museum of Dunkirk[7]. On the other hand, we can also find initiatives that are full responsibility of the port authorities, for example Rotterdam-FutureLand, Melbourne, Ashdod or Livorno. This second model reveals how the concern regarding the social acceptance and integration has grown in the port authorities. In the first generation the port authorities were not so present in the financing or the organization, mainly done by the province or the association of port companies. The option of a joint project gives more credibility to the center since it is more unlikely that is perceived by the visitors as a public relation from the port authority.

The location issue has also been handled in different ways. We can find two main options: The Port Center placed in the port territory, as it was in the first generation, or located in the boundary between port and city, near the urban core. In Melbourne and Ashdod the structure is placed in the port area, being the second one in a restricted access location. The visit is only possible in groups, often with their own transportation. This solution allows a direct impression of the port, but it reduces the options of individual visitors. The second possibility, implemented in Genoa and later in Livorno or Le Havre, has an easier access to the facility. This second option allows an easier access to the general public, broadening the target audience. However, it is important to notice that, in several cases here presented, the choice of the location was very often more related with the available facilities than with other criteria. The majority use existing locations, in some examples occupying heritage buildings owned by the port or one of the partners, giving a stronger sense of attachment to the place and a more recognizable space.

Regarding the target audience, the majority of the Port Centers are focused in the younger public, particularly the children and teenagers deciding the educational path they want to take. In some cases, like Genoa or Le Havre, it was decided to welcome a wider audience, occasionally developing content and activities for a more mature public. For example, Le Havre developed the technical Thursdays program, during which experts from port different activities or port development do presentations about specific topics in a more detailed level.

Another element that has changed is the entrance fee. In most cases of the second generation the entrance fee is no longer applied or with a symbolic figure. The majority of the project financing has been done by the participating partners.

Simultaneously to the second generation the AIVP created the Port Center Network. This work group was established in 2011 (Morucci et al. 2016) with the goal of connecting the existing Port Centers from both generations and share the best practices. One of the main inputs of this initiative has been the Missions Charter of a Port Center, a document published in 2013 with ten key points explaining the goals and challenges if this type of projects

From the mentioned cases that form the second generation we will explain in further detail two, the Italian Port Centers of Genoa and Livorno.

Genoa Port Center

The Port Center of Genoa was one of the first cases of the second generation. The project was supported by five different institutions: the Genoa Port Authority, the Maritime Authority, the Province of Genoa, the University and the Municipality of Genoa (through the Porto Antico SpA) (Ghiara, 2012). The chosen location for the new facility was in the Porto Antico area, next to the city center and other urban attractions, like the Bigo or the aquarium, with an easy access for the general public.

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The Magazzini del Cotone, where the port center is located

The university of Genoa, more specifically the faculty of economy, developed the necessary research collaborating with the port community. The main motivation of the project was not to explain the point of view of the port authority, but to include all the different perspectives of the port-city relationship.

Around the Port Center a socio-cultural agenda was developed. During the first years a series of events took place, such as the port run, movies on the docks, or activities coordinated with other museums and science centers. This panoply of actions was destined, as pointed out by Ghiara (2012), to promote the soft-values and articulate the relation between both realities.

Although the general public was the target audience, the school groups still received considerable attention. Besides the exhibition and the tours to the port territory, other activities were programmed. One of the main examples was the “Let’s adopt a ship” project, by which the student groups would be able to remain in contact with the crew of a ship (Ghiara et al, 2014).

During the first years the project received 14000 visitors each year (Merk, 2013), including almost 6000 students per year in average (Ghiara, 2012).

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Genoa Port Center Source: http://www.genoaportcenter.it/

The Port Center of Genoa is since mid 2014 closed due to a lack of understanding between the participant partners. The goal after the first years was to give the management of the center to the port authority but for the moment the situation is unclear. This problem shows how difficult and complex the collaboration between the different institutions operating in the port-city can be. This issue will affect the image of the port and the aimed social support, in this case particularly necessary since the port has a direct boundary with the city along the entire urban waterfront.

