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The Port and the City On board diary José M Pagés Sánchez

Hafencity Universität Der Übersee-Club e.V. 1


The Port and the City On board diary José M Pagés Sánchez

Hafencity Universität Der Übersee-Club e.V. 3

Copyright © 2016 by José Manuel Pagés Sánchez All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the author, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the email address below. All the photographs of this book taken by the author (José M P Sánchez) are copyrighted. For any reproduction and/or commercial use a previous agreement with the author is required. The images retrieved from internet sources have been properly referenced and the author of the book does not claim their ownership. If any of the included material has copyright issues or its owner wants it to be removed please get in contact at the email address below. This book is purely an academic noncommercial exercise, no economic profit was obtained on its making. This book is not intended to be sold nor to achieve profit. Frankfurt am Main, 2016


Contents Foreword and Acknowledgments


1. Lisbon Act 1 - First stop: Lisbon Act 2 - The Lisbon Experience Act 3 - Photo essay


2. Oslo Act 1 - Heading North: Oslo Act 2 - The Oslo Experience Act 3 - Photo essay


3. Helsinki Act 1 - The daughter of the Baltic Sea: Helsinki Act 2 - The Helsinki Experience Act 3 - Photo essay


4. Rotterdam Act 1 - The biggest port in Europe: Rotterdam Act 2 - The Rotterdam Experience Act 3 - Photo essay


5. Marseille Act 1 - Oldest city in France: Marseille Act 2 - The Marseille Experience Act 3 - Photo essay


6. Genoa Act 1 - The Italian case: Genoa Act 2 - The Genoa Experience Act 3 - Photo essay


7. Lisbon Act 1 - Final stop: Back to Lisbon


8. Conclusion Port-City governance. A comparative analysis in the European context.



“The ancients built Valdrada on the shores of a lake, with houses all verandas one above the other, and high streets whose railed parapets look out over the water. Thus the traveler, arriving, sees two cities: one erect above the lake, and the other reflected, upside down. Nothing exists or happens in the one Valdrada that the other Valdrada does not repeat, because the city was so constructed that its every point would be reflected in its mirror, and the Valdrada down in the water contains not only all the flutings and juttings of the facades that rise above the lake, but also the rooms’ interiors with ceilings and floors, the perspective of the halls, the mirrors of the wardrobes. Valdrada’s inhabitants know that each of their actions is, at once, that action and its mirror-image, which possesses the special dignity of images, and this awareness prevents them from succumbing for a single moment to chance and forgetfulness. Even when lovers twist their naked bodies, skin against skin, seeking the position that will give one the most pleasure in the other, even when murderers plunge the knife into the black veins of the neck and more clotted blood pours out the more they press the blade that slips between the tendons, it is not so much their copulating or murdering that matters as the copulating or murdering of the images, limpid and cold in the mirror. At times the mirror increases a thing’s value, at times denies it. Not everything that seems valuable above the mirror maintains its force when mirrored. The twin cities are not equal, because nothing that exists or happens in Valdrada is symmetrical: every face and gesture is answered, from the mirror, by a face and gesture inverted, point by point. The two Valdradas live for each other, their eyes interlocked; but there is no love between them.“

Valdrada city, from “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino, is the first of “cities and eyes“. Translation by Daniele Perrone


O Tejo é mais belo que o rio que corre pela minha aldeia O Tejo é mais belo que o rio que corre pela minha aldeia, Mas o Tejo não é mais belo que o rio que corre pela minha aldeia Porque o Tejo não é o rio que corre pela minha aldeia, O Tejo tem grandes navios E navega nele ainda, Para aqueles que vêem em tudo o que lá não está, A memória das naus. O Tejo desce de Espanha E o Tejo entra no mar em Portugal. Toda a gente sabe isso. Mas poucos sabem qual é o rio da minha aldeia E para onde ele vai E donde ele vem. E por isso, porque pertence a menos gente, É mais livre e maior o rio da minha aldeia. Pelo Tejo vai-se para o Mundo. Para além do Tejo há a América E a fortuna daqueles que a encontram. Ninguém nunca pensou no que há para além Do rio da minha aldeia. O rio da minha aldeia não faz pensar em nada Quem está ao pé dele está só ao pé dele.

Alberto Caeiro, in “O Guardador de Rebanhos - Poema XX” Heterónimo de Fernando Pessoa


14 650 Km 16 Posts 6 Cities

35000 Words19 Interviews

15008 Photos oSLO






Foreword and Acknowledgments This book is the result of a work developed along a research trip during the autumn of 2015. I am most grateful to the Übersee-Club for providing the opportunity to develop this research project framed in my PhD investigation that started in 2014.The texts here presented are the transcription of the blog where a regular contribution narrating the travel was made. The writing style is from the blogging world, therefore the language, the form and expressions are more informal than the usual scientific language. The last chapter of the book is the only scientific text present in the publication and it is a paper to be presented in the AESOP Young Academics Congress. I would also like to thank the interviewees that conceded me the time and opportunity to meet them, giving me key insight about the relation between the port and the city in their town. Also an acknowledgement is required to all the researchers that have worked in this complex issue that is the relation between port and cities, I based my investigation in their previous findings, if they are not properly quoted in the different chapters of the book is due to the more agile writing required for online posts. As Bernard of Chartres once said “We are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size”. During the research trip I was able to participate in two congresses and other events related with urban planning and ports. In this venues the interaction with colleagues brought other direct and indirect inputs that complete my work. To be able to produce this work I counted with the priceless help, affection and patience of my life companion, Sílvia, who has been listening and supporting me, particularly along the almost 4 months this travel lasted. I would also like to thank my family for their support from the distance. Finally I want to acknowledge the role of my supervisor Prof. Dr. Dirk Shubert for his guidance and orientation. The current publication is not the final step of the way, but another stepping stone in the long process a PhD investigation is. This book is not a request from the ÜberseeClub but an academic exercise I most willingly do. Since I am not a professional writer, publisher or even researcher (yet) I humbly apologize for any mistakes this work might contain. The complete research can be visited in:


19 Interviews Rui Alexandre Mariana Teixeira Carla Matos Pedro Dinis Vidar Fiskum Anne Trine Hoel Stein Kolstø Satu Aatra Rikhard Manninen Isabelle Vries Martin Aarts Stijnie Lohof Règine Vinson Claire Halle Alexandre Sorrentino Stefano Russo Paola Gianpietri Antonio Pastorino Nicoletta Poleggi


Lisbon O S l o

H e l s i n k i




The Journey - posted on 31/08/2015 Thanks to the Ăœbersee-Club I will be able to make a trip around Europe visiting the different port-cities that constitute my study cases. These cities are: Hamburg, Oslo, Helsinki, Rotterdam, Marseille, Genoa and Lisbon. The journey itself will start with on week in Portuguese capital, and then two weeks in each other city, except from Hamburg, since it is in Germany it could not be included in the official itinerary for the international trip. The main goal of this travel is to be able to analyse the local realities and the relation between the city and the port in the different contexts. The selected study cases represent an heterogeneous sample of port cities, they have different size and play different roles as ports and cities in the national and international stages. In some of these cities the industrial port still is a significant part of the urban tissue, as in Genoa or Hamburg, and in others the main cargo activities have been placed outside the city like in Helsinki or Oslo, where mainly sport, leisure and passenger port uses are still located in the city center, and most of the former port areas have been regenerated giving birth to significant urban waterfront regeneration projects. During my visits to the different cities I will not only observe the reality of the place, but also get in contact with the different stakeholders involved in the process, mainly the Port Authorities and the Municipalities. As in any relationship it is crucial to communicated and to listen to both sides of the coin in order to get a real picture of what is happening. When the journey comes to an end in December, I hope I was able to identify the main elements that allowed these cities to improve the relation with the port. The time is limited and the scope challenging. All the progress that I am able to do, all the interviews and personal opinions will be published in this blog. As I said before, this page will be the on board diary of this adventure!



