Evolution of the port-city relationship between 1974 and early 2000s

Evolution of the port-city relationship between 1974 and early 2000s

During the last couple of months it was difficult to find time to craft an article worth posting. Finally the third piece explaining the evolution of the port-city relation in Lisbon is here.

Socio-political context

Portugal was in a complex political situation after the end of the dictatorship in 1974. The carnations revolution brought democracy to the country, a period also known as the 3rd republic, but the socio-political situation was yet unclear. Until the political climate settled the major economic decisions remained unaltered.

During the early 1980s the country was still in a unstable socio-economic situation. For this reason it was forced to ask for a loan from the IMF, who intervened twice in these years, in 1978 and 1983. Portugal joined the EEC (European Economic Community) in 1986, along with other south-European countries like Spain and Greece. The arrival of European funding allowed important investments, particularly in infrastructure.

Port evolution during the 1970s and 1980s

The changes taking place on a global scale in the maritime sector also affected the port and industrial development in Lisbon. The introduction of new technologies, i.e. the container, changed many port dynamics and the space the port required. During these decades, 1970s and 1980s, the port saw the creation of new container terminals adapted to the new cargo. The two main examples were the terminal of Sta. Apolónia and the one in Alcântara. Sta Apolónia terminal opened in 1970, it was the first infrastructure dedicated to containers in the Iberian peninsula. The facility in Alcântara was inaugurated in 1985. According to Nabais & Ramos (1987), this terminal was severely deteriorated in the 1960. The AGPL (Administração Geral do Porto de Lisboa) decided to invest on it and prepared for containers.

Terminal Sta Apolonia - Sotagus
Sta. Apolonia Container Terminal today. Since the original project the infrastructure has been updated and expanded. Retrieved from http://www.sotagus.pt
Terminal Alcantara - portosdeportugal-pt
Alcântara Container terminal today. Retrieved from http://www.portosdeportugal.pt

During these decades other port facilities were created. Particularly relevant were the new silos for bulk cargo, linked with several industries, such as concrete manufacturers, agri-food companies, mainly dedicated to cereal derivatives or liquid bulk. The new infrastructure caused an important visual impact in the estuary, but increased the throughput of this type of cargo. This investment helped the port of Lisbon to become the leading port in cereal bulk cargo in the Iberian context[1].

At the same time these investments were taking place the maritime business was changing, causing transformations in the port-city relation, world-wide and obviously also in Lisbon. The port and industrial activities of large conglomerates diminished drastically. These industrial settlements, located on the eastern section of the city and the south side of the Tagus[2], developed during previous decades, originated large urban voids and brownfields. As in other port-cities there was a process of socio-economical decay in the urban areas linked with port and industrial activities. (Figueira de Sousa and Fernandes, 2012)

The social perception of the river and the port management model also changed during these years. People demanded an access to the Tagus, and the Port Authority (hereafter PA), like many other worldwide, changed to a landlord port functioning scheme after 1995 (Cabral, 2001). Later, in 1998, also following international port governance trends, the PA became a public owned company, (Administração do Porto de Lisboa – APL S.A)[3]. The economic and technological changes along with the increasing social pressure to get a free river accessibility, motivated a compendium of planning initiatives, led by different stakeholders, that changed the port-city-river relationship.

The most relevant issues for the current investigation is the evolution of the initiatives concerned with the use of the waterfront, and the development of new infrastructure testing the port-city relationship. During the late 1980s and early 1990s the attention towards the use of the waterfront for public areas and facilities started to rise. We will see how the situation changed drastically when compared with the previous decades. Four key processes took place almost simultaneously, we will briefly comment them and see what role did the PA played. The consequences caused by these planning initiatives marked the PA scope for the following decades, pointing out an institutional rigidity process.

Many planning initiatives with different results

During the second half of the 20th century, particularly since the 1980s, several private projects were developed along the railway barrier, on the city side. These new constructions gradually changed the programs of these buildings, from industrial to office and housing, although they were not part of any general plan nor considered the connection with the river a relevant goal. The new buildings were simply answering to market needs and city development, gradually increasing the urban pressure over the port (Costa, 2006). Simultaneously, there was a growing interest on the historical value of certain heritage buildings near the river, related with former port activities. This attention can be seen in the refurbishment project of “Casa dos Bicos” (op.cit. 2006).

Changes in the maritime sector and in the industrial tissue had left abandoned areas on the waterfront, affecting the general image. These spaces were seen as an opportunity. National and municipal (hereafter CML) governments, and port authorities, were interested in the waterfront regeneration. During this period we will see several parallel plans taking place at the same time, with different leading figures. For the scope of this research we will only focus on the ones directly affecting the waterfront, requiring negotiation with the PA.

The first relevant moment was the 1988 competition, organized by the Architectural Association and supported by different public bodies, including the PA. Besides this event, in this chapter we will mainly discuss the plans of the EXPO 1998, the POZOR and the 1990s municipal strategic and City development plans – PDM (Plano Director Municipal).

One of the most interesting characteristic of this period is the evolution of the port’s role, both internally and in relation with the society. Several authors have highlighted how, inspired by the international waterfront regeneration trends and to find financing for new port infrastructure, the PA deviated from its original focus to be more concerned with urban planning issues (Matias Ferreira, 1997, 1999; Ressano Garcia, 2006; Costa, 2006; Rego Cabral, 2001). This attitude change earned the port strong criticism from different sectors of society, claiming that it was going beyond its realm and accusing it from privatizing public territory, since the PA was only authorized to rent or lease port land, not to sell it for tertiary redevelopment projects (Ressano Garcia, Op. Cit)

First waterfront redevelopment initiatives – “Lisboa, a Cidade e o Rio” competition – 1988

Most scholars agree that the definitive moment for the new approach towards the waterfront and the river-city relationship occurred in 1988, when the competition “Lisboa, a Cidade e o Rio” (Lisbon, the city and the river) took place[4]. This event organized by the Architectural Association (AA) and supported by the PA, had the goal of providing ideas for the riverfront, admitting the presence of the port, and mostly to raise a debate about the connection between the city and the river.

"Lisboa, a Cidade e o Rio" Competition catalog, 1988.
“Lisboa, a Cidade e o Rio” Competition catalog, 1988.

The Tagus has always been considered the key identity element for Lisbon. It has been the inspiration for artists from different times, and welcomed kings from foreign countries. It was one of the key reasons for the original settlement by the Phoenicians, and provided transport, protection, work and food. The main public space of the city, the Praça do Comércio, opens up to the water and in the social psyche there is a certain false nostalgia for the free access to the river, something that never really happened, at least the way most residents picture it (Morgado, 2005)[5]. During the 20th century the separation between the city and the river increased, due to the presence of industrial activities that, as we have seen in previous chapters, blocked the visual connection or turned the riverfront into an inhospitable space. The new port landfills progressively changed the “face” of Lisbon creating a new artificial territory, increasing the distance between both.

Gradually, during the second half of the 20th century, the water, rivers and seas, gained a new role in the city´s urban structure, a phenomenon taking place worldwide. There was a new perception, and therefore economic use of water, as an identity and landscape element that could increase the property´s value (Ward, 2011). New waterfront projects were often created around the contact with the water, seen it as strong development concept, and possibly as an asset to increase the profitability of the real estate operation. The examples known at the time often included new leisure facilities, office building or housing. Several projects in the USA and Europe showed a new image for “water cities”, based on what is often considered the urban post-fordist society (Olivier & Slack, 2006; Schubert, 2011). The new international waterfront image, the partial decadence of some port areas, an intense cultural program and the interest of several stakeholders, such as the PA and the AA, raises the awareness of local residents and created an interesting debate about this issue.

In the introduction of the competition´s publication (Brandão, 1988) the innovative character of the competition is clear. In this text there are several relevant statements. The author points out, as one of 6 key premises, the port activity as inseparable from the city, in a certain way appealing to the necessary coexistence between both realities.

“A actividade portuária é cidade – elemento indissociável da centralidade que a cidade oferece, pode rentabilizar a cidade com a sua própria vitalidade.”

Brandão (3: 1988)

Further on he also describes the riverfront as both 15 km of conflict and a key element of the urban and metropolitan structure for the connection with hinterland, Europe and the Iberian peninsula. In the same text Brandão also highlights the variety of layers existing in this port-city interface, including cultural and heritage elements, relevant economic activities and important landscape features.

In the competition 23 proposals were presented. The final statement of the jury indicates that none of the competitors was fully aware of the technical aspect necessary to include the port activity in their proposals. Therefore, the majority of the projects worked in idealized scenarios in which the port activities were either not considered or oversimplified. Only one proposal, from Arch. Manuel Bastos, was considered to have potential influence in the future planning of port activities. Another important entry was the one presented by Gravata Filipe. His project was focused on  Cais do Sodré, and was later further developed to include commercial areas and housing in this area. In this work, mostly in the later development, the influence of American and British waterfront projects was clear. Several companies and the PA were later interested in the further development of the project, but never became a reality.

 

Figure 1 Bird's eye perspective of the winning entry.
Bird’s eye perspective of the winning entry.

 

primeiro premio 1988 planta
Winning entry floorplan. Team led by Arch. Carlos Marques. Retrieved from the competition catalog “Lisboa, a cidade e o rio”

The competition played an important role, raising considerable media attention. It set the foundation over which the debate about the riverfront and the port would be built. Some ideas were later retaken or included in other plans, however the main issue of the port-city coexistence was not addressed. Although this competition was sponsored by the PA, the CML was also very present. Later both organizations would develop separate visions over the same problem, deepening the conflict. One particular plan that we will later see, the POZOR, damaged PA´s public image, and by association of port activities.

To conclude this section, when we observe the project areas, the issues they tried to solve and the images of the sites, we see that not much changed during the following years, although there was a strong debate. The first important intervention would start in the early 1990s, being inaugurated in 1998, the World Expo, in the eastern section of the city. Some priority areas, as stated in the competition catalogue, were gradually improved, although, some of them, only today are being completely developed, after years of discussion and frustrated attempts.

First major plans – 1990s

The idea competition brought a new vision of what could take place in Lisbon´s waterfront. The following years we would see different initiatives taking place, sponsored by different public bodies. The national government, responsible for the PA, developed different projects and plans with an international reach, and massive public investment. The waterfront was rediscovered by the municipality, and mostly by the people. There are several examples of the transformation process taking place at the time.

Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB)

In 1987 the plan for the regeneration of Belém, by Prof. Costa Lobo, was focused on the area where the 1940 Expo took place. This section of the city had several urban voids from the exhibition and required a general plan for its regeneration. In this plan was included the CCB project.

In the same plan for Belém, the burial of railway lines was suggested. This issue would be discussed several times during the following decades in the different planning initiatives that affected the waterfront.

After Portugal was accepted in the EEC, it was in charge of hosting the commission presidency in 1992. This event was used as motivation to promote the creation of new large public building, with a cultural scope. The location for this new facility was in Belém, in a sensible place, next to the Jerónimos monastery and the railway line. The competition for the new facility took place in 1988, for a site of 5 Ha. Several well-known archistars competed to develop the project, in total 53 proposals were presented, being the final winner the team formed by Gregotti and Risco Ateliê (the office led by Manuel Salgado, current urban development responsible in the municipality).

The design included five sections connected with an interior street that would link the Praça do Império to Belém Tower. The project´s geometry and the sensible location raised considerable discussion and controversy, particularly among certain sectors of society, that considered the new building an aggression to the monastery, a protected monument (França, 1997).

CCB - Atelie risco
Aerial view of the CCB. Project by Gregotti and Ateliê Risco. Retrieved from: http://www.risco.org

This case, although built in municipal land, not port land, was one of the first major intervention on the waterfront, implementing cultural programs and trying to develop a connection with the river through its elevated public space (Pagés Sanchez, 2011). The controversy already indicated how delicate the riverfront is for the local society and how any intervention would be closely examined.

From the five elements that composed the project, two remained unbuilt, including a congress centre and hotel. The proposal´s completion has remained in municipal masterplans and detail and sector plans. No specific deadlines have been set, and other cultural projects on the waterfront have been developed in the meantime.

EXPO 98

Portugal was, at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s, a country aching to achieve international recognition and establish a fast development process to match its European partners. The country needed to show a new image to distance itself from the dictatorship times, and overcome the existing challenges. Spain, the Iberian neighbour, had successfully applied to host international events that would raise the international profile of two major cities, namely Barcelona with the 1992 Olympics, and Seville with the 1992 Expo.

Hosting international events would also bring funding and generate an opportunity to implement new key infrastructures in Lisbon, allowing it to compete with other cities. The investment required would be justified in terms of image, marketing, tourism generated income, and positive externalities. For the city it was also an opportunity to impulse a transformative process that otherwise would take longer time and face greater difficulties. Although the main driver was the central government, local government appreciated the investment brought by the international exhibition. At the same time, the scale of the intervention would go beyond Lisbon, affecting the entire metropolitan area, the region or even the country.

During the drafting of application, an internal debate took place to decide the best location for the Expo. After much discussion, three options were finally brought to the table by the project committee[6]. The first included a poly-nucleus concept, with several locations spread over the metropolitan area, a second option was the western part of the city, on the boundary between Lisbon and Oeiras. The third option was the eastern section where several declining industries existed. The first option was immediately discarded since it presented several difficulties that could make the event unmanageable. For the final discussion remained two possibilities, both on the waterfront, affecting port territory.

Lisbon has historically suffered an unbalanced urban development, particularly visible in the east-west dichotomy. The western section had an organic development, including the presence of historical monuments that potentiated the identity of this part of the city. In previous chapter we have seen how during the 20th century this section of the city was the first place to undergo an urban waterfront redevelopment plan, increasing its cultural and social profile, with museums and representative buildings. In contrast, the eastern section of the city hosted large industrial settlements and the port expansion for new cargo, such as containers. In the long term, particularly when the industrial activities started to decay, the eastern section became a depressed area, suffering socio-economic problems, poverty among the local residents and chaotic urban development, including slums, large social housing projects and gradually industrial brownfills. In this area we could also find companies from the petrochemical sector, whose activities were no longer considered suitable for the urban environment, presenting diverse hazards (Matias Ferreira, 1999).

The final decision, reached in 1991, was to develop the Expo in the eastern section of the city, on the boundary with Loures, in port territory, that hosted different companies from aforementioned petrochemical sector. The reasoning behind the decision was that it was an opportunity to balance the urban development and impulse a regeneration process in this section, implementing a new centrality that would attract private investment between the city´s downtown and the new development. Also relevant was the presence of logistic infrastructure, close to the airport, railway lines connecting the city with the rest of the country and Spain, and the possibility of integrating a new connection with the south side of the river.