Livorno Port Center

On November 2015 the most recent Port Center of the second generation opened its doors in the port-city of Livorno. In this case the project is developed by the port authority of Livorno, that since 2007 has developed several initiatives aimed towards a better social integration of the port. Among these actions, the one that has received greater recognition, is the Porto Aperto program, during which social activities in the port are organized, mainly during the school period.

There are several aspects from the case of Livorno that differentiate it from previous cases. The center is located inside the Fortezza Vecchia, a fortress from the 16th Century. This heritage construction is placed in the boundary between the city and the port and offers a historic context for the Port Center, as well as different points where the visitors can see the port from an elevated location. The port authority was able to use its own resources for the refurbishment of a section of the fortress since it would host the Port Center, what can be considered a port function. This issue is particularly relevant since, in the case of Italy, the law very often does not allows the port authorities to finance projects that are not related with the port activities.

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Fortezza Vecchia

The Port Center includes a permanent exhibition and a library. However, when compared with other cases is considerably smaller, adapted to the local context. Regarding the exhibition itself another innovation is its layout. Although the principles of edutainment are still present, the final solution used new available technologies, such as virtual reality or kinetic games, to give a more interactive experience. Besides the fact of being more attractive to the teens and children visiting the center, this new approach allows a certain flexibility and adaptation capacity, since the necessary equipment is easier to move and transport[8].

One of the original motivations of the Port Center of Livorno was, besides explaining the port, to develop a forum where the ideas about the port-city relation could be shared and discussed (Corradini & Morucci, 2012). This goal became a reality during the spring of 2016, from April to June, when the port debate took place in the fortress and included the port center as one of the main tools to explain the port and the development project planned. The figure of the debate is planned in the regional law of Tuscany[9] in cases where the project budget exceeds 50 million €. In this case there were two proposals to be discussed, the Europe Platform, including different infrastructure related with the logistics sector, and the new maritime station, mainly destined to passenger traffic. The project would be located in a position that could create new port-city interaction, including interventions in the existing heritage. During the different debate sessions, the public got to know the issues related with both projects, besides general information about the port functioning. The debate also worked as a two way communication, since the citizens were also able to give their inputs to the discussion, although the port authority is not compelled to follow the conclusions of the debate. During the initiative the participants could also make port visits. The organization created as well an online user-friendly platform where all the information was available.

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Port debate session

Conclusion

In the evolution of the relation between port and city we have seen how the interaction and communication has changed. The need to obtain the SLO forced many port authorities to include the social integration as one of their priorities. In an initial moment it was noticed that the use of the soft-values could help to regain the port identity of many port-cities. The development of a socio-cultural agenda has became a reality in many cases. However, we have seen that it is necessary to explain the port reality as it is nowadays, complementing the romantic vision often presented with updated information.

The port-cities are territories open to urban planning innovation, as we have seen in numerous waterfront projects. In this case, the Port Center is an element around which is possible to articulate the relation between port and city, including the local citizens., while contributing to the social acceptance of the port. These structures offer the inhabitants the opportunity to re-appropriate themselves of the port and identify it as an important element of the city’s identity.

The success of the policies developed by the different port-authorities, including the management of Soft-Values and Port Centers, is yet to be measured. The study of these actions and their results is a relevant subject to be studied, which should be approached with a holistic methodology. The investigations would have to be formulated including several perspectives from different fields. The study of the policies impact would determine their validity and how they must be adapted to the ever changing reality of the port-cities.

 

This paper was presented in the session about European Seaport Culture in the 13th Conference on Urban History that took place in Helsinki, between the 24th and 27th of August.

 

References

Aarts, M., Daamen, T., Huijs, M., & de Vries, W., Port City development in Rotterdam: A true love story. 2013, Retrieved from http://urban-e.aq.upm.es.Visited on 12-08-2016 18:25

Barata, A. C. M., Lisboa “caes da Europa”: realidades, desejos e ficções para a cidade (1860 – 1930). Lisbon: Edições Colibri – IHA/Estudos de Arte Contemporânea, FCSH – Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2010.