1st stop

Lisbon 38°42’50’’N 9°8’22’’W September 1 - 8, 2015

Act 1 - First stop: Lisbon

The Journey will start with one week stay in Lisbon, my hometown. The Portuguese capital used to be the main port of the country, but in recent years it has suffered several strikes and political conflicts that affected its performance and the trust of the companies operating in it. On the other hand in the last years we have also seen a considerable increase in the number of cruise passenger coming to Lisbon, 9% in the first semester of 2015. Another important information about Lisbon is the future expansion of the port in the south side of the river, in Barreiro. It seems the location of the new container terminal has been decided and in September they should say which company will do the environmental impact study and the initial project. Lisbon, a difficult relation between the port and the city. The relation between city and port in Lisbon has not been so smooth as in other cities like Hamburg. Many inhabitants see the port as something standing between them and the river, impeding them from a more fluid relation with the Tagus. If we see the history of the city we can observe that, as it happened in many other port cities around the world, in the end of the XIXth and the beginning of the XXth centuries many important infrastructures were developed along the coastline, creating a barrier between the river and the city. The discussion about the relationship between city and river has been long taking place. In the 1940 the first try to bring both together took place during the “Exposição do Mundo Português”. In the western part of the city for the first time public areas by the water were created, and the first connection under the railway lines was made. After that in the


Satellite view of Lisbon Source: google earth

Future Barreiro Terminal Source:



late 1980’s the issue was again a matter of great concern and we could see several initiatives that increased the public discussion. Particularly relevant was the competition that took place in 1988, titled “Lisboa, a cidade e o Rio – Concurso de ideias para a renovação da zona ribeirinha de Lisboa”, organized by the Portuguese Architectural Association. After the competition the waterfront issue started to be more present in the municipal agenda and in several master plan that came afterwards, some of them specifically focused in the riverfront areas, like the POZOR from 1995, an initiative from the Port Authority. New public spaces by the river in the west part of the city, between Alcântara and Belém, were developed, following the new plan. Three years later the International EXPO 98 took place in the east part of town, regenerating an area that was partly a port brownfield and container handling terminal. This area, that comprehends 5 km of Lisbon’s waterfront and around 340 Ha, was supposed to act as a new attraction pole for the development of the city towards this direction.

of the urban tissue from the city center to the east. One of the very few projects that actually started to be built was the housing development signed by Renzo Piano, “Jardins de Braço de Prata” a project that started in 1999 from which we still can only see the concrete structure from one of the planned buildings. Since the 1940’s the port of Lisbon has been freeing up several areas of the waterfront that were no longer suited for port activities and opening them for the city. At the same time is the leading partner of some of the most important projects that will happen in the river shore, like the new cruise terminal, a project from Portuguese architect João Luis Carrilho da Graça. Other relevant projects on the waterfront are the “Jardins da Ribeira das Naus”, a garden by the river that links one of the main transport hubs with Lisbon’s main square, or the development of a new museum sponsored by the electrical company EDP. The plans for the future are also very ambiExposição do Mundo Português Source:

Today we see that the area once occupied by the EXPO 98 is a new part of the city where a healthy relation with the river has been established but it has not worked as the development pole that it was supposed to. In fact very often the perception is that it has remained as an island of contemporary architecture and new urbanization, but somehow segregated from the adjacent neighborhoods without providing the expected attraction to the development


tious. Besides the aforementioned terminal and museum, in the east part of town another important public area is planned, the eastern riverfront park. In the area adjacent to Piano’s project and stretching until the Parque das Nações (former EXPO 98) enclosure. As we said at the beginning of the post, the port of Lisbon has been losing market to its national and international competitors in cargo handling, mainly in the container sector. At the same time it has also been doing considerable efforts in order to improve the use of the available spaces to release the ones that are no longer appropriate for port use. For this reason is the new container terminal also very relevant, since it could indicate if there will be any changes in the activities in the spaces in Lisbon’s riverfront perhaps to other uses more adequate for the coexistence with the city, or if we might see other areas being released for urban development and public space.

the port was cutting the relation with the river. What is not so clear is what actions is the port authority developing in order to improve its relation with the city and the way the inhabitants percieve it. It would be interesting to confirm if the Port Authority is pursuing any particular strategy regarding the use of soft-values for the interaction with the city. There are also interrogations regarding the impact of the cruise activity. This industry has experienced an important growth in recent years and is relevant for the sustainability of the city to have a course of action to deal with this particular form of mass tourism. Lisbon constitutes the main study case of the research because there are significant changes taking place and because the relation between city and port can be significantly improved. We will try to discover what is the precise stage at the moment and what can be learned and adopted from other study cases.

The evolution in the use of the riverfront has been very positive for the citizens, which, as said before, complained that

Next page Lisbon Waterfront Author: José M P Sánchez EXPO 98 Construction site. Source:


Act 2 - The Lisbon Experience During the stay in Lisbon we got to know better the relation between the port and city and what both have been doing in order to improve it. We were able to meet with the responsible for this issue in the APL (Lisbon Port Authority), Arch. Rui Alexandre, who has been working in the organization since the early 1990´s. In order to get a more impartial vision we tried to meet, without success, with a representative from the Municipality. Since the final stop of the trip is also Lisbon we will try once again then. Another interesting point was the visit to the accessible parts of the waterfront and the photographical survey of these spaces, mainly the ones that have an unclear future or could be conflict points. A selection of these pictures is available in this gallery. Finally we also visited the museums that could contain information about the port

and its role in the city throughout time. Hence two mandatory visits were the City Museum and the Navy Museum. In order to have an initial idea of the state of the port-city relation we consulted several APL documents. The main ones were the sustainability reports from the years 2007 and 2008. These are the most recent elementes that could be found, in them there is also a reference to the port plan for 2025. These reports contain relevant information regarding the main concerns and several important figures, such as the percentage of free accessible area for the citizens and the general public perception of the port.

Lessons learned

The port and the cities One of the most important aspects that we have learned during the visit was that although called the “port of Lisbon� the port


Lisbon Waterfront Author: José M P Sánchez

territory actually limits 11 municipalities (Alcochete, Almada, Barreiro, Benavente, Lisboa, Loures, Moita, Montijo, Oeiras, Seixal e Vila Franca de Xira) distributed on both sides of the river. Such complex distribution makes every decision remarkably difficult when compared with cases where the port is placed or belongs to one single city. This complexity hindered the decision making process for the new container terminal. The port is a national asset and it is directly under national government control. However in this territory there are several authorities with decision making capacities regarding territorial planning. Besides the APL and the 11 municipalities, we also find the AML (Metropolitan Area of Lisbon) and the CCDR (Regional governments). In addition to these different authorities we find also the environmental protection agency which is concerned about the possible consequences of large infrastructural developments.


In the sustainability report of 2008 it was mentioned that 76% of the Tagus estuary waterfront (the area where the APL has jurisdiction) was accessible to the citizens, this value is the average from the 11 mentioned cities. In Lisbon only 41% of the riverfront was accessible in 2007, but in 2008 there was another important area released for the city in the east part of town, between the “Parque das Nações” and the Sta Apolonia Container Terminal. This area was supposed to be the new Oriental riverfront park, a new green area for the city. Although the APL released the territory in this year, the design competition for the park was only held in 2015. A national Landscape architecture office won the competition, but in July it was cancelled due to several irregularities in the process. The port and the waterfront of Lisbon When we analyze the evolution of the port waterfront area we can see that there has

Sta. Apolónia container terminal Author: José M P Sánchez

Docapesca in Algés Author: José M P Sánchez

been a clear change in the way it occupies the territory. From a more extensive territorial model that used a considerable part of the riverfront, to a port that works with several cores along the river, freeing up the area between them for the city. As it was mentioned in previous posts, in the early 1990s the POZOR plan brought the first change in the waterfront since the 1940s. After that, in order to host the EXPO, more territory in the east part of town was released.