Expo site
Expo site before the construction started. We can see several industries, including an important petrochemical area that was later transferred to Sines. Retrieved from http://www.skycrapercity.com

The case of the Expo 98 in Lisbon can be observed from very different perspectives. It has been broadly used as an outstanding example of urban intervention, that brought quality public spaces to the city, new leisure and cultural facilities, unique in the region or even in the country, and a successful real estate scheme, with considerable private investment after the event (Guimarães, 2006). The fast reconversion of the exhibition area into a new element of the urban structure was also considered exemplary, avoiding abandonment situation like it happened in Seville six years earlier. Officials from the municipality and the central government have also, frequently, used the expo to show the Portuguese capacity when competing to host international events, such as the Euro cup in 2004, or international summits, such as the EU meetings. However, the plan and development of this section of the city also had its flaws and negative aspects, or at least less positive issues, that could have been handled differently. In this investigation we will focus on the general urban regeneration process, the effects on the port territory and the role of the PA.

In 1992 Lisbon beat Toronto in the final vote of the BIE (Bureau International de Exhibition). The inauguration date was set for May 1998, implying a fast development process. Given the tight deadlines the government decided to create a new agency, named Parque Expo[7], that would operate outside the usual urban legislation, and benefited from special capabilities. The area where the exhibition and associated real estate operation would take place was removed from the PDM being drafted at the time. The new public company had total authority for the redevelopment of the area, including building permits. The financial capacity introduced two speeds in Lisbon´s development (Costa, 2006), enabling an unprecedented urban transformation rhythm. [8]

Aerial view of the Parque das Nações - Post-Expo98.
Aerial view of the Parque das Nações – Post-Expo98. In this image the real estate operation was not concluded yet. Retrieved from: http://www.tsf.pt

The government set three main goals (Matias Ferreira, 1997): (i) to reconnect the city with the river, (ii) to impulse the regeneration of this area, and (iii) to develop the plan with no cost for the state, being financed through the real estate scheme for the aftermath, associated to the operation. The first goal was also included in the municipal plans. In this area the Olivais dock, the former maritime airport, was considered a great opportunity to establish a new connection with the river.

The regeneration of the area was complemented with the Plano de Urbanização da Zona Envolvente da Expo 98 (Plan for the surrounding area of the 1998 Expo). This part of the city was already a priority in the new PDM. The social issues present in these neighbourhoods, the lack of public facilities and unbalanced urban developed between east and west was seen as a major problem. Municipal plans considered the regeneration should be based in the “gate” character of this area, that included connections with major transportation chains, such as railway, port and airport. At the same time the redevelopment of the depleted industries was considered, including its consolidation and the construction of new facilities linked with education and investigation. When the expo location was decided, the PDM was modified, and the 350 Ha for the operation given to the new public company. Different authors mention how the original intention was to avoid the “island” effect, that eventually did happen. The connection with the surrounding did not happen as fluently as expected, particularly in the social sense, the contrast between the poor areas and the new modern neighbourhood was, and still is, clear[9]. The pressure to complete the project on schedule has been often used to justify the lack of public consultation that in other conditions would have taken place. At the same time, to achieve the goal of minimal state investment[10], the real estate scheme favoured luxury housing and higher densities introducing a strong gentrification process.

PA role

The site for the expo included a considerable section of port territory. In the law DL 207/93 14th of June the decommission of the land was made official, being the Parque Expo responsible for the compensation to the APL (Matias Ferreira, 1997). When the exhibition was concluded the PA demanded a considerable indemnification for losses, mostly caused by the contract breach with the concessionaries. This operation it is subject of controversies since the compensation from Parque Expo to the APL was never paid, the APL had to carry with the losses. Also, as Castro and Lucas (1997) point out, the port land release took place in a particularly sensitive moment, when the tension between the APL and the municipality was increasing. Being the Parque Expo a government company, not a municipal one, certainly eased the path. However, as the same authors explain, the losses caused by the aforementioned transfer were accounted in 1994 in 65 mill €[11].

During the application and planning process the role of the PA was rather passive. If the PA would have been owned by the CML there could have been considerable differences. In Portugal the port management model follows what it is known as the Latin tradition, the central government controls all PAs in the country. In the central  government agenda, to do an international event in port territory was more important than the port plans or even the compensation payment, that in case it had been paid, could have compromised the operation. In this particular case the centralized port management scheme diminished the possible confrontation. The agreement regarding the port land was made between two government companies.

Comparison with other plans

Particularly interesting is the fact that at the same time the expo process was taking place, the PA was drafting its own waterfront real estate operation, the POZOR (Plano de Ordenamento da Zona Ribeirinha). This plan, that we will later describe in further detail, included the reconversion of a central waterfront section into housing and office buildings. There were several key differences: (i) the location was considerably more sensitive, since it affected a consolidated area of the city, contrasting with the eastern section where the expo was going to take place. Another key difference (ii) was the lack of central government support, being an initiative mostly defended by the PA, with the opposition of the local government and civil society. Another issue (iii) was that, while the expo real estate operation, was developed by a new public company created for the occasion, the PA collaborated with a private corporation, also developing itself the urban plan, a task beyond what was by many accepted as its realm.

Comparing both cases we see that there can be substantial differences when developing a waterfront plan, pending on the national port system and who are the operation´s main drivers. In this case, as it is said in the official documents (Mega Ferreira et al., 1999), the national ownership of the port authority was considered an advantage, avoiding possible conflicts[12]. In the POZOR, the situation was exactly the opposite, social confrontation was present since the beginning. There was no clear political back up to the project and the confrontation eventually stopped the plan.

POZOR and Port Plans

The riverfront competition supported by the PA brought considerable media and social attention to the relation between the port, the city and the river. In the international context, more cities were implementing waterfront development plans. In two American cities, Baltimore and Boston, the first major plans took place. During the 1980s several port-cities in Europe redeveloped their urban waterfront, including the famous case of London, with a liberal approach, and others that followed a concept more focused on public spaces, housing or new leisure areas (Schubert, 2011). As it happened with every planning tendency, it expanded, reaching Portugal and inspiring the PA to act in a certain manner.

The gradual decrease in port activities during the 1970s and 1980s, forced the PA to reassess its role and evaluate the port  territory, identifying where were the active port facilities, and what land could be destined to other uses (Figueira de Sousa and Fernandes, 2012). During early 1990s, the PA saw its role and influence diminished by the ambitions of the central government to do the 1998 Expo. For the PA losing control over the Expo territory meant releasing almost 20% of its land and seen how the petrochemical cargo handling was transferred to Sines, both issues were a significant for the APL. At this point the PA decided to elaborate an strategic plan to answer the contextual changes.

In this investigation we will focus on the process and reactions the plan caused, just as we have done with previous documents. There are other investigations developed by well known scholars that enter into further detail, and that have been broadly referenced in this paper.

Pre-POZOR

Before the POZOR the PA already realized it was necessary to change its attitude towards the city. The growing pressure and the option of gaining certain revenues from the waterfront regeneration became a strong motivation. After the competition that took place in 1988, one of the proposals received considerable attention. The project presented by Gravata Filipe included the redevelopment of waterfront between Cais do Sodré and Praça do Comércio. His project offered a new commercial vision for this area, including a shopping centre. (Ressano Garcia, 2006).

Gravata Filipe partnered with British architect David Colley to further develop the project into a more concrete plan. The project affected 2,5 km of the riverfront, stretching from Santos to Sta. Apolónia, the historical central section, including land from the PA, the municipality and the central state. With a strong commercial approach, influenced by the British examples, the plan included several key ideas that later would be again discussed and some implemented. The most relevant ones were the vertical transport node and the road tunnel to solve the barrier effect in this section. The first one was later developed, including the connection between trains and ferries  with the subway, while the second, although often discussed, was never built (Costa, 2006).

This proposal marked the beginning of a new approach towards the waterfront and its commercial value. The PA saw an opportunity to satisfy the public demand of greater access to the water, avoid possible social conflict and profit from the land, that later could be reinvested in the development of a new container terminal on the south side of the Tagus. One of the most relevant aspects of this proposal was bringing together different actors to negotiate about a concrete plan. As Costa (op. Cit.) mentions, the sensitive location also caused considerable debate, somehow giving a continuation to what had taken place some years earlier. During the second half of the 1990s the argument about this particular section would continue, even seen the creation of an ad-hoc company for its redevelopment, including the tunnel. As said before the tunnel would not be built, the transport node would be developed years after, and finally the public space would be designed twice.

Strategic Plan 1992

Simultaneously to the Project for Cais do Sodré, the PA had taken a pro-active role and decided to do the first strategic plan to establish a development course for the port. Following the public debate and the evolution seen in the international context, it seemed inevitable to potentiate port development on the south side of the river and consider the waterfront regeneration on the north.

In the port strategic plan, developed between 1990 and 1992, the pro-active approach implied the construction of a new container terminal on the south side, in Trafaria, and further waterfront regeneration on the north side. According to Costa (2006), the main issue was not the construction of new terminals, but the way it was proposed, linking Trafaria with Bugio Fort, an island in the middle of the river’s mouth. The environmental impact of this project, and the opposing local government of Almada, presented the first controversy. The strategic plan later evolved into a more concrete plan, the POZOR, published in 1994. This new document would create unprecedented  tensions in the port-city-citizens relationship.

POZOR 1

The POZOR was presented to the public in June 1994, proposing to restructure the complete waterfront, from Algés until to the Expo, giving 12 km of riverfront to the city. The commercial approach was clear, following in some areas a similar scheme to the one introduced by Gravata Filipe.

One of the characteristics of the plan was the dense construction for certain areas, influenced by the British model. It organized the waterfront in six different sections, each one treated differently; at the same time catalogued the existing buildings, either to be kept, refurbished or demolished. The new buildings would totalize 450 000 m2 between Sto. Amaro and Alcântara, and 160 000 m2 in Rocha Conde d’Óbidos – Santos. Included in the plan was the construction of a new shopping mall with 82 000 m2 in Cais do Sodré, by Multi Development Corporation International (MCDI) (Ressano Garcia: 71, 2007).

POZOR PLAN
General Plan of the Intervention Units and the programs. Retrieved from http://www.fat.pt

Social contestation

The public discussion process  was particularly interesting. The project was presented with a public exhibition including a large model and plans, an innovative approach, particularly coming from an organization such as the PA. There were several debate sessions for public participation, taking place in a representative placement like the Alcântara cruise terminal.

Since the plan became public it faced fierce opposition, not just from the civil society or NIMBY[13] movements, but also from reputed specialists from architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning. Social figures from the media and popular intellectuals supported the opposition movement, reaching large press coverage, taking the conflict to a previously unseen polemic. Also in the political sphere the POZOR did not counted with much support. The mayor at the time, Jorge Sampaio, rejected the proposal of the PA, claiming that the port land recovered for urban uses should be planned for the city’s general good (Costa, 2006). This author explains how the discussion reached the national political debate, being even argued whether the planning capabilities of the port ought to be limited[14].

POZOR newspaper clip
Newspaper clip from 1994 describing the debate around the POZOR Pland and the different positions. Jornal de Noticias, October 11th 1994, Retrieved from the Architectural Chamber Library.

POZOR in the newspapers

POZOR 2

The massive social contestation forced the PA to retract itself immediately and offer an alternative. In 1995 a second version of the plan was presented, removing the new planned construction and the real estate operation, focusing on new public spaces for the city. The plan kept the same scheme, dividing the waterfront into six different sections, with 4 different vectors (buildings, connections, parking and zoning). The main point was to study each case without proceeding to large scale transformations.

Another difference to the previous POZOR was the collaboration between public organizations. If in the former plan the PA practically operated by itself, cooperating with private companies, for the new document it established an intense dialogue process with the municipality.

Short after the new plan was presented, a new board took charge. Cabral, the new head of the board, stated the PA would, from that point on, focus on port development (Matias Ferreira, 1997)

POZOR Results

Finally, the POZOR 2 was never concluded, but, as with other plans in Lisbon on the 20th century, it guided several PA’s waterfront interventions. Although in this second version the public space and leisure facilities had an important role, the trust of the local residents in the PA never recovered. The results of the plan were mainly visible in the western section of the waterfront, where a new access to the river was created, including green areas. In Santo Amaro former warehouses were refurbished to host restaurants and clubs. Several parking and marinas were also developed. In 1995 the APL and CML began to cooperate, mainly for the redevelopment of certain public spaces and connections, particularly in the western section, from Cais do Sodré until Algés, including three priority interventions and identifying 11 crossings in different levels (Craveiro & Soares, 1997), some of which several were built.

Sto Amaro Docks
Sto. Amaro Docks today. This was one of the regenerated areas on the waterfront after the POZOR

Personal Comment on the POZOR Process – Institutional Framework

The POZOR is an interesting case to analyse the repercussions of path dependency, institutional plasticity and social expectations. In this article we have seen how the PA intended to act beyond what we can strictly consider its core activities, i.e. port activities management. The formal institutional framework gave the PA the capabilities to draft urban development plans, in the legislation it is indicated that it would be allowed to manage its territory beyond the port activities, including leisure or cultural programs. With this plan the PA saw the opportunity to do an “all around” operation, theoretically creating positive externalities to all the involved stakeholders.

The financing of the new terminal in Trafaria was connected to the real estate operation on the northern side of the river. As we have seen, the main intervention was between Cais do Sodré and Alcântara, curiously an area without any relevant public spaces on the port level, and with a strong infrastructural barrier, including a bright avenue and the railway line. The city should also benefit from this operation since the new waterfront would theoretically be open for all the citizens, increasing the public riverfront area. The issues before described, lack of public and green spaces, visual impact and possible gentrification, were the main drawbacks.

The process of institutional plasticity and change, as explained by Buitelaar et al. (2012) implies a complex succession of factors, that eventually leads to an institutional change. In the case of Lisbon we can actually see the reverse process. Although the institutional framework allowed the PA to execute the plan it proposed, since it was entirely within its territorial boundaries, the social context along with certain planning decisions, triggered a reverse procedure in which, instead of institutional plasticity, institutional rigidity took place. The general society had created specific expectations for the PA role, the riverfront and the relation between the river and the city. The PA was seen as a non-democratic organization, pending from the central government, with a very specific function, in charge of managing a specific territory for a certain function, port activities (Matias Ferreira, 1997). In other words we could say there was a certain expectation, a path dependency, not decided by the PA or the port community but by the social image of this particular body. On the other hand, the process started in 1988, concerning the relation between the city and the river, created a certain desire among the inhabitants, to gain an access to the river, seen as the key identity element of the city. The proposals presented in the competitions privileged this point of view. The municipal plans were also drafted in this direction.