Corradini, S., Morucci, F., Livorno between preserving port identity and future challenges. Portusplus, 3. (2012)

Demoulin, P., Port information center as an essential instrument in reconnecting ports and citizens. In 12th International Conference Cities and Ports. Le Havre: AIVP. 2010

Dooms, M., Integrating “triple P” bottom line performance and the license to operate for ports: towards new partnerships between port cluster stakeholders. In Y. Alix, B. Delsalle, & C. Comtois (Eds.), Port-City Governance (pp. 55–76). Cormelles-le-Royal: ems – Management & Societe. 2014

Ghiara, H., How to communicate the port today to build the port of tomorrow ? The port center Activities in Genoa. In 13th AIVP World Conference Cities and Ports. Le Havre: AIVP. 2012

Ghiara, H., Demoulin, P., & Marini, G., Port Center: to develop a renewed port-city relationship by improving a shared port culture. In Y. Alix, B. Delsalle, & C. Comtois (Eds.), Port-City Governance (pp. 233–246). Cormelles-le-Royal: ems – Management & Societe. 2014

Guillain, S., Relazione Finale. Dibattito pubblico sullo sviluppo e la riqualificazione del porto di Livorno. Livorno. 2016

Ircha M C., Social License for Canadian Port, PORTUS, n. 25, Year XIII, Venice, RETE Publisher. 2013

Morucci, F., Bicocchi, J., New port identity between global and local. The case of competitive development of Livorno. Portusplus, VI(6). 2016

Merk, O., The Competitiveness of Global Port-Cities: Synthesis Report. OECD Publishing. Paris, 2013

Musso, E., & Ghiara, H., Reshaping the economic landscape of Port Cities. In J. Alemany & R. Bruttomesso (Eds.), The Port City of the XXIst Century. New Challenges in the Relationship between Port and City (pp. 87–101). Venice: Rete. 2011

Schubert, D.,  Seaport Cities: Phases of spatial restructuring. In C. Hein (Ed.), Port Cities: Dynamic Landscapes and Global Networks (1st ed., pp. 54–69). New York: Routledge. 2011

Sessions, G., The Deep Ecology Movement: A Review. Environmental Review: ER, 11(2), 105–125.,(1987)

Van Hooydonk, E., Soft values of seaports. A strategy for the restoration of public support for seaports. Antwerp: Garant. 2007

[1] Among these authors we can find for example the work developed by Bird, Hayuth, Hoyle or Meyer. All of them have explain the evolution of the relation between port and city and the port-city interface, often linked with the economic cycles.

[2] For example in the case of Lisbon we can find texts from journalists and writers from the end of the 19th Century or beginning of the 20th, such as Castilho or Proença, that complained about the options taken in the port development plan and how they affected the relation between the city and the river (Barata, 2010)

[3] It is generally accepted that the first major change in the port-city relation took place during the industrial revolution, when many port development projects took place forced by the improvements in the maritime technology. Also in this period is when the first port authorities were founded. Another important change took place during the 1960’s, when the container, invented in the 1956 by Malcom Mclean, started to be a universal cargo forcing changes in the ports layout. In terms of legislation the most recent example is the international ISPS code, which implies that the port areas must have restricted access and have to be separated from the surroundings by a wall or fence.

[4] Aldo Leopold was the first author to mention the idea of an ecological conscience in his book “A sand county almanac” from 1949. In his work, the author claimed a change in the worldview, from an anthropocentric perspective to an ecocentric one, being the man part of nature and not above it. This work, along with the book “Silent Spring” from R. Carson, published in 1961, inspired what can be known as the “Age of ecology” (Sessions, 1987).

[5] Documents from European projects such as: the “plan the city with the port” initiative, the SUDEST and CTUR projects, both integrated in the Urbact program, and the “People around ports project” from which the “Code of Practice on Societal Integration of Ports” from ESPO resulted. During the same time span the AIVP (Association International Ville et Port) also published several documents mentioning the topic of social integration of ports.