The APL has the power to decide which are the areas that are going to be given to the city and to establish the border line. It is also relevant to say that once one sector has been freed up it is relatively complicated to bring it back under port control. This could only happen if there was a central government decision and it involves a complex negotiation with the appropriate municipal authorities. For this reason the process of releasing waterfront areas is quite ponderous, since the port must be sure that in this territory there will be no more port activities and that it will not be needed for expansion or other uses. The dialogue with the municipality for the urban planning process is focused in the masterplan level (PDM). For example for access to the port, and for joint applications for EU funds for the development of important infrastructure for both. For the nearer urban planning scale (Planos de Pormenor, Planos de Urbanização), once the port has released an area, the planning, management and maintenance is full responsibility of the municipality, the APL still remains with the jurisdiction of the water areas.

Nowadays we see that the heavy port activities in the north side of the river are concentrated mainly between Sta. Apolonia and Poço do Bispo, and between Santos and Alcântara. We define as heavy activities the container terminals, the silos, mixed cargo, shipyards and the current cruise terminals, which allow a reduced access to the water. Along the Tagus river we can also find several marinas, but since they do not required a significant space and do not constitute visual barrier for the city these could be considered soft activities, without relevant consequences for Lisbon.

Regarding the areas the port occupies we found out that there are some zones that


New Cruise Terminal Source:

have a mixed management between the APL and the municipality. More specifically three of them: the Docapesca in Algés/Pedroucos ,where the future “Marina do Tejo” should be built; the area in Santos, which the port has not released for the city yet because it must be decided if it would be necessary for future port activities -although it seems improvable-, and the future cruise terminal in Sta. Apolonia. These joint managent areas have a common characteristic and it is the fact that for several years we have not assisted to any kind of changes, although some of them might have pending projects. The area in Santos has several abandoned warehouses and urban voids that do not add any value to the city. This happens because they are not used for alternative activities as it happens to similar ones near Cais do Sodré, Sta Apolonia or Alcântara. In the Docapesca we have seen different events, like the Volvo Ocean Race, but when we visit it we encounter a fenced partly abandoned space with no porous relation between the river and the land. We have seen there are available spaces for urban projects in the riverfront but the stand-by status is clearly affecting the way the people see the port, since there is a


more immediate mental connection of these areas with the port. Hence it creates a negative image and the perpetuation of the idea that the port is not allowing the access to the water. The Cruise Terminal In the previous paragraph we pointed out that the joint management areas are even more complex for the planning process, often suffering delays in the implementation of the planned projects, this also happens in the new cruise terminal project. In this particular case the process is even more complicated since it implies a concession to a conglomerate of 5 companies, that will be responsible for the construction of the building. As pointed by Arch. Rui Alexandre, the construction of the terminal should start in short time, and the conclusion of the works is expected for the end of 2016. The main reason for the delay was the negotiation for the concession of the terminal operation that was very complex. The APL had the commitment to guarantee a quality service not just for the customers but also for the citizens. We can observe that in one of the main features of the terminal, the elevated public space that will allow a new view point over Lisbon, the river and the port. He also explained that the APL already made an initial investment, around

Site for the new container Terminal in Barreiro Source:

30 mill. â‚Ź, in order to fulfill its obligations as landlord port, to give the concessionaries the base infrastructure for the construction of the terminal. Image of the port The port of Lisbon still holds a slightly negative image among the inhabitants of the city. Although, as we have seen, there is a reasonable free area to get in contact with the water, the port is not valued as a friendly element in the waterfront. We have found very few specific actions focused on improving this relation, despite what was explained in the consulted documents. We expect to meet with the responsible for public relations of the APL during the next stop in Lisbon, but from the authors point of view it would perhaps make sense that the person in charge for the port-city relation could also have the duty of coordinating the physical and non-physical interaction. For this matter we have seen many initiatives, even in other Portuguese ports, that could be taken into action. As pointed out by several researchers the soft values are crucial for a healthy relation with the city, particularly in the ones with an active industrial port in the urban tissue. Also it could be said that there is a certain lack of self-criticism, especially regarding

the negative externalities produced port territories that affect the life quality in nearby areas. The relation with the city should not only be managed by releasing waterfront areas for the citizens to use, but also by acting in the social image of the port, otherwise there will be a constant pressure over the port authorities to free more waterfront territories. New Barreiro Terminal One of the main issues for the future of the port and the cities in the region is the new container terminal. When we asked Arch. Rui Alexandre whether this expansion project meant new free areas in the waterfront of Lisbon the answer was very clear, the new terminal is necessary for the expected growth of the port traffic in future decades, therefore the existing terminals in the north side of the river should remain under port control. The new terminal indicates that the port will continue in the Tagus estuary, although it will not grow much more in Lisbon. The project has several advantages, as it was pointed out during the interview. It has the full support of all the concerned authorities, it will be built in an existing brownfield, therefore reducing the environmental impact of it, and the connections to the


Navy Museum: Very complete collection of boats, but very little information about the port Author: José M P Sánchez

main railway network are easier than in the other considered alternative, Trafaria. Good news from the port From the port side there are two main news that could imply a significant improvement for the port-city relation. In the first place there is a project for the creation of a documentation center for the port that should be built in the Alcântara Maritime terminal. This building nowadays is undergoing a renovation program. The facility will gain much attention in the near future since it will be also the headquarters of the APL, making it the most representative place of the port. The other relevant news is the approach for the new container terminal. As it was mentioned before, this new project is crucial for the future of the port and it will be used to implement a new way of planning this infrastructure. The APL is in contact with the Portuguese Architectural Association in order to prepare a competition for new urban concepts for the port and city areas. The main goal is to have a real multidisciplinary approach to the project, in order to improve not only the efficiency of this sort of facility, but also to plan in order to create a better image from the outside, from the neighbors and from the other side of the river.


The city and the port During the visit we were able to realize that Lisbon might have a strong maritime identity, but it has not invested in its port identity. The visited museum did not have so much information about the port, its history or the present. This issue is very relevant since the efforts for the coexistence of both realities in the urban tissue must be done by both. We could understand that the city might be reticent to invest in the cultural diffusion of the image of the port since it is an independent organism pending only from the central government, but its role in the evolution of Lisbon is very clear. This problem might be solved by the new documentation center project, if its prepared to be accessible to the general public, not just for researchers. In the last two decades we have seen an increasing interest of the city to reach the river. This interest has been translated in different waterfront regeneration projects that were relatively successful, from the EXPO to the most recent ones, the “Ribeira das Naus”. Besides these good examples there are others that did not really improved the relation with the river. We could observe that in other parts of the waterfronts there are areas controlled by

Public space between Alcantara and Belém, created with the POZOR plan. It is very used by the citizen,but should the complete waterfront be only public space? Author: José M P Sánchez

the municipality that have not been transformed to the noble use of giving a quality public space by the river to its citizens. For example in the east part of town, in the limit of the Parque das Nações interventions, what we find nowadays is a car dealer and a mechanical workshop, with the cars parked directly by the riverside. There are other examples of deficient maintenance in waterfront public spaces controlled by the municipality, like the areas around Belém fluvial station, where we can see caravans parked, or nearby in the parque das missas where we can find damaged pavement. It is contradictory to insist in the importance of the waterfront for the city and then not taking proper care of it.