The timing, location and scope of the POZOR also affected its fate negatively. There was already a significant waterfront regeneration process taking place in the city, the Expo, that hindered the possible institutional support from the national government. The municipality was already “left out” of the Expo process, due to the creation of the Parque Expo, therefore there was a precedent distrust. This corporation, created by the central government, had, as we have seen, supra-municipal powers, similar to the PA, and operated above the traditional urban planning scheme. The priority for the central government was the success of the Expo, therefore the support for the POZOR was compromised from the start.

The location also presented issues. We have seen how this central section of the waterfront has stronger roots in Lisbon´s history, hence any intervention could easily awake certain sensibilities. On the opposite side, the EXPO was on the eastern part of the city, where the urban tissue was not (and still is not) so consolidated. Any intervention here would imply less discussion or protest.

Finally the plan´s character and design principles were unfitted for the context. The influence of British plans for urban waterfronts, which often included dense real estate operations,  affected the POZOR negatively, passing an image of a strong gentrification development, in an area for which the local population had higher expectations. It is important to consider that, in general terms, the civil society, might well not understand the issues of planning boundaries, been an apparent continuum, therefore a strong image can easily be created. The density and program of the first draft triggered the social protest we have seen. Curiously, the process was innovative and could be considered a positive example for its participatory nature. Although the public discussion did not provided the positive feedback expected by the PA, it did set an interesting example for future planning initiatives.

The bricoleurs, the actors that in Buitelaar et al. (2012) model would pressure to change the institutional framework, in this case did the opposite, pressuring politicians and decision makers to install a process of institutional rigidity, reducing the PA planning powers. In this context we could say the PA´s path dependency harmed its expectations of acting beyond its usual realm, and finding an extra financing resource for other port infrastructure. Although eventually the proposed legislation change did not succeeded, probably linked to the retreat of the plan by the PA, the complete process did narrowed the development path of the PA in several ways. It was clear that any sort of large urban planning intervention led by the PA would be critically observed. The general role of the PA was associated with port activities, and only certain low-impact actions to implement leisure programs, linked with heritage refurbishment would be socially accepted. We can find different examples of this in the last 20 years. The release of riverfront areas for public and green spaces would be accepted. The connection with the new municipal plans had to be consulted and encouraged, since one of the main critics by the municipality planners was the apparent disregard towards the new masterplan and partial plans.

Among the issues and path narrowing process installed in the PA after the POZOR, one of the most worrying ones is the reduced interaction that followed this period, concerning public consultation processes. The NIMBY phenomenon that took place during the plan’s public presentation might have been reinforced due to the openness of the PA. We could then argue to what point would be on the PA´s best interest to encourage public participation in future plans and projects that might have an impact in the riverfront. Also, as said in an interview[15], the PA the communication is done using the official channels, contacting the municipality or other representative institutions, not directly with the citizens as it was with the POZOR. In this case we could ask ourselves to what extend will the CML explain the APL´s point of view, needs or even positive impact. This issue will be explored in the cruise terminal project, an example of port facility that has been considered crucial to experiment with the port-city-citizen relationship (Figueira de Sousa, 2003).

PDM and Municipal Strategic Plan 

In 1989 a new political[16] team arrived to the city hall, starting an intense period of municipal change and planning (Leite, 2008). Previously we have seen the state initiative with the Expo 98 and the port ambitions for the waterfront in the POZOR plan. In this section we will briefly describe Lisbon´s first strategic plan and the successive city masterplan. The transition from the 1980s to the 1990s potentiated the notion of Lisbon as capital of a Metropolitan area, and the need to compete in international context to attract investment. The city suffered several unsolved problems. During this time the first city development plan, drafted during democracy, was published and implemented.

Strategic plan

Lisbon´s strategic plan, approved in 1992, was the first document of new strategic planning system, also including the PDM and the priority plans and projects (Craveiro, 2004). The PEL (Plano Estratégico de Lisboa) was mainly a socioeconomic instrument to define the principal development vectors and areas, and support the political and decision making processes (Leite, 2008). This new scheme proposed a new urban development model, including eight key points. To connect the city with the river was one of the top priorities, also including the redevelopment of historic areas in the centre, the regeneration of the eastern section, improvement of public transport system and reducing urban expansion towards the north. The main general goals for the strategic plan were to modernize the city, improving the general life quality and allowing it to compete with other European metropolises, reassure Lisbon´s role as metropolitan capital and improve the administrative system. During this period Lisbon was already losing population, a tendency that would increase along the 1990s.

For the scope of this investigation, connecting the city with the river is the most important aspect.  The plan considered four different city sections, being one of them the riverfront. For this sector the municipality pretended to recover the connection with the Tagus, without harming the port (Craveiro & Soares, 1997). In this scenario the competition concerning the waterfront organized by the architectural association and sponsored by the PA, created positive precedent. The municipality recognized PA´s effort in the recent waterfront regeneration projects, particularly the new public spaces by the river.

PEL 1992
PEL 1992. Retrieved from Neves, 2013 (https://pt.slideshare.net/tutufischer/seminrio-internacional-sampa-cri-ativa-3-1213-apresentacaobrancaneves)

During the following years the municipality developed several plans for the riverfront surroundings, in which the reuse of heritage elements played an important role. These plans concerned mostly areas in the western and eastern sections of the city. Once again the idea of burying the railway, and later also the road, was discussed. In the scope of the plan several key operations[17] were identified to reinforce the connection between the city and the river, mostly taking place in the western and central waterfront section, affecting several locations with relevant monuments. These concrete actions were destined to areas controlled by the municipality, such as Praça do Comércio, or in which port activities were not suitable, mostly from Alcântara to Belém. To improve the connection several crossings in different locations along the barrier were planned.

The PEL was adapted during the drafting process, to include the development of the expo in the eastern section of the city. Initially this plan proposed to develop in this area the gate of the city, profiting from its connectivity with national and international transportation networks, as we have previously seen.

PDM 1994

The PDM approved in 1994 was the first city masterplan since 1977. This document was part of the new planning strategy promoted by the new municipal government, following the development path set by the strategic plan aforementioned. It was also coordinated with other documents drafted at the same time, such as the PROT-AML (Plano Regional de Ordenamento do Território – Área Metropolitana de Lisboa), or the detail plans drafted for different city locations.

In the plan, as it happened in the PEL, the territory was organized in 4 different areas, being one of them the riverfront. Among the key goals was again the connection with the river, identified as one of the key elements Lisbon should relate with, the second one was the metropolitan area. In the PDM report the connection with the estuary is highlighted defining Lisbon as a river-city (cidade ribeirinha). The port is not assumed as a key identity element, although we could consider it is included in the river-city character, port activities, as we have previously seen, had a strong influence in the city’s economy, identity and urban development (PDM, Relatório Síntese, 1994).

To improve the connection with the river several actions were proposed. The first one was to integrate port areas, improving the port access and complementary services. Other measures included better organization of river transport with Lisbon’s transport interfaces, enhancing public areas on the riverfront, integration of the infrastructural barrier formed by the railway and roads, and establish the view system defended in the same PDM, strengthening the visual relation.

One interesting issue was the Expo area. Parque Expo was responsible for the land where the event would take place, including its after-expo development. For this reason the municipality had to discuss with them the solution and redevelopment of the section of the city. The APL and Loures municipality were also included in the conversation. In the PDM, the eastern edge of Lisbon was still considered the new logistic platform. The integration of port and transport infrastructure was one of the main goals, considering these area crucial for the productive activities in the metropolitan area.

PDM 1994
PDM 1994. In orange we can see the Expo area, controlled by the new public company Parque Expo. Retrieved from: https://ptfdesenhourbano.wordpress.com/

The basic PDM intervention unit were the UOP (Unidade Operativa de Planeamento e Gestão). There were 30 UOP identified in the whole plan of which seven affected the riverfront (Costa, 2006). This author explains that the PDM was more specific than the PEL regarding the possible land uses, including industrial buildings refurbishment to host other programs, such as offices or housing. The relation with the APL was made via specific agreements for concrete issues, such as the port communication, roads and railway.

PUZRO

Once the Expo was finished, the planning horizon for the post-event period expanded until 2009. The municipality began to work on the redevelopment of the surrounding territory to integrate the “new urbanity island” the EXPO area was about to become (Matias Ferreira, 1999).

The new plan to regenerate the eastern edge of Lisbon was named PUZRO (Plano de Urbanização da Zona Ribeirinha Oriental – Urbanization Plan for the Eastern Riverfront) and continued the work developed in the plan for the surroundings of the Expo, practically assuming the same boundaries. The intervention area was structured around four axis, three running parallel to the river (Av. Infante dom Henrique, the interior street from Rua da Madre Deus to Rua Fernando Palha and the railway line) and the avenue Marechal Gomes da Costa expanding from the riverfront towards the north. In total, the covered area was 418,1 Ha, including 4,5 km of riverfront.

A first version of the plan was presented in 2001, although not approved, partly due to the remarks given by the regional development commission. Afterwards it was decided it would become an strategic document, finally republished in 2008,  renamed: “Documento Estratégico de Monitorização da Zona Ribeirinha Oriental” (Strategic Document for Eastern Riverfront Control).

Planta Puzro
PUZRO Plan The doted line indicates the boundary of the planning area. Retrieved from. http://www.cm-lisboa.pt

The original plan, although was never approved, it guided the redevelopment of the area during the following years, a process we have often seen in Lisbon’s recent urban history. The PUZRO included a detailed analysis of the existing industrial heritage, while at the same time, potentiated the redevelopment of large industrial sites and planned new public facilities. From this document several relevant detail plans were drafted, of which we will briefly mention two, Plano de Pormenor do Braço de Prata and the Plano de Pormenor da Matinha.

The first one, from 1999, consisted in the redevelopment of a military industrial site. Although initially included larger areas, it finally affected 10 Ha of land. Renzo Piano was the leading architect behind the project. Some of the most relevant features included the integration of the avenue Infante dom Henrique into the new urban structure, releasing the riverfront for a new public garden. This new green space was supposed to take place in port territory, and be paid by private developer. In figures the project proposed 142500 m2 plus 5500 m2 for public facilities. Being 72% for housing, 16% for economical activities and 12% for services. (Costa, 2006). The project has suffered several setbacks, and is today under development. For the moment only few structures are visible being unknown the completion date. In an interview with planners from the CML[18], it was said the property developers had presented an updated version of the project for approval, therefore it was supposed the construction should be resumed shortly.

In this plan the riverfront park was a relevant issue. It implied the release of port land for public use and a new green space financed by the private developer. In this case we can observe the possible malfunction and inefficiencies of the planning system. The APL released the land for the new green area in 2009[19]. The plan could bring positive outcomes, since it would give this area a new access to the river, increasing its appeal for further private investment. The problem, as it often happens when the public redevelopment depends of private investors, was the project delay. During this time the land has remained abandoned, without any maintenance. Since previously it used to be port land the port image is affected, due to the assumption the PA is still responsible for its caring. This situation raises the question about the relevance of public plans if the development of key elements relay on private hands.

460acf82450cce8ec13268d266f7700cc556830a
Braço de Prata plan. In the image we also see the Matinha plan. Retrieved from: http://www.cpu.pt

The second detail plan (Plano de Pormenor), concerns Matinha, between Braço de Prata plot and the Expo. In this territory we can find gasometer structures, acting as landmark from an industrial past. The final version of the plan was published in 2011, included the redevelopment of the area from the gasometers until the riverfront, affecting an area of 31,5 Ha, included in the UOP 28. Initially, the uses planned in the 1994 PDM for this area were related with investigation and technology. After the PUZRO was cancelled the municipality changed the program to mixed use including housing and tertiary activities. The project is characterized by a central green axis, framing the industrial heritage on one extreme, connecting with the riverfront park on the other. The new buildings are designed perpendicular to the river, following a similar concept to Renzo Piano’s project, but on a larger scale. The total construction area would be 339.305 m2.

matinha - risco
PP Matinha. This plan links the former Expo area with the new real estate development in Braço de Prata. Retrieved from: http://www.risco.org/pt

Since the plan was published the plot has not suffered any alteration. No construction nor real estate development has been announced, remaining an industrial landfill during this time. The location could be considered quite attractive, since it is near a new area such as the Parque das Nações (former Expo 98), but until now there has been no private investor. Once again the issue aforementioned appears, the municipality might produce plans but the redevelopment depends on market operations.

In the strategic document the interaction with the port was explained on article 7, indicating that any urban action to be taken within the realm of this plan must include PA approval.

Conclusion

The decade between the 1988 competition and the EXPO 1998 meant a significant change in the way local residents looked at the river. The Tagus was no longer just reference in literature and history, but a space for the citizens to enjoy. This period was also relevant in terms of planning and stakeholders positioning. The PA development/action path was narrowed due to the social protest, and to some extent marked its role for the following decade.

During these years the foundations for Lisbon’s contemporary development were built. The planning frenzy gave many projects, some of them still under construction today. The image of the city was transformed, as so it was the ambitions of the inhabitants regarding public space and riverfront areas.

Four key moments, happening almost simultaneously, decided the interaction between the actors. Although two of them did not left the drafting table, motivated either by their nature (ideas competition of 1988) or by the public repulse (POZOR), they set the course for action for the following years. The first brought attention to an issue until them ignored for decades, the relation between the city and the river, while the second introduced an innovative approach, such as the participative process, although it played against the own  interests of the APL, narrowing its future realm. The Port Authority, in the good tradition of Lisbon, did eventually developed some projects included in the plan although the document itself was not properly implemented.

The public discussion about the POZOR had a greater relevance than what it might have seen at the time. It was not just a rejection of planning ideas and design, it eventually decided what the PAs are and are not allowed to do in Portugal. The institutional rigidity did not occurred immediately, but, as we will see in following articles, it indicated APL’s future path and functions. Eventually new legislation was passed, a decade after the first plan, that narrowed the scope of the PA, limiting its capabilities.

 

 


References:

Administração do Porto de Lisboa.(2007) Plano Estratégico de Desenvolvimento do Porto de Lisboa – Relatório Síntese. Lisboa: Administração do Porto de Lisboa, 144 p.