[6] The port festivals of Hamburg (Hafengeburtstag) and the Rotterdam (World Port Days) are two of the most well known events of this kind. Both attract hundreds of thousands visitors and the port is in the center of the celebration. Another sort of example could be the port run in Valparaiso or Porto, or the music festivals in Hamburg (Elbjazz) or Las Palmas (Temudas).

[7] Although not technically a Port Center, it fulfills a part of its mission and is an example of cooperation among several local institutions.

[8] The exhibition is formed by different stations and a central media table. The stations include a beamer, a white screen and a movement sensor. This sort of technology can be easily moved and adapted to other location in case the Port Center has to move.

[9] Regional Law  46/2013

 

Initiatives focused on the Port-City relation

Initiatives focused on the Port-City relation

We have identified several interesting initiatives related with the port-city relation topic that have taken place during the last couple of months or that will happen in the next few weeks. In this post we will comment some of them that could be useful for the researchers interested in this issue.

ZONES PORTUAIRES – rencontres internationales cinéma et villes portuaires

The film festival Zones Portuaires is organized by the association Cales obscures and takes place in Saint-Nazaire, France. Last year was the edition 0. The event is associated with other Zones Portuaires film festivals, like the ones from Marseille and Genoa .

The main focus of the event is the interesting relation existing between port territories and the cinema. The cultural value of ports has been explored by different authors, but this is one of the very few festivals that over several days is able to explore in its full complexity this connection.

In the official website we can find some key questions they try to answer:

Comment, pourquoi, les villes portuaires nourrissent-elles le cinéma et son imaginaire ? Comment les cinéastes du monde nous les représentent-elles ? Qu’apprenons-nous alors des évolutions sociales, économiques, humaines, urbanistiques de ces villes ?

“How and why port cities inspire cinema and imagination? How the world’s filmmakers represent them? What do we learn from the social, economic, human and urban planning evolution of these cities?”

In this year’s edition the main theme is the migrations, a hot-topic in the European context. The ports are very often the stage for this human drama particularly in the Mediterranean region. The invited city is Athens, probably the European capital that has struggled the most since the beginning of the financial and refugees crisis.

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Port Festivals

During springtime and until mid autumn several port days and festivals will take place. The port visits have been acknowledged as one of the most appealing initiatives for the public to get to know better the port. The port festivals are mainly focused in opening up the port in a family friendly atmosphere and to show the “nicer face” of the port community. These events allow a more relaxed interaction with the port territories.

It is important to remark that some port days are, in the opinion of the author, too much leaning on the festivity side, in several cases insisting in the clichés related to the port image and the maritime world. However there are others that really use these days to explain the port functioning and to give on site presentations by port professionals

Hamburg

In Hamburg the 827th edition of the Hafengeburtstag took place between the days 5th to 8th of May. According to some media this year registered a record of visitors, totaling 1,6 million people along the four days of the festival. The event has become an important date in the cultural agenda of the city and, although often the folklore distorts the image of the port, it does enhances the role of the harbor in the general image of the city.

For this year’s event we can even find specific apps to take the maximum profit of the festival.

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827th Hafengeburtstag. Image retrieved from: http://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/hamburg/Hafengeburtstag-startet-mit-Besucherrekord,hafengeburtstag1074.html

La Rochelle

In another scale we can find other port festivals that improve as well the connection of the inhabitants with the port. Is the case of La Rochelle in France and Brussels in Belgium.

The port of La Rochelle hosted an open-day event where everybody could visit the harbor and get to know the different port activities that take place there. This edition, the 6th one, took place on June the 12th, and included different activities, such as port visit by boat and bus, visits to the terminals and silos, the control tower and several ships. The program included also visits to the shipyards, a parade and exhibitions.

The slogan chosen for the port day reveals an interesting approach to this sort of festivals: “Le port par les professionnels” – The port by the professionals. If the port is able to implicate the port community to explain their work it will gain a human face, far from the hard concrete of the silos or steel from the containers. This strategy has been defended by other authors in the field of the social integration of ports, and in the long-term can ease the path towards achieving the necessary Social License to Operate.