The fact that we find several public spaces like the mentioned before raises other relevant point for the waterfront masterplan: is it reasonable to leave the waterfront just for public space or is it better to allow the urban tissue to arrive near the river? We will try to discuss this important question and the vision of the city for the waterfront it in the next visit to the city. Conclusion For what we were able to see the port-city relation in Lisbon has improved along time. One of the main upgrades is the fact that nowadays there is a multiplicity of locations where one can reach the river. What for many years constituted a major issue for


the citizens. In this aspect we have observed progresses from the city and the port. On one side, the port has released several areas, while the municipality has develop them into public spaces of high quality. The main existing issue could be considered to be the public image of the port and the strategy to communicate with the citizens. The port has to make an effort to be recognized by the inhabitants as the important identity element that is. The city and the port should work together to improve the regeneration process, since the opportunities are greater than the threats. If the public sees that the process takes too long the disbelieve will be installed in the general mindset therefore insisting in a negative image of the port.


During the research trip we will visit several cities that have innovative strategies for the issues here presented. We will find which ones could be implemented in Lisbon, and how the new projects could bring the relation to the balanced coexistence model required.

LIsbon Author: José M P Sánchez


Act 3 - Photo essay












2nd stop

Oslo 59°57’N 10°45’E September 9 - 25, 2015

Act 1 - Heading North: Oslo

The city of Oslo Oslo is the capital of Norway, also the biggest urban agglomeration and the biggest port. Internationally is well known for its life quality and for being one of the most expensive cities in the world. Although is not one of the main international finance or commerce centers it plays a leading role in the Norwegian economy and in the regional development. The city has a population of around 600 000 inhabitants and the metropolitan area of near one million. In the last decades is has experienced a constant population grow, becoming one of the most attractive cities for the emigrants, particularly since 2008 when the international finance crisis began. Oslo was established around 1000 years ago, by the king Harald III. Three hundred years later was pronounced capital city, but shortly after would lose this status because of the union with Denmark, when the capital was Copenhagen. In 1624 a great fire took place, destroying a reasonable part of the urban tissue that was mostly built out of wood. The King Christian IV would refound the city near the Akershus fortress to the west of the old medieval core. The new city was built following a rational organization of the streets, and an orthogonal urban structure that we still see today. After the city was rebuilt it changed its name to Christiania, to honor the king; later on it would evolve to Kristiania. Only in 1814 would recover its capital city status, when the


View of Oslo Source:

union with Denmark ended and was under the influence of the Swedish kingdom. In 1925 the city would recover its original name, Oslo, as we know it today.

organized along the waterfront to been centralized in the Sydhavna new Terminal, a change that was part of the Fjord City plan.

The port of Oslo The port has been an important element of the city since it started to play a relevant role in international commerce, especially for wood and ship building, in the XVIIIth century. The Norwegian economy is deeply connected with the sea, in this country we find several shipping companies that together control 7% of the global fleet. Also in the cruise market is a world player, not just as destination, but also because one of the leading companies, Royal Caribbean, was created in Norway.

The port is expected to play a key role in the future development of the country and the region since the central government, in the same direction that the UE, has established the intention of potentiating the sea transport over the road, in order to reduce the environmental impact.

Nowadays the Oslo port now longer hosts major shipyards and the main activity is the container handling and passengers transportation. Last year the port handled 5,7 mill tons and 6 mill travellers.

Waterfront Evolution Aker Brygge The first waterfront regeneration project in Oslo took place in the Aker Brygge, an old shipyard near the city hall. The area used to be known for the Aker Mekaniske Verksted AS, a private shipyard founded in mid XIXth Century and for decades was one of the main industrial complexes in Oslo´s waterfront.

Since the 1970´s we have assisted to an evolution in the port territory, from being

The naval industry was very strong in Norway, particularly in Oslo. During the


Oslo’s new cargo port Sydhavna Source:

first half of the XXth Century the industry evolved from cargo ships to oil platforms, at the same time that Norway began to exploit its oil resources. During the 1970´s the crisis caused by international competition hit the sector and the Aker Company decided to shut down the shipyards in Aker Brygge. In 1982 the industries officially were closed and an international urban planning competition was held for the waterfront revitalization project. This competition, won by Niels Torp, included a vision for the entire waterfront but into more detail the area to be developed most immediately. The project was built during the following decade, and in the mid 1990´s the city had won a new access to the waterfront. The program of the plan was mixed use, since it included office space, shopping areas, housing units and a recreational marina. This new part of the city has been totally integrated in the urban daily life and last year was visited by 12 million persons.

Fjord City project After the Aker Brygge project we can see a time gap in which Oslo´s waterfront remain unaltered until 2008 when the Fjord City plan was approved by the municipal council. This new waterfront master plan was based in some of the concepts seen in the Aker Brygge competition, particularly the idea of understanding the waterfront as whole, and acknowledging its importance for the city. As it happens in other waterfront regeneration projects, the Fjord City plan had a triggering element for its initial motivation. In this case it was a national survey regarding the living standards in Norway. This research concluded that the people with the worst conditions were right in the center of the capital, where the city was first founded. After this shocking discovery the central government granted funds for restarting the regeneration plans for Bjørvika in the east part of the waterfront. Eventually the City was forced to make a strategic decision regarding its waterfront. In the year 2000 the city council reached the decision that the better option for the future of the city was to choose for “Fjord city alternative”, in opposition to the “Port City option”. This game changing decision did not meant that the port would be fully expelled far outside the city, but concentrated gradually in the Sydhavna peninsula, in the outskirts of the urban core. One of the key decision was the creation of a tunnel for the burial of the E18 highway, which would allow a direct contact with the waterfront in the area where one of the landmark buildings has been developed, the Oslo Opera. The plan should be developed until 2030, and includes several city areas, two mill.


Aker Brygge Author: José M P Sánchez

View of Oslo Source:

Square meters, 9000 housing units and 45 000 workplaces. The project is divided into three main sections and different several subsections. Each area has specific characteristics regarding construction heights, density and materiality, but is clear the focus putted in new cultural landmarks, and mixed use. Besides the new Opera other major facilities have been built, like the Astrup Fearnly Museum of Modern Art, or will be in the near future, like the Munch Museum, the National Gallery and the Deichman Library.

during the next decades the final stages of the Bjørvika area will be built, including the Munch Museum and several housing buildings. Between Bjørvika and Aker Brygge, in Vippetangen we will see also several changes. Finally furthermore we will assist to the conclusion of the plan towards the south, in the direction of the new terminal, a very important part, since is where the new urban development will contact the industrial port.

Fjord City is so far moving at good speed, and until the moment we can see significant evolution in all sections. The port is already functioning in Sydhavna, the Bar Code project in Bjørvika is almost concluded, other subsections in this area are also under development, Tjuvholmen, the continuation of Aker Brygge, is also done and already part of the city activities, and finally the Sørenga Pier is well under way in its transformation into a new living area. In the future we shall see the development of the Filipstad area, one of the major interventions, where we still find different active industries and warehouses. Also


The Fjord City project will be analyzed into greater detail in the next post. We will be able to meet with Mr. Stein Kølsto who was in charge of the Fjord city plan in the municipal planning authority and Ms. Kathrin Pedersen, from the Oslo Port Authority, who is leading the department of urban development. In the next post we shall see how is the relation between the port and the city, and the negotiation process developed in order to meet this compromise that turned out to be beneficiary for both, the port and the city.