Brandão, P. (1988). Prefácio. In P. Brandão & F. Jorge (Eds.), Lisboa, a cidade e o rio – concurso de ideias para a renovação da zona ribeirinha de Lisboa. (pp. 3–4). Lisbon: Associação de Arquitectos Portugueses..

Breen, A., & Rigby, D. (1994). Waterfronts: cities reclaim their edge. McGraw-Hill.

Buitelaar, E., Lagendijk, A., & Jacobs, W. (2007). A theory of institutional change: illustrated by Dutch city-provinces and Dutch land policy. Environment and Planning A, 39, 891–908.

Cabral, N. (2001). Giving New Life to the Riverfront Areas of the Port of Lisbon. Portus, (1), 32–37.

Castro, A., & Lucas, J. (1999). A Expo’ 98 – Cronologia de um Processo. In V. Matias Ferreira & F. Indovina (Eds.), A cidade da EXPO 98 (pp. 345–422). Lisbon: Bizâncio.

Cid, M. S., & Reis, D. (Org.) (1999). Documentos para a história da Expo ’98 1989-1992. Lisbon: Parque Expo 98 SA.

CML – Salgado, M. (2011) Proposta 2/12/2011.

Costa, J. P. T. D. A. (2006). La ribera entre proyectos : formación y transformación del territorio portuario, a partir del caso de Lisboa. Barcelona : Universidade de Catalunha.

Craveiro, M. T., & Soares, L. B. (1997). Ligar a cidade ao Tejo: zona ribeirinha – estratégia e programa de intervenção CML/APL – 1990-1995. In A. Caessa & M. Gomes Martins (Eds.), Actas das sessões do II Colóquio temático Lisboa Ribeirinha (pp. 401–406). Lisbon: Câmara Municipal de Lisboa – Departamento de Parimonio Cultural Divisão de Arquivos.

Craveiro, M. T. (2004). A retoma do planeamento estratégico 2001-2005 na cidade de Lisboa. GeoInova, 10, 221–239.

Desfor, G., & Jørgensen, J. (2004). Flexible urban governance. The case of Copenhagen’s recent waterfront development. European Planning Studies, 12, 479–496.

Figueira de Sousa, J., & Fernandes, A. (2012). Metamorfoses da cidade portuária: transformações da relação entre o porto e a cidade de Lisboa. Confins, (15). Retrieved from http://confins.revues.org/7702 ; DOI : 10.4000/confins.7702

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

Guimarães, F. J. (2006). Cidade portuaria, o porto e as suas constantes mutações. Lisboa: Parque Expo.

Leite, M. A. D. F. D., & Craveiro, M. T. (2008). Entrevista a Maria Teresa Craveiro: O processo de Planeamento Estratégico em Lisboa: Dilemas, desafios e resultados. Oculum – Ensaios, Revista de Arquitectura E Urbanismo, 165–174.

Matias Ferreira, V., Rodrigues, W., Casanova, J. L., Castro, A., Wemans, L., & Amor, T. (1997). Lisboa – A metrópole e o rio. (V. Matias Ferreira, Ed.). Lisbon: Bizâncio.

Matias Ferreira, V., & Indovina, F. (1999). A cidade da EXPO 98. (V. M. Ferreira & F. Indovina, Eds.). Lisbon: Bizâncio.

Morgado, S. (2005). Protagonismo de la ausencia. Interpretación urbanística de la formación metropolitana de Lisboa desde lo desocupado. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona. Retrieved from http://www.tdx.cat/handle/10803/6959

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

Pagés Sánchez, J. M. (2011). Frente ribeirinha e cidade. Equipamentos públicos culturais como solução de conexão e regeneração. Universidade Técnica de Lisboa.

Olivier, D., & Slack, B. (2006). Rethinking the Port. Environment and Planning A, 38(8), 1409–1427. http://doi.org/10.1068/a37421.

Ressano Garcia, P. (2007). Life and death of the Lisbon waterfront – Vida e morte do porto de Lisboa. Universidade Portucalense Infante D. Henrique.

Salgado, M. (2012). Reconquista da Frente Ribeirinha de Lisboa. Portusplus, 3(12).

Schubert, D. (2011). 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.

Ward, S. V. (2011). Port cities and the global exchange of planning ideas. In C. Hein (Ed.), Port Cities: Dynamic Landscapes and Global Networks (1st ed., pp. 70–85). New York: Routledge.

Wemans, L. (1999). A EXPO 98 – da avaliação económica aos custos sociais. O custo zero, a engenharia financeira e od défice de setenta milhões. In V. Matias Ferreira & F. Indovina (Eds.), A cidade da EXPO 98 (pp. 252–287). Lisbon: Bizâncio.

Legal Documents:

Decreto Lei 207/93 14 de Junho

Decreto Lei 100/2008

Decreto Lei 336/98 3 de Novembro

Projeto de Lei 85/VII presentado in 1996

Resolução em conselho de ministros 87/2009, em 3 de Setembro de 2009


[1] According to the strategic plans and activity reports, the Iberian peninsula is the main hinterland of the port of Lisbon, more specifically the western side from Madrid. For this reason it is relevant the competition with the Spanish ports. The agro-food industry grew considerably due to the investment in the 1980s. Currently the port still is one of the leading players in this type of cargo, competing with Girona and Barcelona. (APL, 2007)

[2] The large industrial conglomerates had a stronger presence in the south side of the river, with companies related to heavy actitivies, such as Quimigal in Barreiro, Lisnave in Almada and Siderurgia Nacional in Seixal (Costa, 2006, Nabais& Ramos, 1987)

[3]The law for this change was the DL nº 336/98 3rd of November. Lisbon’s Port Authority was then renamed as “Administração Portuária de Lisboa” (APL).

[4] Although this statement is widely accepted, some scholars like Costa (2006), mention the Casa dos Bicos refurbishment project, referred previously, as another important moment for the waterfront regeneration movement. This project had an important impact, however, from our perspective, is not as relevant as the following plans, since it was an isolated intervention, more linked with the identity value of the heritage and historic waterfront.

[5] The riverfront, as we can see in paintings and photographs, was mostly build, without a continuous public space along the water. In previous chapters we have seen how the concept of a Tagus promenade appeared in the 19th century, remaining in the general psyche. The access to the water were limited to the places where some economic activities were taking place, such as port, commerce or fishing. The only locations where a “leisure” by the water would take place was on the beaches in the western part of Lisbon.

[6] The committee was formed by representatives of the different stakeholders involved in the project. Initially it did not counted with the participation of the PA, but eventually, after the location of the exhibition was decided, the PA was invited, along with Loures municipality. However, the final decision depended of the national government. Different experts were also consulted, particularly in the initial stages to decide the location. The process has been well documented and can be consulted in: Cid, M. S., & Reis, D. (Org.) (1999). Documentos para a história da Expo ’98 1989-1992. Lisbon: Parque Expo 98 SA.

[7]Parque Expo was a QUANGO (Quasi autonomous Non-Government Organization). This sort of publicly owned development companies has been a common vehicle for urban development operations. We can see them in Hamburg, Oslo, Helsinki, and other port-cities. In the case of Lisbon, it continued to operate after the Expo, being responsible for urban management and facilities in the Parque das Nações. The company developed more projects, not just in Portugal. During the early 2000s it developed several riverfront green areas in different Portuguese cities integrated in the POLIS program. Parque Expo was deactivated on December 31st 2016, although its fate had already been decided in 2011 (http://expresso.sapo.pt/economia/2016-12-30-Parque-Expo-extinta-a-31-de-dezembro, consulted on 4/6/2017 11:50).

[8] This sort of operation it is not exclusive from Lisbon. In other waterfront operations similar schemes were followed, for example in Copenhagen. See Desfor& Jørgensen, (2004).

[9] Particularly relevant for this matter is the work developed by Matias Ferreira. Two books were published with the testimonies of different experts. “Lisboa, a Metrópole e o Rio” (1997) and “A Cidade da Expo 98” (1999). In the latter the issues that would affect the overall operation were predicted. The main critic was that in the end the operation was a requalification with new uses and high socio-economical classes, and not a proper regeneration as it was announced during the entire planning process.

[10] During the first stages of the planning and application process the state and the committee defended that the Expo would not cost the state anything, thanks to the real estate operation (Wemans, 1999)

[11]Castro and Lucas (1999) originally indicate 14 million contos, equivalent to 65 mill € approx. According to the National Statistical Institute of Portugal (INE) 65 mill€ adjusted to 2016, after the inflation would be ca. 105,8 million € (https://www.ine.pt/xportal/xmain?xpid=INE&xpgid=ipc).

[12] In the answer to the BIE survey from October the 7th of 1991, to evaluate the Portuguese application the committee explicitly indicated that the public owner ship of the PA by the central state was an advantage, granting the absence of any social conflict. (Parque Expo, 1999)

[13] The acronym NIMBY stands for: Not In My Backyard. These sort of civil movements opposing real estate or infrastructural developments can often be found in port related situations.

[14] There was a law project presented by deputies of the PCP, to reduce the powers of the APL. The project was: Projeto de Lei 85/VII presented in 1996 and finally dismissed. (https://www.parlamento.pt/ActividadeParlamentar/Paginas/DetalheIniciativa.aspx?BID=5581)

[15] Interview with APL representatives, Mariana Teixeira and Carla Matos, on December 16th 2015.

[16] The new major was Jorge Sampaio, later to become Portugal´s president.

[17]According to Craveiro & Soares (1997) the anchor projects were: Praça Afonso de Albuquerque, Cordoaria, Standard Eléctrica, Alcântara-Rio, Janelas Verdes, Aterro da Boavista, Ribeira das Naus, and Terreiro do Paço.

[18] Interview with Arch. Pedro Dinis, head of the public space department inside the CML. The meeting took place on December 21st 2015

[19] This agreement was based on the law DL 100/2008 stating the release of port land no longer hosting port activities. The official accord was approved by the Minister Council on September 3rd 2009  (Resolução do Conselho de Ministros 87/2009). In the Analysis Unit 3 this operation between the CML and APL will be further explored, since it included other riverfront locations.

Rethinking the Clyde Waterfront

Rethinking the Clyde Waterfront

On October last year I had the chance to participate in a workshop organized by the ISOCARP and ITACUS, in collaboration with Glasgow city council. The scope of the workshop was to gather a group of young professionals from different fields, such as (underground) engineering, architecture and planning, and produce visions for Glasgow’s waterfront, more specifically the western section. During one week we worked together in groups of five trying to find a coherent concept for the riverfront, combine our expertise. The final result was a report with the proposals developed by the groups.

Here we explain the proposal of the group formed by Juan David Herrera, Tierney Lovell, José M P SánchezWouter Pocornie and Nicolas Ziv. The work of the other groups is available in the report.

Welding the Weegie Waterfront:

The story of Lucy

As a result of decades of industrial decline, the Clyde waterfront is lacking in vibrancy, coherence, built character and a sense of place. There are a significant number of vacant and derelict sites, large areas of surface-level car parking, a number of sizeable monolithic land uses and little sense of the area’s historic legacy.

In addition, the site examined has particularly poor pedestrian connectivity. Both as a result of the Clydeside Expressway, poor east-west connections along the river walkway, poor north-south connections across the river and little access or visual connection with the river itself. This has created a sense of isolation away from the vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods around it, particularly Govan and the West End.

heritage
Industrial heritage on the site

The site has a rich heritage of great significance for Glaswegians (see section 2.3), although little tangible built evidence of this remains. Our group title ‘Welding the Weegie Waterfront’ makes reference to the area’s historic past, where the term ‘Clyde Built’ was once a world-renowned description of ships built with outstanding craftsmanship and quality. It is our intention to explore how the regeneration of the Clyde could take a similarly carefully-crafted approach that is rooted in the area’s sense of place and can once again become an area for which Glaswegians can take pride.

The site investigations that informed this report explored the extents of the area, from the City Centre to the working Govan shipyards, including both north and south of the Clyde. Surveying Finnieston, Partick, Govan and Pacific Quay, as well as the Riverside Museum, Govan Graving Docks and a number of vacant and derelict sites, we navigated the barriers of water and motorway infrastructure in the process. Evidence was gathered from conversations with local users of the river, and by getting down onto the water itself, with a boat ride. Both these particular perspectives have been primary inspirations for our strategy for the Clyde.

This has led to an approach that re-frames the city from the point of view of the river and re-examines the river from the perspective of the people of Glasgow themselves (or ‘Weegies’ – a perhaps controversial but familiar local term).

In line with this approach, we have created a persona through which to test our strategy for the site. While there will be more than one person’s perspective of the site, for the purposes of this study, we have explored one experience in detail. She has become an example of a Weegie who is exploring the Waterfront. We have called her Lucy MacDonald.

Lucy’s story and Lucy as a planning/participatory tool

The methodology

The methodology we have developed during the workshop is based on systems engineering and systems thinking. Our methodology is summed up in the diagram below:

methodology
The Methodology

Study the environment – site visits, maps and GCC presentations

The first step of the methodology consists of analysing the environment by a territorial diagnosis; both its constraints and its opportunities. Due to time limits and the format of the workshop, we analysed the environment with the help of Glasgow City Council’s (GCC) presentations, maps (provided by GCC) and two site visits. One visit was alongside the river walkway by foot and another one was by boat on the river itself. This analysis allowed us to define the present state of the Clyde waterfront:

  • Activities (site visits + GCC presentations)
  • Climate (site visits + GCC presentations)
  • Topography (site visits + map)
  • Built environment (site visits + maps)
  • Urban form (site visits + maps)
  • Geology (maps + GCC presentation)
  • Space use (site visits + maps + GCC presentation)

Define the needs –Lucy’s story

The next step in our methodology consisted of defining people’s needs near the Clyde waterfront. We asked the question – what do people want to do on, and near the waterfront? This focuses on assessing needs through desired future realities. This approach could be considered a ‘bottom-up’ approach because it emphasizes citizens as primary stakeholders.  What would we (as planners consulting the Council) like the people to be able to do in this area? This approach is more ‘top-down’ as it emphasises the public institution of the Council as a point of departure. Using both of these approaches – ‘bottom-up’ and ‘top down’ – will help to shape the future activities alongside the Clyde Waterfront.

A problem with urban planning is that needs are related to spaces, however, spaces are shared resources and people all have different needs. Therefore, it could be very difficult to satisfy every citizen of Glasgow with limited available space. Importantly, the renovation of the Clyde does not only require the determination and analysis of needs, but also frames the area’s evolution over time.  For example, for the next 20 years or more.