More information can be found here

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Brussels

The Belgian capital is often not identified as a port-city. Nevertheless their fluvial port has an important role in the region’s economy. In may they hosted the 14th edition of the “Fête du Port” – the port festivity. In this case the approach is closer to the one seen in other major port-cities like Hamburg or Rotterdam. From what we can see in the official website, the program included many recreational activities for all audiences, several connected with water or maritime sports. The interaction with the port activity seems to have been focused in the physical context of the event, the port area, and in the information available in the kiosks.

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Fête du Port in Brussels. Foto by: Elio Germani Retrieved from: http://www.lacapitale.be/1572635/article/2016-05-15/succes-pour-la-14e-edition-de-la-fete-du-port-de-bruxelles-photos

 

The inclusion of pedagogic visits is, in the author’s opinion, a better approach than just focusing on the recreational side of the event. The Soft-Values of seaports that have been mentioned in this blog in different posts cannot be explored in the shallowest layer but it is important that include a deeper approach, explaining some of the technic, technology and complexity of the port, always in an adapted way.

Port Debate

Dibatito in Porto – Livorno

For the approval of port plans or major infrastructure is mandatory in many European countries to host a public hearing with the local citizens. In the Italian city of Livorno the port authority has taken the opportunity to celebrate a true debate around two projects and give more disclosure to the new Port Center. The main issues are the “piattaforma Europa“, a new platform for logistic activities that will required new and fills, and  the project for the maritime station, an intervention that will imply changes in the border between the city and the port.

The debate is being developed since mid April and should continue until mid June. The program includes different sessions and thematic workshops with the citizens in the ancient fortress, currently managed by the port authority and where the Port Center is located.

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The ancient fortress. Image retrieved from: http://www.livornoportcenter.it/galleria-fotografica/

Workshops and Congresses

3rd Port Center Network Meeting of AIVP, Antwerp, Belgium

In the end of April the 3rd Meeting of the AIVP’s Port Center Network took place. During this event it was possible to discuss the different strategies for the social integration of ports. The main focus was the evolution of the Port Center concept and the new examples that have been developed in the last year. The issue of education and the edutainment was also a hot topic, with inputs from specialist from different fields.

The meeting took place in the Port Center of Antwerp, the oldest infrastructure of this kind. During the event we could see different approaches and get to know the ambitious plans for the hosting Port Center. It was also interesting to observe the increasing interest this “tool” is creating. Different port cities from Europe and North America have plans to develop their own Port Center to improve the interaction with the local inhabitants.

The AIVP days. Mega-ships: impacts on port cities

The issue of the Mega-ships will be the main discussion topic in the AIVP days, an event that will take place in Málaga, Spain, in the end of June. In this meeting different international experts will present different cases of port-cities and explain how they are preparing for the advent of these new ships.

The Key-Note speaker will be Olaf Merk, a renowned expert in the field of the relations between ports and cities, particularly in the economic issues. He was the coordinator of the OECD port-cities program and recently started a blog about the shipping world that we will see in this same post.

The main questions to be addressed are:

  • Can those new ambitions support, or even merely cope with these new maritime strategies?
  • Should not public interest considerations for sustainable development in port cities take priority over profitability for shipping?
  • How can the different interests be reconciled?
  • How far should ports go to accommodate exponential growth in goods volumes or passenger numbers, without compromising mobility between the city and port or within the wider port region?
  • How can increasingly significant flows be redistributed across countries or continents?
  • What can be done to ensure that the added value generated benefits the territories concerned?

Crossovers entre ciudades y puertos. Oportunidades y perspectivas para Almería

In July also in Spain, this time in Almeria a summer course with national and international experts will be hosted in the University of Almeria. This event, entitled “Crossovers entre ciudades y puertos. Oportunidades y perspectivas para Almería“,  will allow a discussion of best practices for the improvement of the port-city relation.