Next page Oslo Waterfront Author: José M P Sánchez

Act 2 - The Oslo Experience During the time spent in the Norwegian capital we were able to get in contact with the reality of this port city and to notice how it has been handling the transition process from a Port-city to a Fjord-City, as they themselves describe it. For the purpose of this research we got in contact with some of the stakeholders in the port-city relation and in the waterfront regeneration operation. More specifically we were able to meet with Mr. Stein Kolsto (SK), from the city urban planning department, who was in charge for the development of the Fjordcity plan. We also met with Landscape architect Ms. Anne trine Hoel and urban planner Mr. Vidar Aa. Fiskum from the Port Authority (PA), both of them work in the urban development department run by Ms. Kathrin Pedersen. The meetings gave us a balanced perspective over the struggles that have

happened during the long process and complex negotiations that has implied the ongoing transformation in Oslo waterfront. The stay in Oslo also allowed a photographic survey of the implied areas of the aforementioned process and the new port terminal in Sydhavna. The view behind the camera gave a new perspective and enhanced some details that we could have missed. Several moments have been captured where we can see the essence of the transition, the risks and the possibilities that lie ahead. This work shows the sensibility it has been developed towards the water and the transitional areas between port and city. Following the same process like in Lisbon, we visited the cultural institutions that could contain information about the harbor, its history and the role that plays in city. The


New Sydhavna terminal Author: José M P Sánchez

Bjørvika before the Fjordcity plan Source:

visited institutions were the Oslo Museum where the history of the city is explained, and the Maritime Museum where one can better understand the intense relation that this country holds with the sea.

cessary to reach an agreement in order to proceed with the urban and port improvements.

The relation between the port and the city Institutional level When we met with the stakeholders they all agree that the relation between the port and the city in terms of the different planning agencies is relatively tense. They both comply that there is lack of understanding between them and that every change implies a very intense negotiation. The PA mentioned there is the misconception that the port has considerable financial resources due to the revenues of sold land in recent years. This common belief does not consider the large expenses that implies building the new terminal. On the other hand the urban planning agency regrets the lack of flexibility from the PA and absence of sensibility to some urban issues. This conflict is common in cases where different authorities with territorial management capabilities have to work together. It is always difficult to understand the problems of the other side, but is ne-


The relation has evolved and went through different stages. It was explained by SK that between 1982 and 2008 were the most difficult years, since it was when the main negotiation regarding the Fjordcity plan and reorganization of the waterfront took place. In the particular context of Oslo we must understand what degree of independence and influence the PA has. As indicated by SK, until 1984 the PA was directly dependent from the central government, after this year they moved under the “municipal umbrella”, but with certain particularities. The PA is the owner of the land which occupies and the economic benefits from the port activities remain in the port economy, therefore the economic resources generated should be used for port development. Regarding its government, the port has a board where representatives from the different levels of power are present, including from the municipality. The issues there discussed would be later taken to the municipal parliament, although, as mentioned by SK, once the initiative is approved

Legal frame aspects of the Fjordcity plan In order to fully understand how the Fjordcity plan works we asked the interviewees about the contracts, with its conditions, and the companies that develop the process.

Tjuvholmen Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez

in the port board is usually approved by the parliament. Emotional level We could conclude that the inhabitants from Oslo do not feel the port as an important symbol for the urban identity. When in the year 2000 the parliament choose the Fjord-city strategy over the Port-city it was clear which element played a greater role in the citizens mindset. There are several explanation to this characteristic. The Norwegian people love the contact with the nature and the landscape, therefore is more or less logic that they would rather be related with natural concept like the Fjord, rather than with the human-made landscape that the port implies. Also, as pointed out by SK, during several decades the port community in Oslo was not so socially active as in other Norwegian cities, where they would voluntarily cooperate with the town in order to provide necessary facilities for the inhabitants. The PA also indicated that the people do not acknowledge the importance of the port in every-day life. The citizens ignore how the goods they consume get to the shops or their houses, so they do not see the meaning of the port or why the city needs one.

Daughter companies The technicians from the PA explained us that the port had different strategies regarding the land selling and management process. This strategy depends of several factors: the dimensions of the area, how many landlords are there, the complexity of the zoning and the presence of port activities. For example in Bjørvika, they created a daughter company in order to manage the process and reduce the risk for the PA, in this case the company is name HAV Eiendom. They operated in this mode because it was a large complex part of the waterfront, with several landlords and there would not be any more port activities. In Tjuvholmen we could see a different scenario. The land to sell was not that large, with relatively simple zoning, the PA was the single landowner, and there would be no port activities in the future. In this case they sold the land directly to the developer, who granted the construction of the new area according to the municipality concept. In the areas of Filipstad and Vippetangen is not yet clear which strategy will be followed. The main concern here is the fact there will be port activities in the future. We will know better once the plans are defined and approved by municipal council. Types of contract In the Fjordcity plan the municipal autho-


Havnepromenade infopoints Author: José M P Sánchez

rities have two different roles pending of what type of contract is made. If a “development contract” is made with future developers the municipality will appear as urban planning authority and is allowed by law to negotiate certain demands to allow the rezoning. The infrastructures are fully done by the developers and later transferred to the municipality. These demands increase the price per square meter and are decided based on the built surface in order to ensure a reasonable investment in the public facilities for the new areas, as are roads, schools, green areas, etc. This type of contract is used in the larger developments like Bjørvika. Other possible option is the “sales con-


tract”. This sort of contract is used in the smaller development. In it the municipality appears as land owner. Since it is a stronger position it allows them to make more demands in the negotiations. The infrastructures are built by the landowner and also managed after they are concluded. In this point it is crucial the negotiation for granting public access to open areas. We could see this type of contract in the Tjuvholmen development. Fjordcity – the Havnepromenade One of the most remarkable features of the Fjordcity project is the Havnepromenade. The idea of considering the waterfront as one single entity comes all the way back from the Aker Brygge architectural compe-

Bjarte Agdestein, Ronald Kabicek og Endre Skandfer, a story that takes place in the port of Oslo in the 1960s. In the illustration we can see the different areas of the port when the shipyards were still working.

Filipstad nowadays Author: José M P Sánchez

tition. This concept has been translated to reality through the creation of a promenade along the entire waterfront, giving a certain unity to the path that extends almost 10 km, crossing areas with very different identities, from marinas, to silos and cranes, to the new Opera. The change in the way how citizens can now enjoy the waterfront is significant. The fact that several roads that used to form a barrier between the water and the city are now longer there was an important change. Nowadays we can find new activities in the Oslo fjord, like for example, the new urban beach areas. The path along the waterfront is identifiable thanks to the intervention by the architects MMW, that developed an urban design strategy, with signs, benches and a set of 14 “infopoints”. In these special points we can find information about the place we are visiting and what part of port used to be there, what activities and how it evolved. The “infopoints” was a project developed jointly by the municipal and road authorities, with a collaboration of the PA for the location and the texts explaining the history of the port. An interesting characteristic is the illustrations from the comic book “Krüger & Krogh” from the authors

Fjordcity yet to come Filipstad The area of Filipstad is placed in western part of the waterfront, where we can still find today some industries and warehouses. This is the largest area in the Fjordcity plan and one of the latest to be developed. For this part the intention is to continue the development of Tjuvholmen and Aker Brygge, therefore a mixed-use program with commerce, offices and housing for 5000 persons. It will also include important infrastructure like the new ferry terminal, replacing the existing one. Although the concept seems clear this area still has no approved masterplan. There have been several points discussed for a long period, like the creation of tunnel for the highway, similar to the one in Bjørvika, that would allow a more fluid relation with the water, but implies an important investment and so far, as pointed out by the PA, is not clear who should be responsible for it. Another conflict point could be the railway areas north of the highway, which are included in the general masterplan as one part to be included in this development. The discussion between all the concerned authorities has been going on since mid2005, and as indicated by SK, the final version of the Masterplan might have been achieved but it must be approved by the municipal council. Just this weekend were the municipal elections, with a change in the government, therefore we will have to