In order to understand how the site could be attractive to Glaswegians, we wrote the story of a fictional character: Lucy MacDonald. She’s a young woman who represents one experience of living on the Clyde Waterfront in the year 2040. Within the YPTDP workshop, we chose to imagine what life would be like for the people of Glasgow in the next 20 years as well as what could inspire them. During this workshop, we imagined one week* of Lucy’s life on the waterfront (but other timeframes could also be explored further – one day, one year, etc.). In essence, we are using Lucy’s story as a narrative for city development. This narrative could be further researched and more extensively analysed and enriched. Lucy is adopted as a persona that represents a specific demographic, and investigative research can help to build her story: What are her needs in 2040 that would help to attract this demographic to Glasgow?

In this workshop, we only used one persona. We used the story of Lucy, but stories of other Glaswegians with different characteristics (varying demographics – gender, age, socio-economic background, etc.), could also be imagined to explain the needs of other Glaswegians. While infinite stories could be told, for the purposes of this planning tool, the number of personas should be limited and carefully targeted, in order to explain the necessary variation of experience, while allowing people to focus on the planning proposals. The story should be used to assist the planning process. It’s an enabling system that allows the principal focus in the project to remain at the centre: Rethinking the Clyde Waterfront. In our project this is: Welding the Weegie Waterfront.

Ideally, even Lucy’s story itself is written by Glaswegians themselves. If made possible, Lucy’s story could be used as a participatory tool.**  Glaswegians writing the story themselves could be arranged, for example, by using a combination of big data and social media. Popular channels on social media could enable various ways of interacting, rating, and providing content. Examples of these are Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter.

week

participation

Locate Lucy’s activities in space and time

Lucy’s needs are then translated into activities. This step consists of assigning spaces as well as a specific timeframe (i.e. time of day/week/year) that allow activities to take place. Activities are allocated to space and time independently. Since one of the objectives by GCC was to implement place-based solutions, we use the Clyde as our main spatial departure point. Looking from the Clyde, we explored potential zones along the Waterfront, crossing the banks and, in so doing, reactivating them. Lucy’s story provides this perspective from the Clyde to the city.

Allocate activities on the surface

The first space allocation takes place on the surface, on the banks of the Clyde, above ground. During the workshop, and as a direct result of site analysis undertaken, we created a series of layered maps allocating various activities to different spaces. Each map layer explored one type of activity distributed along the waterfront.[1]

As a starting point, we identified where Lucy’s activities were already present near the Clyde and developed them, where necessary, by improving or expanding their program and functions.

For new activities to the Waterfront, sites were allocated in relation to the varying spatial requirements for different activities. These were then strategically coordinated in order to have activities throughout the day (and night) alongside the Clyde.

Allocate activities in time

One objective of the Glasgow City Council is to transform the Clyde Waterfront into a vibrant place. According to this statement, activities should be allocated to have activities on the Waterfront throughout the day. Certain activities had to be re-allocated to meet this requirement.

Allocate activities on the ground, above the ground or underground

The result of this methodology was that different activities were superimposed on the same space. The following possibilities were formulated:

  • To use the same space for different activities at various parts of the day;
  • To use underground and above ground spaces for a multitude of various activities;
  • To combine both possibilities;

[1]Layer such as:  Business; Green/Landscape; Living; Road network & infrastructural nodes: station, highway, bridges; Sport & Health; Education; Culture

Design and engineering

After activities have been located in both space and time (in a way that addresses citizens’ needs as much as possible), it is then necessary to develop spatial solutions for each defined activity. This moved the process from planning towards more architectural- and engineering-based conversations. Within the group, architects and engineers then worked together to define the best solutions within the technical constraints.

These engineering and architectural constraints then led to further strategic conversations around the allocations of activities in both space and time. There were two main types of constraint; the constraints arising directly from the product itself (structural constraints, technological constraints, geological constraints, etc.) and the constraints caused by the enabling system (organizational, regulatory, contracting, financing, etc.). During the development of the product, they both interact and influence each other. In system engineering this process is explained by the “Vee-cycle” development tool:

v
Vee-cycle development tool

This cycle explains the classic development of a product starting with defining the needs towards its operation, and later the destruction/reuse. It starts with formulating “system requirements” towards “component” requirements in the evolution of the project. During the workshop, we only studied the system requirements due to time constraint. We can see that both constraints from the proposed system and the enabling system can influence the solution.

For example, at times, we decided that it could be useful to have two underground storeys and four aboveground storeys to house the activities defined by Lucy’s needs. However, due to geological constraints 2 underground storeys were not possible (this constraint comes from the proposed system) and because of the Local Development Plan it is not possible to have more than 3 floors (this constraint comes from the enabling system). Then we will have to find another solution to undertake the activities, for example to find a new space on the Clyde, or to lower the quality of service related to the chosen activities. There is a feedback loop between the citizens’ (personas like Lucy) needs and the architectonic solution developed by architects and engineers.

Vision/Strategy: From the city to the river and from the river to the city – working with the edges

Lucy on the waterfront

During our analysis and site visits, we were able to experience the river directly from the water. Our perception of the river was transformed when viewed directly from a boat rather than from the more conventional viewing points along the riverbanks. We also noticed that the river is unique in its ability to connect the city from east to west. In order to change the role of the waterfront in the city and to reactivate it, we decided that it was crucial to work with the edges and to capitalize upon the river’s potential to connect the city from east to west.

In our story, Lucy Macdonald is able to spend her whole day along the waterfront. In this imagined future, it is possible to be by the river, experience different interactions with the water and enjoy the unique atmosphere found along the Clyde. At the moment, the riverbanks work almost exclusively as a fast bike-lane. People use it to travel east-west, from the outskirts to the city centre. One of the goals of our proposals is to complement the existing program, creating spaces where people would like to stay, not just pass by quickly.

rdm_campus_4
RDM Campus in Rotterdam

Lucy’s typical day would begin in a new start-up hub, next to the shipyards, where an opportunity area has already been detected by the municipality. After an entire morning working in her new company, she would then cross the river to go for a run. Lucy could cross the Clyde with a new ferry service or the Clyde Tunnel, now improved and more pedestrian-friendly. On the north side of the Clyde, she would jog along the river enjoying the widened and improved public space that now continues more seamlessly to the city centre. Later, she could either study in the knowledge centre, meet a friend in a café or go shopping in a new retail area.

The Edges – Active topographies

02-insitu-berges-du-rhone
Riverfront of Lyon by In Situ Architectes Paysagistes

The quay walls of the river Clyde currently act as a vertical barrier that keep the people far from the water. To improve this situation, we propose to deconstruct these edges, creating a “soft” transition between the river level and the city level. Bringing people closer to the water, and ‘softening’ this transition is, we believe, crucial to the redevelopment of the Clyde. Within the site boundary, several locations where the idea of platforms at different levels could be implemented, were identified. These varying heights could allow a more intense integration of different programs, creating a complex and “active” topography.

chicago-riverwalk_01
Chicago Riverwalk by Sasaki

The following images illustrate different examples of urban waterfront regeneration, bringing people closer to the water. One example, Lyon, creates several typologies of public spaces by the water, where people can stay, run or play. These lower spaces offer protection from the traffic existing on the ground level and give people a new perception of the river and their city’s relationship to it. Chicago has adopted a similar approach, but on a different scale. The river, which clearly has an urban character, is far lower than the street. Making the most of this height

stringio
EWHA University Campus by Dominique Perrault

difference, it was possible to implement a program of cafés and restaurants under street level and closer to the water. This intervention has brought life and diversity to the river bank. It is no longer just a place for sports but also a place to go out at night or have coffee after lunch. Working with different levels brings a panoply of possibilities, from educational programs to roof gardens. The Ewha University of Seoul provides an example of the possible integration strategy the Knowledge Centre where Lucy might study could adopt. The possibility of reading, studying or seeing an exhibition while also looking at the Clyde is a luxury that should be explored in Glasgow.

sketch-2-b
Sketch of the possible reconfiguration of the Clyde edges

The aforementioned idea requires certain features that are not available along the Waterfront. For this reason, our approach has been tailored to specific sites, and some locations require a totally different approach. On the western section of our intervention area, the new Glasgow Harbour residential development is situated. These new buildings are located close to the river’s edge, making it harder to implement the idea of the deconstructed edge. However, the main goal of experiencing the Clyde from different perspectives can nonetheless still be achieved. Instead, increasing the existing public space with a cantilever platform would also bring people closer to the water and to the centre of the river. This intervention would help to strengthen the continuity of public space along the waterfront, creating an atmosphere that is civic and public. In different places on both banks we noticed the feeling of privatisation of common space. The edge was in some cases fenced and impeded the parallel circulation and connection. The new platform could also be complemented by a second floating element along the same section. Here people might be able to touch the water or engage with boats and other floating elements. These ideas, which could also be implemented in other areas along the river, aim to regenerate the relationship between Glaswegians and the water.

sketch-1b-copia
Sketch of an alternative reconfiguration of the Clyde edges

Identity on the waterfront

Our proposal is titled “Welding the Weegie Waterfront”. This term appeals to the vernacular of Glasgow and Glaswegians. It refers to a sense of place based on local identity. We believe the plan to be developed in this city should respect and enhance its existing heritage and identity. Along the edges of the river, the idea of identity and heritage is found in remnants of the river’s shipbuilding past. For example, the different former shipyard ramps could offer a third type of interaction with the water. These elements, on both banks, are presently abandoned. They present interesting characteristics that could provide another dimension to the waterfront: the connection with the past.

 

The final idea for the edges, which affects the entire Waterfront from east to west, is to develop a common identity for this part of the city. The use of a common design language could improve Glaswegians’ perceptions of their river, and could also emphasize the history of the activities that took place in the past along the waterfront. Despite their absence, they continue to contribute to the identity of the city. Remaining heritage elements, from the crane to the former shipyards and the bridges, are currently isolated episodes along the Clyde. An intervention that celebrates the area’s historic assets could improve the quality of the space and the mental image of the Waterfront. We can find an example of this approach in Oslo, where the Havnepromenade works to connecting the entire waterfront. This project stretches along 14 km, linking 14 stations, which explain the history of the local industries along the river. A common language could also be found for urban furniture, graphic design and the design of public spaces. This intervention would be able to, on the one hand, respect different character areas along the waterfront, while also ‘welding’ the river’s edge in its entirety on the other.  It would result in a more coherent image of Glasgow in the mind of Glaswegians and visitors.

Site projects

Lucy’s needs and activities have helped define the main features that may need to be developed along the banks of the Clyde and its vicinity. This section focuses on the site-specific approaches that have been developed at three sites along the river. Building on the approaches outlined in the previous section, a multi-level/multi-purpose approach has been developed to give the river back to the “Weegies” and to weld their roots, needs and well being.

Clyde river banks and Quay walls:

scheme-1
Site Project 1: Clyde river banks and Quay walls

Here is where Lucy’s story showcases a new way to interact with the Clyde river. As outlined above, the intervention alongside Glasgow Harbour could be enriched by the use of cantilevering platforms and floating pontoons. In other zones along the river banks, the quay walls may be able to be modified in order to allow a softer transition between the water level and the current street level. In those locations, the use of concrete structures and prefabricated modules may help to establish a strong water connection for both the north and the south banks of the Clyde.

Another important approach to the quay walls is maintenance. In some places of the Clyde river, there are some quay walls that have failed or are showing some structural affectation. This could be a unique opportunity to implement new structures that connect the street level and the river. They would be less robust than the actual walls and more durable (time). Referring to relevant hydraulic information of the Clyde river would help define where this kind of solution is feasible, taking into account the new uses the river will have (there is no need to have strong quay walls to support the ships docking, etc.), thereby giving to the community a new space for commercial activities.

Some complementary works and further exploration of the particular characteristics of the structures (water resilience, easy cleaning, etc.) will need to be carried out in order to create a new environment that can withstand water level variations as well as enable more active uses of the river banks.

Multi-Level North-South Multilevel Connection (MLNSC)

scheme-2
Site project 2: MLNSC

Even given the short time surveying the Clyde, it became evident that between the “Clyde Arc” bridge and the Clyde tunnel there exists an immediate need to establish stronger physical north-south connections. In developing this idea, it became apparent that two important landmarks could define destinations and zones where this new infrastructure could be placed. The Kelvin river, which flows north to south, and the Riverside Museum standing isolated where the Kelvin meets the Clyde, provide a strong axis and key nodes for what we will call the Multi-level north-south connection (MLNSC).

 

 

In order to define the characteristic of this MLNSC, there are two main features that have to be evaluated. The first is the Clydeside Expressway; the east-west motorway along the north bank of the river, and the second is the River Clyde itself.

One common approach could be to bury at least two kilometres of the highway to create a new pathway for north-south connections. However, there is another opportunity that could also overcome the highway “barrier” as well as delivering new useful and weather-protected spaces to Glasgow. This alternative is an underground gallery which starts near the Yorkhill hospital development site between Finnieston and Partick and ends to close to the Clyde river quay walls in front of the Govan Graving Docks.

Is important to note that this underground gallery is conceived and designed as thoroughly integrated with surface level activities. Instead of being conceived as underground, it is viewed as a shifting ground plane. Indeed, the “interface between the above and below ground realms appears to be a critical factor in the acceptability and success of underground spaces.”[1] In this kind of underground work, Glasgow has the advantage of easily excavatable geological conditions in which several tunnels and underground passages have already been developed.

panorama-3
Proposed location for the MLNSC

 

vision
Schematic drawing of the MLNSC

The other main feature of the MLNSC is the crossing of the Clyde river from the north bank (next to the underground gallery exit) to the Govan graving docks. This connection is conceived as an elevated ‘green’ bridge, with no intermediate pillars nor cables that could interfere with the view from the bridge to the river and the new public spaces along both banks. The use of high strength materials (concrete, steel, etc.) must be considered during the detailed design of this structure.

Finally, the MLNSC will need to be complemented with multi-storey and active buildings that facilitate accessibility to different levels and hence ‘activate the section’. These developments should be used to strengthen the connection between ‘underground’ and elevated passages as well as the ‘deconstructed river edge’ as described earlier. These shifting ground planes will establish new relationships with the river and help Glaswegians to get in touch with the water once again.