During this event local experts will present the challenges this port-city is facing. Other professionals from different Andalusian and Spanish institutions will explain existing examples in the regional and national levels. Researchers with an international background, including myself, will present other approaches that can be found in European port-cities and the existing good practices. One of the presentations will be focused in the guide of good practices developed by the AIVP that recently reached 15 000 downloads.

Blogs and websites

In this field of research, the relation between ports and cities, there are different approaches, coming from diverse disciplines. We can find many online resources that have different point of views but help to form a more complete picture of the existing situation. The resources that are been found along the research process are gathered in the side bar of the blog. In this section of the port are some new websites or blogs, but also several existing ones that have gotten our attention and that could be of interest for other researchers.

Shipping Today – Olaf Merk

Early before we have mentioned the name of Olaf Merk, as one of the most renowned experts in the field. In late march he started a new blog named shipping today. In this blog the main topic, as the name itself states, is the shipping world. He offers a critical analysis of the way this sector works. Although the main topic is more related with economics, economic geography, politics and commerce, the side effects of the decisions and researches made in these fields will have a repercussion in the cities and the way ports interact with them. In his initial post the Merk raised several questions that he will try to answer in his new blog.

“Do we always need more trade and more shipping; is shipping not actually too cheap, because all kinds of external effects are not taken into account? Is it logical to promote shipping as a clean transport mode when its exhaust gases are thousand times more toxic than of cars? Why subsidise a sector that only seems to be shredding jobs rather than creating them? Is it normal that ports crawl to every whim of shipping lines, but remain insensitive to local firms, population and the public interest? Does it make sense to throw public money at ports without coordination and then be surprised that some of them are empty?”

Retrieved from: http://shippingtoday.eu/a-new-shipping-blog-out-of-unease/ 

 

Terrapattern

An interesting initiative for researchers studying urban patterns. This website, still in an alpha stage, eases the search of the patterns in a specific context. The automated  research can save considerable time and give immediately a general overlook of the city or region, saying where we can find the specific type of pattern. this tool is also useful for the graphic part of the work presentations and publications.

An example of the search: Container terminals in NYC

 

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World Seastems

On April 2016 took place the second workshop of the World Seastems  research project. This initiative, fully financed by the European Research Council, aims ” to map and to analyze the changing spatial pattern of the world economy across 300 years from a maritime perspective”, as they mention in their website. The project, led by the renowned french geographer César Ducruet, has three main goals:

  1. Mapping and analysis of the maritime flows during the period aforementioned. The developed visualization of these flows will ease the analysis for other scientific uses
  2. Look at the role inter-ports networks have played in the structuring of the territory and the changes that have occurred on it. Particularly important will the interaction with other networks in different levels.
  3. As conclusion, and for the ongoing personal  research probably the most interesting goal, the relation between the urban and maritime growth flows will compared and possibly establish development patterns comparing the effect of the port in the urban development of port and non-port cities.

The complexity of the research under development is clear and difficult to explain in few lines. There are already preliminary results and in their website we can find interesting resources for the study of the port-city relationship topic. The research group also shares occasionally images from their investigation in their facebook page.

The project started in 2013 and is planed to run until 2018.

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Regionalization of world maritime flows in 2004. Retrieved from: http://www.world-seastems.cnrs.fr/index.php?page=page_ERC_WS_24

Shipmaps

The maritime world is one of the most used cases for innovative data visualization techniques. Another example of this trend in the website shipmaps.org. This project is a collaboration between Kiln studio and the  UCL Energy Institute. In this map we can see the world ship traffic in year 2012. The website not only shows the general traffic, but includes as well information regarding the CO2 tonnes or the maximum freight.

//www.shipmap.org

 

Maritiem digitaal

Finally, for historical researches, a useful online platform, the digital database of the Benelux for maritime objects and literature. This website is particularly important if we consider that Belgium and the Netherlands have been historically some of the most active countries in the maritime world and overseas commerce.

http://www.maritiemdigitaal.nl/