wait until the new government has studied the plan proposal and is able to give the definitive approval. Vippetangen This part of the city is right in the center of the waterfront, between Bjørvika and Aker Brygge, in a very special location, in front of the Akerhus fortress, around which the city was rebuild. Nowadays we find in this area some of the remaining port atmosphere the waterfront once had. There is one functioning silo that could remain as landmark for the future, the cruise terminal, the PA headquarters, the fish market and the ferry terminal. As said before this is a central part of the waterfront, therefore also of the Fjordcity plan. For this reason it should suffer several changes in the near future, although the planning strategies are still open. The intention of the municipality is to develop another public attraction, probably a cultural facility like an aquarium. As pointed out this is a very particular area, since is one of the few port working places where we can still see some port activity. For this reason the port is particularly concern about what could happen here. One of the main discussions is the cruise terminal, as it happens in many other cities. The municipal planning and the heritage authorities are not satisfied with the current location of this infrastructure and would like to have it placed somewhere else. The visual impact of large ships next to the Akerhus fortress is obvious although their presence is temporary. On the other hand it is a very convenient location for the cruise companies since is placed near the


main tourist attraction and issue we should not forget the economic impact this industry has for the city. The considered alternative for the cruise terminal would be placing it in Filipstad. The PA explained that in 2010 a survey was made to help the discussion regarding the best place for this facility. So far the decision has not been made yet, and probably with a new municipal government it could take more time than expected. The ferry terminals are another “hot topic” for this area, as it is for the entire waterfront. It has been decided that there will be two different terminals, following the intentions of the port of having two terminals for the two main destinations (Germany and Denmark). On the other hand is not so clear the financing of the new facilities. The PA insists on finding a self-financing solution, following the general concept of the Fjordcity plan. This solution would imply that the company responsible for the construction and operation of the terminal should have another parallel related business, for example a hotel. The municipality, as it was told by the PA, believes that the port has enough resources for developing the terminal by themselves, without tying Oslo Marathon between containers Author: José M P Sánchez

the project with another private investment that could limit the public use of the area. This is a complex issue since through these infrastructures a significant percentage of the port cargo arrives to Oslo, therefore is not just a matter of passengers but also a logistic planning issue. When we visited Vippetangen we could see that the feeling is very different from other parts of the waterfront. This particular area is crucial for the waterfront since it brings a certain diversity to the plan and allows a different kind of activities, like fishing. The PA has insisted in keeping this area with the original identity to show the people the port milieu. In order to reach these goals they have improved the urban design with especial attention to details. This complex place is one of the most interesting areas in the future of Fjordcity and its solution will require further negotiation and a special sensibility towards the existing Genius Loci. Recently, an architectural competition for this area was made. As far as we know there is still no outcome, but it reveals that there is an ongoing debate about it. There are key decisions to be made that will determine the future of the area, like the cruise terminal and the ferry terminal. For all these reasons is worth paying attention to what could happen since it could be another good example of waterfront intervention. Image of the port The port in Oslo, as said before, is not seen as a key identity element for the city. Over the past years the PA has been developing a public relation strategy that could help the people to relate with the port.

Sørenga development Author: José M P Sánchez

Once a year the port hosts an open doors day when the people can go to the port and get to know better how it works. This is one of the main strategies pointed out in the “ESPO code of Practice on societal Integration of Ports”. Is an event that we see in many other ports and helps to trigger the curiosity of the local inhabitants on how a port in the XXIst century works. In the city we have seen other elements that also help to explain the port. The aforementioned MMV project explains the history of the port in a friendly way, particularly for youngsters. In other level, in the Maritime Museum we also find a part of the exhibition dedicated to explain the port with several interactive tools. Another event that we could witness during the time spent in Oslo was the city´s marathon. For this sport venue the port also participated by allowing the race to cross a small container area placed south from Bjørvika, where in the future the Fjordcity plan will conclude and the boarder with the port Area will be placed. The PA has developed different studies and guidelines worth mentioning. Particu-


larly important are the ones related with the port industrial heritage and the aesthetic guidelines. Regarding the heritage issue the port did an important study of the existing old cranes and their characteristics. Unfortunately this study did not persuaded the PA to keep the cranes and use them as identity elements that could potentiate the image of the port among the citizens. The new aesthetic guidelines for the port terminals is an important initiative to ensure a better coexistence between the port and the city. It is very relevant since it could help to improve how the port terminals are seen from the outside, but also for the working environment for the staff. These guidelines should develop a cooperation with professionals from different fields that until now were not the usual collaborators from the PA´s. For example there could be cooperation with artists, in order to improve the image by using certain color combinations or lighting schemes. During the meeting with the PA it was mentioned that there was the intention to recover the aesthetic quality of industrial buildings and areas, as we could see in infrastructures from the XIXth and early XXth centuries. In order to reach this goal they had started to collaborate more often with architects instead of leaving the responsibility to industrial engineers who could lack the aesthetic sensibility to make the wanted improvements. Finally, the PA is collaborating with the daughter companies and municipalities to develop the buffer areas that will constitute a transition between urban and port areas. This is probably one of the last points to be developed from the Fjordcity plan, but


The three remaining cranes in Filipstad Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez

is crucial in order to allow the coexistence. For this issue they have been working with different alternatives, modifying the initial masterplan, building densities and programs to deal with acoustic pollution issues that might come once the project is finished. Personal opinion The time spent in Oslo was very useful to get in contact with the Scandinavian reality. In southern countries we have very often an idealized vision from northern cities and, as we have seen, the port-city relation is always complicated, independently from the context. What we could observe is that in the case of Oslo the authorities were able to go beyond the particular interests of each institution and, through an intense negotiation, they were able to find a winwin solution. The Fjordcity plan implies a complex urban transformation with several powerful stakeholders. The process allowed them to improve the urban quality, giving a waterfront for the city and at the same time improve the port facilities and make them more efficient. One of the most remarkable features of the whole process was that the port and the city were able to

do it using a self-financing scheme without major public investment, except from the initial expenditure in the Bjørvika highway tunnel paid by the central authorities. This case is a good example in terms of efficient application of the private investment to get a general benefit for the city. Although it is a slow process due to its complexity, and that for some politicians it should have been done already, we could see that it was possible to get very positive results. When we see the whole process is obvious that since is fully market led there might be a risk of a real estate bubble. Also is very exposed to the evolution of the private investment flow, which is also connected to the national and international economy. This fact can be determinant if we consider that Norway is relatively exposed to the evolution of the oil prices. In case the oil prices diminishes it could lead to a decrease in the private investment and slow down the waterfront regeneration process. It is important to notice that the plan has a certain flexibility since the port areas to regenerate also have working industries, with contracts that will end in the next years and/or with new short-term contract that could also be extended if necessary. This flexibility ensures a constant activity in the waterfront and prevents the creation of urban voids without value for the city or the port, that later could degrade, damaging the image of the city and the port. In the argument regarding the ferry terminals, we would think that for the city could be a major advantage to have a single infrastructure since, as mention by SK in the interview, the impact in the traffic and

the environment could be reduced and better managed in one single facility. We understand that in terms of maritime management it might be easier if we can divide the traffic in two terminals, especially if we already have the majority of the infrastructure built. Since the discussion was already settled, the city will have to find the better solution for coping with this issue. The cruise ship industry is one of the main challenges for port cities worldwide. It is very difficult to manage the arrival of thousands of passengers to the city in a very short time and also the visual impact of the cruise ships. However, the economic gains that this industry brings to the city is important and the location of the terminal is crucial for the success as cruise destination. Also if Oslo is a maritime city the presence of ships is inevitable. The visual impact they produce is difficult to palliate, in best case scenario, an agreement regarding the ship berth calendar could be achieved as so an specific monument impact tax could be developed to make the industry itself responsible for the maintenance of the monument that they might be affecting. In general terms, as we have seen, is a very positive intervention. We could find few aspects to criticize, but for example, the fact that from almost 50 cranes we only see 3 nowadays it could be interpreted as a missed opportunity for a better identification between the citizens and its port. The remaining cranes could have been kept as port industrial heritage elements in order to establish them as a memory of the port in the waterfront. This could later on be developed as a “port heritage enhancing plan� in order to provide the right context for