Govan Graving docks multipurpose, heritage-focused activities

The Govan Graving Docks offer a significant opportunity to bring new activities into the existing heritage structures to both reflect Glasgow’s important history of shipbuilding, and host new and diverse events.

scheme-2
Site project 3: Govan Graving Docks

First, a renewal of the old dock gates will be required in order to guarantee their watertight function. Next, the emptying of water out of the docks will provide new and unique spaces to the city to be used for local markets, commercial venues, cultural meetings, etc.

Another use for these newly revitalized Graving Docks could be a water retaining structure. A new connection to the sewer system, based on a complete hydraulic design, could enable this empty space to retain excess water during rain periods, allowing the collected flow to be disposed to the Clyde river in delayed stages. The purpose of this design is to ensure that the total flow in the river channel would never exceed its design capacity. As a stand-alone water retaining structure, the Govan Graving Docks could not be the city’s sole method of flood control, but if complemented with similar spaces located elsewhere along the Clyde river course, the cumulative effect could be of great help in mitigating Glasgow’s flood risk.

Conclusion: Welding the Weegie Waterfront takeaways

Our proposal is a way to address the core issue in planning the Clyde waterfront: its lacking in vibrancy, coherence, built character or a sense of place. The proposal aims to improve the connectivity through ‘welding’, which is a process of connecting various areas across the Clyde via new and existing infrastructure. The process is rooted in place and referencing the legacy of the place’s history.

The workshop provided the opportunity to explore how the regeneration of the Clyde could take a carefully-crafted approach that is rooted in the area’s sense of place and can once again become an area for which Glaswegians, or Weegies,  can take pride. This approach can consist of a planning methodology that adopts the persona of Lucy MacDonald and recounts her daily activities in a narrative style.

This methodology could very well be expanded to allow more participants from Glasgow to be involved and become stakeholders. It has a potential to become a participatory tool in planning and our proposed channels are social media and big data. Therefore, Lucy’s story is an approach that re-frames the city from the point of view of the river, while re-examining the river from the perspective of the people of Glasgow themselves. From the perspective of implementation, the story should be used to assist the planning process as an enabling system, which allows the principal focus in rethinking the Clyde Waterfront to remain: Welding the Weegie Waterfront.

It is place making through systems thinking. In systems thinking, two types of constraints must be taken into account:  the constraints arising directly from the product itself (structural constraints, technological constraints, geological constraints, etc.) and the constraints caused by the enabling system (organizational, regulatory, contracting, financing, etc.). During the development of the product they both interact and influence each other and, in systems engineering, this process is explained by the “Vee-cycle” development tool.

Our vision is to change the role of the waterfront in the city and to reactivate it. In essence, the project site is both the problem and the solution. Our strategy could be understood as threefold:

  1. Lucy’s story provides a persona and narrative that focus principally on the Clyde Waterfront. Lucy Macdonald is able to spend her whole day along the waterfront. In this imagined future, it is possible to be by the river, experience different interactions with the water and enjoy the unique atmosphere we find when visiting the Clyde.
  2. The Edges – Active topographies are examples of urban waterfront regeneration, where the result is bringing people closer to the water. In order to achieve this, it is crucial to focus on the edges and also to capitalize upon the river’s potential to connect the city across the river.
  3. Identity on the waterfront: interesting characteristics that could provide another dimension to the waterfront, which enable a connection with the past. In terms of the image of the city, this component aims to unify the area on a larger scale through a design language.

Our proposed approach to planning and our strategy are illustrated with three site projects:

  1. Clyde river banks and Quay walls is primarily reconsidering the edges of the Clyde river. It aims to create a new environment that can withstand water level variations as well as enable more active uses of the river banks. In other zones along the river banks, the quay walls may be able to be modified to create a softer transition between the water level and the current street level.
  2. Multi-Level North-South Connection (MLNSC) portrays the potential of involving engineering in urban design in an early phase. To restructure major infrastructural components, for example by shifting ground planes, new relationships with the river will be established. This will enable Glaswegians to get in touch with the water once again.
  3. The Govan Graving Docks look at the potential redevelopment of the docks in Govan, south of the Clyde. They have a high potential for becoming a water retaining structure and, if integrated into wider city networks, could reduce the risk of flooding.

[1] Think Deep: Planning, development and use of underground space in cities. ISOCARP, ITA-AITES, ITACUS. Netherlands, 2015.

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.

14481764_10154618986052437_1095595737268120536_o
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.

home_gcc_mp19433_mi_cw_mcateerphoto-1
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.

untitled-2
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.

untitled-3
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.

helsinki-11

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).

DSC_2655
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.

port 2
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.

111-570x350
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].

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.

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.

1606510_734428806594088_3054476428480451298_o
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.

montage2
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.

EIC-gebouw
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.

genova-magazzini-del-cotone-citta-dei-bambini
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).

DSC_3928
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.

image
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.

12961749_995453087235858_5726718745448012428_n
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.

CALES-OBSCURES_affiche2016-web-1

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.

hafengeburtstag1192_v-vierspaltig
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

17413palrjpo2016_960__052473200_0906_04052016

 

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.

753113325_B978666096Z.1_20160515144043_000_G976PT6Q4.1-0
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.

Fortezza-Vecchia-61
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

 

printscreen

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.

Fig5_small
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/

 

 

 

Reuse and musealization of port related heritage in Lisbon

Reuse and musealization of port related heritage in Lisbon

Lisbon: a Mediterranean city

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is placed in the Atlantic coast. However, when we analyze the culture and the history of the city, we can notice that its roots are clearly linked to the Mediterranean Sea. The cultural palimpsest present in the urban structure and its heritage comes from the different great civilizations that at some point ruled this region. Its urban evolution can only be compared with other Mediterranean port-cities like Marseille, Genoa or Barcelona, where the same civilizations of the past also left their mark and the port played a crucial role for the urban development. The relation between Lisbon and Portugal with the Mediterranean region was studied by one of the main Portuguese geographers of the twentieth century, Orlando Ribeiro. In his book ”Portugal, o Mediterrâneo e o Atlântico” (1987), developed a detailed study on Portugal’s dual nature, i.e. a country which is Atlantic by location but mostly Mediterranean in culture. This book had a wide impact, since Ribeiro deepens in the concepts of Atlantic Europe and Mediterranean Europe, linking central and southern Portugal to the Mediterranean culture and northern Portugal (together with Galicia) to a pan-Atlantic European culture.

Lisbon had a constant evolution as an important port-city along its history. During roman times it was named Olissipo and it was integrated in the province of Lusitania. In the middle ages was controlled by the caliphate of Cordoba until it was reconquered by the Christians in 1147. Only in 1255 it would become the capital of Portugal.

Figure 1
Plan of Lisbon in the sixteenth century according to the engraving from G. Braun entitled “Theatrum Urbium”. Retrieved from the National Library of Portugal (cota CC-381-A).

The golden era of Lisbon arrived on the fifteenth century during which it was the capital of a growing empire. Famous explorers like Vasco da Gama or Magalhães departed from this city on the search for new land. The overseas colonies gave Lisbon a relevant international role in several fields like politics, commerce and culture. During this time the port was the soul and heart of the city. The activities here developed had an immediate impact in the urban structure and its inhabitants. Like in most port-cities, in this early stage the interaction between both entities was very strong, there were no strict barriers and the whole city was related to the port. During the sixteenth and seventeenth century the Iberian commerce developed rapidly and Lisbon remained as one of the main ports in the path from the Mediterranean sea to territories in Asia, Africa and South America.

During the eighteenth century the fade of the Portuguese capital changed dramatically. Due to the decline of Portugal as an overseas empire other port-cities took the leading  role Lisbon used to have. Finally in 1755 a natural disaster changed the structure of the city. In 1 November an earthquake with the epicenter in the Atlantic ocean close to the Portuguese sore took place. The effect of the seism combined with a tsunami and fire caused mass destruction and the death of many[i]. After the catastrophe the city was forced to develop a reconstruction plan for the downtown, the most affected area. The head figure during the whole process was the Marquês de Pombal, the powerful prime minister designated by the king D. José I. There were several proposals for the  redevelopment of the city center, the majority of them guided by the ideals of the time i.e. building more rational, healthier and logical cities. The principles followed by Carlos Mardel and Eugenio dos Santos, the engineers responsible for the project were precursory to the ones followed by Hausmann in Paris later on (Pardal,2003).

Figure 2
Reconstruction flan for the Baixa by Eugénio dos Santos, Carlos Mardel and E. S. Poppe. Retrieved from “Atlas de Lisboa. A Cidade no Espaço e no Tempo”, coord. Maria Calado, Lisboa, 1993.

 

The break up between City and Port

Already before the great earthquake there were plans for the regularization of the waterfront to improve the port infrastructure. During the nineteenth century the waterfront was one of the main issues in Lisbon. Besides the needs for an improvement in the docking conditions, there were several public health problems that were caused by the lack of souring and the dejects that were thrown directly to the river. Several authors have identified different proposals for the redevelopment of the riverfront, including partial or more general plans. The new port facilities were often incorporated in designs that included as well new urban tissue, including bourgeois areas with workers neighborhoods. Another novelty was the presence of new green spaces and in some cases, like the plan from Thomé Gamon in 1870, the riverside boulevard, a public space inexistent until that moment (Barata, 2009).

Finally the legal figure of the Port Authority was created in 1887, and the port became an autonomous place. This new institution was developed simultaneously with the first general plan for the port of Lisbon, which structured an industrial development mainly in the center and western part of town. The East part followed an unstructured growing process, initially small industries, but later on larger industrial complexes, that functioned almost autonomously (Costa, 2006). The Industrial Revolution, originated in England in 1780s[ii], accelerated the production process and as consequence also the transport chains. These changes had a fast impact in the port. Heavy machinery started to be used, the size of the vessels increased in short time, so did the volume of cargo and the need for space to store it. In this metamorphose the port became gradually a closed area between the city and the river. We can read in statements from writers of that period how the port began to be seen as an obstacle for the relation with the Tagus.

Figure 3
Plans comparing the coast line in 1871 and 1911, from Alcântara to Cais Sodre. Source: “Arquitectura” nº137,1980, P.29

Contemporarily, other important infrastructure was being developed that also caused changes in the waterfront. In Lisbon the first railway was inaugurated in 1856 connecting the capital with Carregado outside the city, towards the north-east. In the other direction the impact was even greater. In 1895 the railway between Cais do Sodré, near the city center, and Cascais to the west was opened. It was designed along the new coastline, and run parallel to the port and the river, next to the new Avenue  named Avenida 24 de Julho. This infrastructure immediately developed a new barrier between the city and the Tagus. The alienation process did not stop there; new avenues and heavy roads were also created to give answer to growing traffic and the needs of the city .

During the twentieth century almost the entire Lisbon coast line was artificially regularized, in order to increase the port activities and accommodate the new ships. As mentioned before, the process started in the west, but eventually continued to the east, reaching outside the municipality boundaries[iii].

All these changes ended the interaction that for so many centuries took place in the waterfront. The open activities related with the river were reduced to few fish markets and the free urban access to the water could mainly happen in the main square, Praça do Comércio, and the beaches outside the city center. The port was seen as an external element that, although employed many inhabitants, had a negative image, associated with the “sailor’s towns”, source of pollution, danger, prostitution etc (Rudolf, 1980).

In mid twentieth century a technological innovation in the transport industries increased the alienation process. The container, created by Malcolm Mclean in 1956 (Amenda,2011), increased the port needs for more storage areas, mainly outside the urban boundaries. In cities where this was not possible, the port intensified its activities within the urban structure. In Lisbon this meant that the existing barrier (fence plus infrastructure) was accentuated by a vertical wall of containers in the terminal handling this cargo. This new change caused an even heavier mechanization process, with an inhuman scale, and the feeling that in the port areas the inhabitants were unwanted visitors. Since 2004 the port authorities have to implement the ISPS Code (International Ship and Port Facility Security), that closes even more the port areas to the city and harms the possible interaction.

The new access to the river

In 1940 the Exposição do Mundo Português took place in Belém, in the western part of the city. Due to the celebration of this event, the Portuguese government took the initiative to redevelop a section of the waterfront area, allowing the local inhabitants to regain access to the Tagus river. It was planned following the example of the world exhibitions, but focused on the former Portuguese colonies and the ancient  overseas empire. The historical meaning and the connections with the past were inevitable so it was crucial that the inhabitants and visitors could reach the water and enhance its vision of the city. In the project the issue of the barrier was handled for the first time creating an underground crossing.

Unfortunately the exhibition was not followed by other projects with the same scope. The issue of the river connection remained in the dark until the late 1980s. In 1988 the first competition related with the river took place and the waterfront problem became again a “hot topic”. Already in this event the coordinator Arch. Pedro Brandão appealed to the regeneration of the waterfront considering it a crucial part of Lisbon’s identity (Brandão, Jorge, 1988). The winning project addressed the barrier problematic and proposed several visual axes and new public facilities that would recover the connection with the water in a more symbolical way.

Finally, by the end of the 1980s and early 1990s, the first steps towards a complex vision of Lisbon’s waterfront were given. Initially the extension of the recovered area in Belém gave the city a new public space by the river. At the same time several pedestrian bridges were built in order to overcome the barrier. There was also a change in the inhabitant’s idea of the river[iv]. They started to demand the connection to the Tagus, and noticed how important it was for the city’s identity.

In the last 30 years we have seen an important improvement in the relation between the city and the river. In this paper several examples will be presented where we can observe how the rehabilitation of port buildings helps the healing process of the wound between the city, the river and the port. At the same time the question remains whether all the effort made regarding the refurbishment of industrial heritage has really helped the port to establish itself as well as an identity element for Lisbon.

We must notice that in recent decades (1990s -2000s) several plans have been developed, in which the issue of the relation with the river has been gaining more attention. These documents often included studies and research regarding the Tagus and the waterfront. Some examples of these kind of plans are:  the strategic plan of Lisbon, POZOR (plan for the riverfront), Plano de Pormenor de Alcântara, the PDM (the city’s masterplan) or the  Plano Geral de Intervenções da Frente Ribeirinha de Lisboa (Salgado, 2013). Most of the time these plans had idealistic visions, sometimes too ambitious, to become a reality.

pg_intervencao copy
General Plan of Interventions in the waterfront of Lisbon. Source: http://www.cm-lisboa.pt/

The most relevant waterfront urban development in Lisbon was the 1998 EXPO, which had as main theme the oceans. This plan was focused in the redevelopment of an area of 380 Ha, mostly described as a port brownfield although it included several working industries and companies and low income housing. The planners followed a tabula rasa concept leaving only the former refinery tower as a landmark from the industrial past of the place. The redevelopment was supposed to boost the urban development towards the east from the city center, however it created a new “island” of urbanity, with a new approach towards the river. The results were mainly positive regarding the relation with the Tagus, creating new public spaces in the waterfront but without attracting the urban development that was expected. Some of the current main leisure centers, Pavilhão Atlântico, Museu da Ciência, FIL, Vasco da Gama mall, are reconverted expo-facilities in what nowadays is called Parque das Nações.