these cultural elements, including specific landscape architecture and urban design interventions. The social integration of the project could perhaps be also criticized, if we consider that one of the main triggering factors was a study where it was explained that the people with the worst living conditions lived in the center of Oslo. If we analyze this issue in detail one could say that the living conditions for these people, since the study was made in the 1980´s, have improved significantly. However the general feeling when walking around Oslo’s new waterfront is that is strongly gentrified. On the other hand, when we see the process as a whole, we understand that this is a “necessary evil”. Building in the waterfront in general terms is expensive when compared with solid ground. Besides this is-


sue, we must not forget that the sold land and built neighborhoods carry in the price the investment made in the new port terminals and public facilities. When we look at the overall process we could say that the main social gain is the fact that now all the city´s inhabitants can access the waterfront and get a better contact and view with the Fjord. We could learn many things from the Fjordcity plan and the Oslo experience, among them the constant negotiation process with positive outcomes, the ability to balance the public and private interests, the urban strategies from the port, or the fact that the stakeholders and architecture offices were able to give the waterfront a certain unity and coherence allowing at the same time a diversity that enriches the whole waterfront promenade experience.

Oslo is an important case for the investigation and a positive example for Lisbon. The participant stakeholders were able to answer to the challenges posed by the process and improve the port and the city. Oslo does not have the same intensity in the port-city relation, since most of the heavy port activities are outside the main urban core, but they have accomplished a positive transition process and are in the way for a balanced coexistence model.

Radhuset area with Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen in the back Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez


Act 3 - Photo essay










3rd stop

Helsinki 59°57’N 10°45’E September 25 - October 9, 2015

Act 1 - The daughter of the Baltic Sea: Helsinki

Helsinki, Port City, capital City Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a city with over 600 000 inhabitants and approx. 1,4 mill in the metropolitan area. These are relevant numbers if we consider that the overall population of Finland is 5.5 million persons. Also the Helsinki metropolitan area is responsible of approx. one third of the country´s GDP. The city is placed in the shore of the Finland Gulf, a region that also includes other important cities like St. Petersburg and Tallinn, with which Helsinki has historical bounds. Geographically is a very complex area, as we can see in the images, the city has around 300 islands of different sizes and almost 130 km of waterfront. This context has conditioned the urban settlement and it is an important challenge in terms of city and port planning. Finland’s capital is a relatively young city when compare to others. It was founded in 1550 slightly northern than its present location, in the shores of the parish of Helsinge, by King Gustavus I Vasa, from Sweden. The goal was to create a merchant port city to rival with Tallinn on the other side of the Gulf of Finland. Later on, in 1640, the city was moved to its current location, from where the sea was more accessible. Helsinki and Finland have spent most of its history under control of foreign kingdoms or empires. Until 1808 was integrated in the Swedish Kingdom as an important city for commerce and strategic reasons, but not as a Capital. During this period the city suffered


ved the declaration of independence and Helsinki was the capital of the new republic.

Map of Helsinki, 1837 Source:

several important fires and invasions by foreign troops, mainly the Russians. In 1808, after another Russian invasion, it passed to the hands of the emperor Alexander I. From that moment it gained the status of capital city of the Grand Duchy of Finland. During this time the city grew and gained several institutions that would express its capital city role, like the university, the theatre or the senate. The urban plan was drawn by J.A. Ehrenström, and C.L.Engel was appointed architect for the construction of the city. During the Russian domination Helsinki established itself as capital city and developed an important cultural life. At the same time it gained a multicultural profile and even tourism started to flourish with the neighbor city of St. Petersburg. In the first World War Helsinki was an important naval base, particularly the fortress of Suomenlinna, an important landmark in Helsinki´s shore that has played a relevant role in its history. During the last phase of World War I, in 1917, and in a tense social atmosphere, Finland´s Parliament appro-


Right after Finland became an independent country the civil war took place, with two sides named the whites (conservatives) and the reds (pro-bolchevikes). The first ones won the war with the help of the Germans. Over the last century Finland has kept a complicated relation with the Russian neighbor causing different conflicts. During World War II Helsinki suffered several bombings but less than other Europeans cities during the same conflict. This allowed the city to recover relatively fast and to keep most of its relevant buildings intact. The last half of the XXst century was a growing period for Helsinki, during which its population surpassed the half-million mark and the city grew significantly. This expansion took place mainly in the outskirts encouraged by the massive presence of automobiles. Later on this car dependence would become a problem the city tries overcome. In recent times one of the major changes that we have seen in Helsinki was the relocation of the main industrial port facilities to the new harbor of Vuosaari. This change allowed several significant urban projects destined to change the future of the city. It is expected a significant increase of the number of inhabitants, some sources indicate from 200 000 to 250 000 until 2050. The port of Helsinki In the case of the Finnish capital the port is the raison d’être of the city. Since always it has been one of the main gateways for the

import and export of cargo of the country. Nowadays is a crucial infrastructure for trade and passenger traffic. In a recent study about the economic impact of the port in the country and region´s economy it was explained that in terms of GDP it has an impact of 1% in the country, 2,7% in the region and 4,8% in the city. The importance of the port is also clear in terms of employment. In the mentioned study is said that the port employs 24 000 people, we guess that is including direct and indirect jobs but is not explained. This number means 7,6% of Helsinki´s workforce and 1% of the entire country. Regarding the distribution of the impact in the GDP of the different activities we see that clearly the cargo traffic is responsible for the 77% of this effect in the economy, and passenger traffic for 23%. However, in the same study we can see that this distribution is not the same in jobs. In this case the passenger traffic is responsible for 44% of the generated jobs and cargo traffic for 56%.

Satellite view of Helsinki Source:

Source: Port of Helsinki

Besides the obvious economic importance of the port, it is also one of the main identity elements in the urban landscape, particularly in the waterfront. Although the industrial port is no longer present in the city, since it moved to Vuosaari in 2008, the passenger and cargo ferry traffic has an important presence, that somehow creates a dynamic skyline. This sector is responsible for the majority of the almost 11 million passengers that pass through the port every year. Also between 25 and 30% of the Port comes in the ferries. This intense traffic is focused mainly in three


destinations: Tallinn, Stockholm and St. Petersburg. In the first case, due to the short distance between both cities (80km), is even a commuters service, serving people that live in Tallinn and come to Helsinki for professional reasons. The port before 2008 it used to be in several locations along the urban waterfront. Besides the territory where ferry terminal are, the port used to take also the areas of Jätkäasaari in the west harbor and Sompasaari in Kalasatama in the east part of the city. Several decades ago the port had even more territories, specifically the Katajanokka island. At the present time, and after the main industrial port areas moved to Vuosaari, the port has reduced its presence in the city to the passenger terminals, the cargo handling associated with them and the remaining shipyards in the west harbour. The waterfront We have seen that the presence of the port in the city has been considerably reduced in last decade. But the changes in the waterfront started long before that. In the article written by Kyösti Oasmaa we can read that already in the 1970´s and 1980´s the first waterfront regeneration project already took place in Merihaka and Katajanokka. Later on from the 1980´s until early 2000´s also in Ruoholahti we could see another port territory be reconverted. It is clear though that the major change is taking place now, a process that started in 2008 and will continue during the next decades. Since the industrial port moved out of the city several simultaneous operation have


been taking place. In West Harbour we can identify different projects happening right now. Jätkäsaari is the main one in terms of size, but there are others, like Hernesaari, Salmisaari and Telakkaranta. All this new areas will be transformed into a mixed use neighborhood and it will join the Einraranta project, already finished, to form a new urban area by the waterfront. The figures of the West Harbour development are remarkable, all together the transformation will affect an area of 200 Ha, creating housing for 30 000 new residents and 20 000 workplaces. On the east part of the city we also see a major waterfront regeneration project, Kalasatama. In this redevelopment project the area to be transformed is not just port territories, but also several major industrial brownfields and the transformation of functioning power plants. Just like in the West Harbour project the numbers are impressive, in this case the area comprises 175 Ha of land, the construction should last until 2035, it should create housing for 20 000 new residents and 8000 new workplaces. As we have seen Helsinki is undergoing great transformation. We will see how all these new projects affect the relation with the port, and what role should it play in the city. Also we will see how is the relation between the city and the port, both in an institutional level and on an “emotional” one. In order to get the most precise information we will interview Ms. Satu Aatra, planning manager from the Port Authority of Helsinki, and Mr. Rikhard Manninen, director of the strategic Urban Planning Division.