In the present moment approximately 11 of the 19 km that form the Lisbon waterfront are accessible to the public[v]. On the riverfront we can find different examples of interventions,  from different scales and approaches. We can see public and green spaces newly developed, but also spaces that are deeply related with the past. In the 1990s several authors observed the potential of this industrial and port related heritage and highlighted the importance it could have for the city, not just as museums or sculptural elements but also as assets that could complement the existing public needs.

The existing heritage has been thoroughly studied and to be properly described it would require a long term investigation. For this reason it was decided that this paper would only focus on three different kinds of projects that have already been developed and can show the variety of spaces and the different approaches that can be taken.

In the first place we will present the two projects that dealt with the public space and the evolution of the urban structure and uses, these are the  Praça do Comércio rehabilitation and the Ribeira das Naus. The second group of interventions are single industrial buildings of large dimensions that have been restored or partially refurbished, and are mainly used for cultural activities. In this category we can find the EDP Electricity Museum, the Orient Museum and the Cordoaria. Finally in the third group we will analyze the old docks warehouses that in the 1990s were recovered for leisure activities. Two different cases will be explained, the Docas de Santo Amaro and the Jardim do Tabaco.

 

FIRST GROUP OF INTERVENTIONS: PUBLIC SPACES

Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square)

The current layout of Lisbon’s main square comes from the reconstruction plans,  although before the 1755 earthquake this was already the main meeting place of the city[vi]. As it still happens today, around the square the buildings hosted the power institutions, ministries, and, as it names indicates, some of the merchant companies. For the design of the buildings and the public space several proposals were made, but the main characteristics remained unaltered. The size was determined by the urban plan and the layout of the buildings did not change considerably. Like it happened with the overall plan, the construction took several decades until it was totally finished, in the 1875, when triumphal arc was concluded. Praça do Comércio is one of the biggest squares in Europe, with an overall dimension of 180×200 m and 35000 m2. It is a perfect symmetrical design with two central elements, the statue of D.José I and the mentioned arc, from where the Rua Augusta, the main street of the plan,  starts and connects to other square from the Baixa plan, the Rossio.

Over the centuries the use of the central space has changed many times. Initially was envisioned  as the main representative space but rapidly it became appropriated by the citizens. On the arcade we can find besides several ministries and govern agencies, some historic cafes, like o Martinho da Arcada. Although the U-shaped layout remained unaltered, what happened in the central space went through different phases. At the beginning of the twentieth century it had trees in order to give shade to the users, and later on, until few decades ago, it was a central parking lot. This evolution could serve as a metaphor of the evolution of the role that the waterfront space as suffered. This is the most representative space of Lisbon, where in ancient times, but also during the twentieth century, world leaders were welcomed. The mutations in the perceptions of the space are a good sign of how resilient cities can be.

In 1992 an idea competition was made. Although there was no winner design, the main concepts were taken from the proposal developed by the architects Pedro Pacheco and José Adrião who took the second place. In this project the architects developed a new strategy for the use of the arcade and new pavements that would give back to the square the nobility with which it was originally thought, but at the same time providing a new versatility for urban functions like events or concerts (Macedo, 2011). The construction process was complex due to several issues, among them the groundwater or the complications caused by the construction of the subway directly under the square. Finally in 2007 after many political changes Praça do Comércio was redeveloped with a new project by a new architect Bruno Soares who was directly chosen by the newly created public company Frente Tejo[vii]. In 2010 the square was reopen to the public, with a new design for the central space including a new pavement characterized by stone diagonal stripes that increase the visual dimension of the square. The project maintains the arcade program for cafes and restaurants, leaving the door open to new uses like museums or commerce.

Figure 4
Praça do Comércio, Author: José M P Sánchez

Since the renovation the square has become once again part of the city’s collective image. Besides being one of the main tourist attractions, is one of the main public scenarios for events and political demonstrations. The river gets inside the city’s urban tissue thanks to the geometry and the scale of the square, nowadays more recognizable than what has been for the past half a century.

Ribeira das Naus

This space is the ancient shipyard of Lisbon. In the images developed by Braun in the sixteenth century we can already see evidences of a shipyard in the waterfront next to the royal palace. In this naval plant were built the ships that would later connect with the overseas colonies. After the 1755 earthquake the shipyard was rebuilt in the same location, remaining an area only accessible to the workers, therefore not public. This industrial site remained active until the first half of the twentieth century when in 1939 the navy decided to close the site. This change allowed the construction of the road that connected the east part of the city with the west, running parallel to the river.

The designer in charge was the landscape architecture office, PROAP, led by João Nunes. The project started in 2009 and was finished in 2014. The project was divided in two phases, a first one regarding the riverfront and the redevelopment of the avenue, and a second one which still is in progress that includes the “land part”, concerning the dry docks and the green areas. After its opening several changes were made to the original project, since the intense traffic required a different pavement for the road section.

The project follows a concept of micro-topography, increasing the contrast between the different historical times that left a footprint in the area, and at the same time reinforcing the connection with the river. Also the water edge was redone and giving the inhabitants a space where they can get in contact with the river, something missing in Lisbon’s urbanized waterfront.

The improvement of the space is clear, especially when compared with the previous stage. The presence of a green area in the waterfront is something that until this moment existed only in Belém, including the Junqueira waterfront, and in the Parque das Nações. This new area invites people to stay by the Tagus river and functions not just as connection area between two historical public transport nodes, but also as a place to stay.

The most critical aspect is the presence of the road that still runs in the middle of the project. This is an element of conflict because it breaks the project into two sections and does not allow the full usufruct of the new developed space. The issue regarding the east-west connection has remained problematic since the city started to develop along the waterfront. The traffic crossing the city center is one of the main problems of Lisbon. Since the completion of the mentioned avenue in the first half of the twentieth century, it has been clear that it is necessary to find another solution. The construction of a tunnel to diminish the impact of the traffic has been discussed several times, however the technical and budget difficulties have held the project still. In other port cities we have seen that the only solution for the crossing traffic is to create a tunnel or an elevated connection. Both options imply considerable investment and difficulties for its realization. The municipality however has decided to continue with the development of new green spaces next to the waterfront without addressing this problem.

Figure 5
Ribeira das Naus, Author: Lola Sánchez Pérez.

SECOND GROUP OF INTERVENTIONS: THE LARGE SINGLE INDUSTRIAL BUILDING

In a second group we can find what once were important industrial buildings directly related with the port. This typology is characterized by its great dimensions, that in the last decades have made them very attractive for exhibitions and events.

In chronological order from the moment when they were built three cases will be explained, the Cordoaria Nacional, Central Tejo (Electricity Museum) and Pedro Álvares Cabral Building (Orient Museum)

Cordoaria Nacional

The ancient Royal Factory of Cordoaria da Junqueira, was built in the late eighteenth Century, after the earthquake, by order from the Marquês de Pombal. In this building the ropes, cords and flags for the different ships that departed from Lisbon’s port were manufactured (Nabais, Ramos, 1987). Its location nowadays does not allow the same relation with the river like it used to be before the shore line was artificially rebuilt. The building was modified when the waterfront was changed by landfills to allow the railway connection from Cais do Sodré to Cascais. In ancient cartography we can see that the south façade was directly on the water and that both two ends used to be considerably larger, this last modification took place later when the path of the railway was modified.

One of its most peculiar characteristics are its dimensions, it is almost 400 meter long and 50 wide, being one of the longest buildings in Europe. These particular proportions were directly related with the industrial activities that were developed inside.

This example of industrial architecture is considered nowadays a national monument and hosts the navy archives, a naval school and two main galleries prepared for temporary exhibitions and events. Although there are several program using the space simultaneously, the building it is not fully recovered, particularly the interiors, and still does not have a clear purpose.

Figure 6
Cordoria Nacional. Author: Lola Sánchez Pérez.

Its situation in the city, in Belém, surrounded by urban voids, in front of the infrastructural barrier and its particular morphology increases the complexity of a possible full rehabilitation. Very often it is an topic of public debate.  For several years was planned to adapt the Cordoaria for hosting the National Archeology museum or the Navy Museum, but the intervention has proven difficult and costly. The building does not has the conditions for  permanent exhibitions or guarantees the climatic needs for delicate artifacts.

At the moment this area still waits for the completion of a plan in order to redevelop its connection to the river and find a permanent solution for the space.

Central Tejo

The second case is the Electricity museum, also in Belém. Built in the early twentieth century, the industrial complex known as Central Tejo, functioned from 1909 until 1972. The most representative building was finished in the mid-1920s and it is a good example of industrial architecture heritage. Its red brick façade has become an important landmark in Lisbon’s waterfront, and it represents the evolution of the city into the industrial times.

Figure 7
Central Tejo. Author: Lola Sánchez Pérez.

During the first half of the twentieth century was the main power plant in the city. It played a key role producing energy for many uses, like the railway line that runs parallel to the river, heading to the west.

Although the industrial activity stopped officially in the end of the 1970s, it was only recovered for cultural uses in the 1990s, when started to work as electricity museum. More recently, since 2006, reopened its doors as the EDP Museum, owned by the major electrical company of the country. Besides the main exhibition it also hosts temporary events.

Its privileged position on the shore increases its monumentality, especially considering that it is an isolated volume on the sore without any other buildings in the surroundings to compare with. At the same time it is placed in Belém, with many other monuments and cultural centers, integrated in the cultural urban structure.

At the present moment the EDP is building another cultural center next to the EDP Museum. This new project, signed by the British architect Amanda Levete, has also generated much discussion regarding the architecture, the location and the real need for this new building. Its sinuous shapes will create a great contrast with the place and the preexistence.  Also this project changes partially the river line, something that it was not initially allowed in the municipal plans.

This new facility, along with the EDP Museum and the coaches Museum reinforces the idea of a cultural axis along the river, developed in the strategic plans by the Lisbon municipality. This strategy has been occasionally criticized, considering that Lisbon already has museums and cultural centers with considerable budgets and great expenditure of public money.

Pedro Álvares Cabral Building

The final case in this group is the building that hosts the Orient Museum. This construction from the 1940s, project done by the architect João Simões Antunes, is a remarkable example of the architecture of the regime the Estado Novo. Being the original program a codfish warehouse, it almost has no windows in the façades, accentuating the monolithic aspect of the volume. In 1992 stopped functioning as a warehouse and it closed its doors until 2008 when reopened as the Orient Museum, run by the Fundação Oriente.

Figure 8
Edificio Pedro Àlvares Cabral. Author: Lola Sánchez Pérez

The renovation project was signed by one of the most renowned contemporary architects in Portugal, João Luis Carrilho da Graça. During the construction process there were several issues to be solved related with the previous activity of the building, the very low free height of the several floors forced the architect to find a complex distribution scheme[viii]. Another problem was the strong codfish odor that remained in the building; this issue was finally solved and did not compromise the normal operation of the museum.

Its urban situation is relatively complex, considering that it is placed in Alcântara, where several port activities are still functioning.  It is near the container terminal, the customs and navy guard facilities. Also at the front of the main door exists the infrastructural barrier that separates the city from the river. This issue might be the most critical aspect of the project in terms of urban planning.  As we analyze the building, we can see that it is not properly connected with the surroundings, which include a train station from where visitors could arrive.

Even with these problems, this example shows us that although the original use of the building was very specific and that the morphological features of the preexistence were not easy to incorporate to current uses it was possible to recover for a new program totally different from the original function.

THIRD GROUP OF INTERVENTIONS: THE PORT WAREHOUSES

Finally the third typology is the docks warehouses, that between the mid-1990s and the 2000s were refurbished for recreational activities. Two cases will be presented although there are many others along the riverbank in Lisbon[ix].

The first case is the Santo Amaro docks, also popularly known as “Docas”. As we have previously seen, in this zone the port activities are still functioning, where we can find the container and the cruise terminals among others. Also there are several buildings that host offices and companies related with the port. In the beginning of the 1990’s this was one of the first waterfront sections where former port buildings were transformed to host recreational uses. The warehouses were restored by privates with the support of the port authority (Rêgo Cabral, 2011). In the same area two recreational marinas were created, Santo Amaro and Alcântara.

Figure 9
Docas de Santo Amaro. Author: José M P Sánchez

We can see that this area is in a relative central location, west from the Praça do Comércio. Several public transports reach this place and is one of the waterfront sections where we can clearly see the barrier effect caused by some port sectors. Considering that there is a complex mix of functions, we can realize the consequences of having an industrial port within city boundaries, and the problems that it can generate, related with traffic and the accessibility requirements of trucks and cargo transport.

In terms of program there is a key difference with the previous cases. In the previous cases there is a cultural function, but in this case the main role is played by leisure activities. This is important for the urban waterfront regeneration in order to insure the diversity of what sort of programs can be developed in this part of the city. This aspect is crucial to make sure that the river is present in the everyday life, even though when it is only the background picture.

The industrial architecture of these warehouses has been very often reduced to a simple container for activities, which can be understood when we see that there is no special protection, unlike what happens with the other cases that are considered national monuments. Although this might be an issue if seen from the heritage preservation point of view, it might have been a positive aspect when seen from the business perspective, considering that allows more freedom to private entrepreneurs and the rapid occupation of these buildings.

A second case study is the Jardim do Tabaco. This is also a docks warehouses ensemble, like the previous one, but placed east from the Praça do Comércio.  The name is related with the tobacco customs placed in the area around the seventeenth century. It follows the same model as the ones presented before, former docks warehouses refurbished to host restaurants, bars and clubs; reinforcing the idea of nightlife by the river. A different aspect is the fact that in these buildings we can also find different shops facing the city side.

In this area of the city we can feel again the effect of the barrier and the lack of adapted pedestrian paths, especially considering that we are nearby the main square and different subway connections. In the near future we should see important changes in this section of the waterfront since the new cruise terminal will be built here.

The two cases briefly explained show other model of intervention in the waterfront, which also integrates the preexistence buildings but develops a different activity and purpose. The mix of uses present in the riverfront areas is a key aspect in order to insure the presence of people with different schedules, activities and needs.

Conclusions

When analyzing Lisbon’s waterfront we see different types of interventions. Until the present moment there has been a relative positive balance between brand new interventions, like the Parque das Nações, and the recycling and reuse of port buildings heritage. This is a key aspect to ensure the good relation between port and city and reinforce the urban identity. As we have seen in this paper there is not just one way to reuse the existing buildings.  In the waterfront many different activities can take place and it is important that it happens so.  We cannot just destine the river banks for green areas and museum, but also the different urban programs that we find in our cities, from culture to offices, from education to housing. In many Mediterranean cities we can see how port heritage has been recovered for different uses, like in Barcelona the Atarazanas, in Genoa the Magazini del cottone and in Marseille the industrial silos.

Through the different examples that have been here presented, we can see how important it is to plan beyond the scale of the building. In order to increase the effect of the reuse of port heritage to new activities, we have to ensure that it is well connected to adjacent areas and also linked to urban transport networks. Elaborating urban plans that take in account the different systems acting in the city, helps us to face the complexity and the conflicts between different realities. In port-cities this conflict is always present and we have to consider how the different elements interact between themselves, in order to find a balance and reach a status quo between port and urban activities.

In the process of waterfront urban regeneration several actors play key roles and there has to be a constant dialogue in order to reach good results. When talking about port cities we have always to consider the port authorities, their rules and their priorities. The municipality must have clear course for action or as we have seen there is the risk of leaving the city in an impasse, without going forward to a better relation with the sea or river. In many Western  Mediterranean cities we also see the important role played by public companies dedicated to manage the urban regeneration. These companies could be a good way to deal with conflict and coordinate the process.

Port-cities have an even more complex reality than other cities. The way their roots are connected to the sea or river makes them special. We have to plan our cities in order to get in touch with our roots, respect the identity and find a development model for the coexistence between port and city.

 

This paper is an improved version of the article originally presented in the  fifth Colloquium on Mediterranean Urban Studies, hosted in Mersin in October 2014.


[i] The debate regarding the death caused by the seism is not settled. According to some sources the earthquake could have caused from 10 000 to 100 000 casualties. The effects of this natural disaster were felt in the entire continent. Other Portuguese and Spanish cities suffered the shakes and destruction of the quake. The tsunami could have reached the coasts of Brazil several hours after it occurred.

[ii] The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain and spread to Western Europe and the United States within a few decades. The precise start and end of the Industrial Revolution is debated among historians. Eric Hobsbawm held that it ‘broke out’ in Britain in the 1780s and was not fully felt until the 1830s or 1840s, while T. S. Ashton held that it occurred roughly between 1760 and 1830. Joseph E Inikori (2002)

[iii] Several researchers (Costa, Barata, Fernandes, Figuiera de Sousa among others) have studied the evolution of the industry along the waterfront of Lisbon. Costa identifies different stages that include changes of the scale in the industrial facilities but also their location in the urban tissue. The industry evolves from a smaller scale developed near the center (Praça do Comércio) and the west side of the city, to bigger conglomerates in the eastern section of, and finally to the autonomous complex in the south side of the estuary.

[iv] The urban waterfront regeneration projects have become a global phenomenon. During the 1960’s the first projects were developed in North America , after that we see an evolution until today’s most recent interventions in Hamburg, Rotterdam or Marseille. This kind of plans have become usual in port-cities. The inhabitants from these same cities regained the notion of important urban spaces by the water are.

[v] In the sustainability reports from 2007 and 2008 it is explained that 76% of the waterfront under the jurisdiction of the port authority (205 km) is accessible to the public. The issue is the fact that most of the heavy port activities are placed in the waterfront of Lisbon. In the report from 2007 it is said that 41% of the territory controlled by the port authority in Lisbon (15,9 km) is accessible to the public. This figure is the lowest of the 11 municipalities that have contact with the port.

[vi] In fact the king D. Manuel I changed his residence in 1511 to the palace placed in the waterfront, an area that later came to be known as the “Terreiro do Paço.”

[vii] This public company was supposed to coordinate all the projects related with Lisbon’s waterfront, including as well the Ribeira das Naus and the Carriage Museum in Belém. After several public scandals the company was closed and did not continued with other possible projects. This “quango” could have worked as a interesting tool for the development of the waterfront heritage and coordination of plans.

[viii]http://www.jlcg.pt/museu_do_oriente

[ix] We can find other recycled docks warehouses in Cais do Sodré, Alcântara, Parque das Nações and Xabregas.

Questions and thoughts on the Port-City relation

Questions and thoughts on the Port-City relation

Last week Valentina Comitini, a student of Political Science for International Relations from Livorno, raised several questions about the Port-City relation, Port Centers and Port Authority. She is currently working in the Port Authority of Livorno and wanted to discuss these interesting issues.Here are the answers to the questions that might be worth sharing.

Port-City Relation

What kind of progress has RETE done in order to make the discussion on port-city issues more active and dynamic?

I assume you are already familiarized with the main characteristic of RETE. They have a very specific geographic scope, mainly Spain, Portugal and Italy, and South America. In my personal opinion their biggest strength is the academic network and the publications they produce. Portus and Portusplus have been, for over 10 years, an important reference in the field. Many of the best know scholars have contributed to with their articles and many study cases have been described with interesting approaches. Recently, couple of years ago, they transferred their paper publications to a very dynamic website with an important database available to everybody interested in the subject. As you know there are other international organizations, like the AIVP, ESPO, IAPH, AAPA, all of them produce technical documents very relevant for the different port and municipal authorities, however none of them has in my opinion this academic “muscle”. I would recommend to have a look at the book of their 10th anniversary, where many well known experts (Hoyle, Ducruet, Schubert, among others) wrote an article about their preferred subject.

Besides the constant academic activity they also give occasional lectures and workshops, not open to the public, and they have two annual meetings, usually reserved as well for members.

Which port cities that had invested in urban acupuncture projects could be used as a model to eliminate urban voids coherently with a sustainable development?

First of all it could be interesting to think about the value of the void in the urban environment. Perhaps the problem is the quality of the urban void or the integration in the urban tissue. Regarding this issue we can find considerable academic work from well know authors, as well as master and PhD thesis. The concept of “Terrain Vague”, defined by Solá Morales in his book Territorios, is a fascinating subject particularly due to its repercussion in the urban identity and the development of the post-industrial city.

Sola Morales

The theory of urban acupuncture from Jaime Lerner is a very interesting approach for the development of the urban tissue. The classical example is Barcelona, although the solutions were not always linked with the issue of the relation between the port and the city. I would recommend to have a look to the work of Oriol Bohigas. Another good example is Zaragoza, with the project “esto no es un solar“. Although this city does not have a seaport the initiative is worth mentioning.

From my experience I cannot point out many others port-city examples, perhaps Rotterdam, Marseille or even Helsinki. I do not remember of an organized initiative but rather isolated actions that after could be described as a development path. I think that Berlin, that has a river port, is probably the most relevant example nowadays, but again is not focused on the relation between port and city. The case of Seattle, the Olympic Sculpture Park, is also a worth noticing.

The question is very interesting and worth developing a serious investigation about it. During my architectural studies, along with some colleagues, we worked on this topic, almost contemporary to the Lisbon’s architecture triennale, also focused in the urban voids. In the master thesis we developed a model for Lisbon, in which using the existing urban voids in the port-city interface we could improve the connection between city and port and overcame the infrastructural issue. Again this is academic work. 

 

In the future of port cities, will be there a link between energy produced in the port and renewable energy sources?

There is already a link in some port-cities. In several ports around the world policies for producing clean energies are being implemented. Ports occupy vast territories in which wind or solar power plants can be developed. Besides this issue you already find several cases where the extra heat produced in the power plants in ports is being used for the heating system of villages that are placed near the port. I would advise you to have a look at the case of Rotterdam, probably one of the most advanced cases regarding the energy issue.

What I think it could eventually happen is a delocalisation of the power plants, since many of them are placed in the port because is where they receive the raw materials. If they did not have to use this energy sources they could be placed in other locations. On the other hand if you ask the big energy companies they might say that it is easier and cheaper to adapt the power plants to new systems than building new ones from scratch.

The energy issue is a problem that goes beyond the port and the port cities, it affects our entire society and development model. For example nowadays in several ports the transformation of raw material (coal, oil, etc) into refined products, like gasoline, kerosene etc takes a considerable amount of their industrial park and the cargo through. If we change the production model and the use of fossil energy sources (oil, coal) to a system where we produced the energy ourselves, e.g. using solar panels, the implication for the port territory will be very serious.

Port Center

What are port centers’ plans for the future regarding the communication issue?

First of all is important to understand that every port center should answer to their specific context. Although there are some issues than can be common to all port cities, the specificity of the context will change the priorities, the resources and the communication strategies.

We are currently working on a new document in the AIVP around the issue of the Port Center. The answer will be long and with different topics.

The communication issue has been one of the main problems for ports and industries. Ports have the characteristic that, in most cases, they have been a crucial element for the city identity. Over the last century ports became closed territories in all senses, physically and socially. The Port Centers and the use of soft values have come up as some of the most

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.

efficient tools to recover the relation between the city and the port. In my opinion the biggest challenge these spaces will face is the people’s engagement in the port-city agenda. The Port Centers can develop very interesting exhibitions using infotainment, particularly with the new technologies – Livorno is good example of this, however that might not be enough. The links with the existing local institutions and the creation of debates around the topic of the port-city relation should be, in my opinion, one of the ways to proceed. The social media, if properly used, can help in this mission. In many cases the Port Center is created by the PA or the PA is one of the main partners, the issue that might come up is the fact that the people might doubt their independence. Therefore they must be able to show all aspects that affect the port-city relation, including the possible negative externalities, and transform this into a debate/dialogue, where the local population is active and can participate in the quest for a solution. I believe that we must find a way where all stakeholders (port, municipality region, civic society, companies …) feel their ideas are taken into account. This way, including everybody in the solution for the port-city problems, would grant a bigger commitment and also to share the responsibility of the decisions.

The procedure above described is probably only possible for the Port Centers that are well established, after a first phase focused in information, when the locals can have a more passive role.

Obviously the main target group of most port centers is the younger generation. The education of the children and teenagers is crucial for the future of the port-city relation, and for the port itself. The tools that we know already seem to be efficient, however there is a constant need for adaptation to the new technologies and the generations. For this issue the cooperation with pedagogic experts is very important.

I believe the port visits are the best tool that the port community has to explain the port and generate a certain fascination among the youngsters and adults. The “wow” effect of being near cranes and ships cannot be replaced by games, maps or posters, though they are complementary. The people are getting more curious everyday about the world we live in. The amount of information available is greater than in any other time. We have to provide the experiences than are unique of the port and cannot be done in a computer screen. There is a growing trend related to industrial tourism, this could be one example of activity that Port Center could relate with, complementing their usual exhibition and events agenda

Port Authority

What are the new main strategies of port authorities for getting the Social License to Operate?

There are several key vectors that in my opinion PA can develop to achieve the Social License to Operate (SLO). First of all transparency and information. The majority of PAs are public companies, the common good it’s supposed to be the main goal. Port Centers and communication strategies can play a key role in this issue. The people will probably better accept the port activities if they understand what are the main port activities, what impact they have in their daily life, where does the PA invest the money and they will benefit from it.

Second strategy is the innovation regarding the role of the PA. If you check Rotterdam for example, they have evolved from landlord to a more active role. They are involved in a project call the RDM Campus, where they collaborate with university to help start up innovative companies. Ports no longer provide the jobs they used to, this is clearly linked to less social support. If the PAs are able to be more active in this field, and the people notice it I believe the SLO will be easier to achieve.

RDM_Campus_buitenaanzicht_Innovation_Dock_1280x853
RDM Campus Source: rdmrotterdam.nl

Finally I think that the proper “use” of the soft-values could raise the awareness regarding the Port-City identity. If the people understand that the port is part of their history, it is more likely that they accept their presence and support the port activities.

Which soft values could be improved by PAs ?

In many port-cities we can find cultural institutions that develop the port-city identity and the soft values. Regarding the PAs we can find different levels of engagement. The support of related initiatives could be the base line that PA can develop. From social events like port days and marathons to cultural initiatives such as movie or photo festivals. Most PA’s in Europe are already active supporting this type of events.

In a different level they could in many cases improve the management of port heritage. From cranes to warehouses and other constructions, we can find many examples in which these elements are not handle properly. Very often they do not play any role in the port activities any more. These are assets that can be use for urban activities or port business possible to combine with the city. Usually they are difficult to manage but in several cases the PA could ease the process. For example the Silo Hennebique in Genoa, or the J1 in Marseille.

j1-marseille (2)
J1 Warehouse Source: http://www.madeinmarseille.net

In general terms there should be a better strategy to cooperate with institutions that are focused in the same issue, the soft-values of seaports, in order to increase their disclosure and have a more holistic vision of this subject.

What are the best strategies to make negotiations between PAs and municipal authorities easier ?

In the study cases that I had the chance to analyze one of the common issues was the lack of understanding between both authorities. In most cases when the representatives of both institutions sit in the negotiation table they are too focus on their own problems rather than in the greater picture, and/or do not make the minimal effort to understand the other side. I believe this issue happens in more institutional negotiations. The problem is that if nobody is willing to understand the other side is harder to find a compromise.

 I think that one possible strategy would be to have a workshop or lecture for the participants in the negotiations where they learn the difficulties of the other side. If everybody is aware of the existing problems in both sides they should be more willing to find a commitment.

In some cases there have been experiences where a common work group with representatives from both sides work together, therefore the negotiation does not have a specific date or deadline with opposed partners, but it is a common work, developed for a long time integrating all the issues into a single proposal. If you look at the analyzed study cases you will find that in some of them new platforms with people from both sides have been created, for example Stadshavens in Rotterdam.

Stadshavens
Stadshavens Rotterdam

To all the answers above you can add the human factor as a crucial issue. The future of Port Centers, Soft Values management, how to obtain the SLO or the negotiations will be handled by persons that will eventually be responsible for the success or failure of all these issues. The quality of the professionals in charge, their attitude towards the problems and the commitment with the city and the port will affect the development of the relation. The quality of the solutions and the port-city relation does not depend of the size of the port or the city, is not a matter of rankings. We can find very interesting approaches in some leading port-cities like in Rotterdam or Antwerp, but also in smaller cases like Livorno, Ghent or Dublin. It will be very interesting to see how the synergies between port and city evolve in the future and how we are able to find a sustainable development model.