West Harbour Project Source: Helsinki future development projects Source: Municipality of Helsinki



Act 2 - The Helsinki Experience For the last couple of weeks we stayed in the Finnish capital. This city, as we mentioned in the last post, is undergoing great transformation. In the year 2008 the industrial port left the city center to move to the new Vuosaari Harbour. Since then several important waterfront developments have being taking place and the city skyline will change considerably over the next decades. The experience in Helsinki allowed us to know better the transformation process, the relation between the city and the port and the concerns for the future. The work process followed was similar to the other cases analyzed so far. On the first place we made an intensive visit to the city and the affected areas, including the new port. During this time a photographic survey was carried out. The result can be seen in this gallery. At the same time we visited the relevant urban information institu-


tions that could give us significant information regarding the urban evolution and the port-city relation. For this reason we visited the city museum, the urban development information center Laituri and another infocenter focused in the J채tk채saari area. Unlike other cases we did not visited the maritime museum since it is placed in another city, Kotka, and it is more focused in the maritime history than in the port. In order to get the necessary impartial vision of this case we met with representatives from the port and the city. In this occasion we were able to interview Ms. Satu Aatra (SA), Planning Manager in the Port of Helsinki, and with Mr. Rikhard Manninen (RM), head of the Strategic Planning Division at the City Planning department of Helsinki and responsible for the team developing the new Masterplan.

Previous page:aerial view of Helsinki Waterfront Source:

The relation between the port and the city Institutional level During the research we came to know that the Port of Helsinki has changed it’s status very recently. This institution was until the end of last year a department of the municipality, an independent entity but under the city hall management. In the beginning of this year, as told by SA, the port changed to be a limited company, however still under the “umbrella” of the municipality. This transformation gave them more independence and a stronger position when defending the port interests. Besides the direct and indirect economic impact and jobs generated by the port another argument for its presence in the city is its economic independence, the port is self-sustainable. It is an economic asset that does not cost money to the city in terms of investment or maintenance. Another important aspect in the case of Helsinki is the ownership of the land. In many other port-cities one of the main challenges is the fact that the port is an important owner of valuable land. For this reason it has a certain power over what happens in its territories and what would happen in case they released it for urban uses. This situation very often leads to intense negotiation regarding the price of the land and the economical compensations. In some cases this issue might be the solution for financing the new port infrastructure, as we saw in Oslo. In Helsinki the situation is rather exceptional since the municipality is one of the main landowner in the city. Even the land the port uses for its activities is owned by municipality. In this case it works with long terms conces-

Bird’s eye view Source: Helsinki ESPO award application

sions allowing the port to build the necessary equipment or terminals that remain as their property. Given the situation is clear that the city has a very powerful status and the port is in a weaker position when compared with other cases. When we spoke with the planning professional they both explained that the relation between both institutions is complex and regarding some subjects rather tense. The most controversial issues affecting the relation are mainly the ferry traffic, with all its consequences, and the fact that for some political sectors the port should be completely placed in the new harbour, releasing the territories in the city center. Also relevant was the process for the new Guggenheim museum that could explain how the relation between institutions works. These issues will be addressed later in this article. It is important to mention that although there are some tension points, there is an effort being made for the collaboration between the planning departments of both organizations. During our meeting with RM he explained that there is a minimum of four meetings per year between the port


them, although they did not experienced the same interaction as their grandparents. The City Museum explains vaguely the importance of the port, but this issue might be solved in the next years when the new city museum is opened. When we asked other people who have no direct relation with the port or planning department they all agreed that the port is part of the city. South Harbour Source:

and urban planning authorities in order to synchronize main planning goals and agendas. To these meeting also representatives from the ferry companies attend to exchange ideas that could improve the collaboration between the different stakeholders. Emotional level The history of the city is deeply connected with the port. Helsinki was founded as a commercial port and we see the maritime character of the city in its evolution and in the waterfront. During the time spent here we were able to notice that this connection still is important for the citizens. Both interviewees agreed that for the city the port is a relevant part of its identity. As it was mentioned by SA, for the inhabitants the port holds an important place in the collective memory, although it might be somehow bucolic and detached from the current operation of the port. It is generally known that the ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security) code does not allow a direct interaction with the port activity as it used to be. For this reason the more mature citizens pass their memories to the youngster and these ones still identify the port as an important place for


In the current moment the port only takes 11 km of the 130 km waterfront, hence it is no longer an obstacle for reaching the water. The regeneration project could play an important role if they are able to keep the port identity. If the people feel the port as their own probably they will support its position in the city center. This aspect along with the location needs from ferries and economic benefit they bring might be the best argument the port has to keep its presence in the city. Vuosaari The move of the port facilities from the city center to the Vuosaari Harbour was decided by the city planning department in the masterplan from 1992. At that time, as it was explained by RM, the discussion was mainly focused on improving the port capacity. During the discussion an alternative location was considered, in Kirkkonummi, west from Helsinki. At that time the municipality acknowledged the important economic role the port played for the city and the region. Only later the planning authorities saw the potential of the areas released by the port in the city for implementing a waterfront regeneration project focused on housing and mixed use.

that the general process has been to “expel� the port from the city and also that there are political sectors who believe all port activities, including the ferries, should be located in Vuosaari. These critical voices might have forgotten what was acknowledged in the masterplan from 1992, that the port is relevant for the city for economic and identity aspects. Vuosaari harbour Source:

The construction of the new terminal, as explained by SA, was a joint venture between the local and national authorities. Although there was an existing large shipyard, more land was needed for the construction of the new port. At the same time there was a necessary coordination with the national authorities, not just for the financing but also for the connections with the road and railway networks. RM explained that it was a complex and long process. The location is near a Natura 2000 area which needed to be protected from pollution and noise. At the same time there was a difficult negotiation with a private landowner. Finally the project was developed between 2003 and 2006. After the new harbour was built and the port started to work there in 2008, the institution has felt a certain pressure regarding its current location. We have seen during the second half of the XXth century that the waterfront have become one of the preferred location for new urban development projects. This international trend has been seen by the port with certain apprehension and somehow a possible threat towards its position in the city. This behavior is understandable if, as mentioned by SA, we see

In the new masterplan we will see that a future expansion for the Vuosaari harbour is considered. As explained by RM the port accepted this decision with some mistrust since it could be seen as an argument to force moving all the ferry traffic outside the city. In the same interview it was also explained that the main reason for this expansion is the possible future port growth and new logistic needs. These issues were consulted with experts from the city hall. The ferries The ferries activities are the main issue in the port-city relation. In the case of Helsinki this is a particularly complex situation. The elevated number of connections, almost 11 million passengers and a considerable cargo traffic difficult the integration of this infrastructure in the city. These figures are even more impressive if we consider that they have been reached after 10 years of unstoppable growth. One decade ago, before the Vuosaari harbour was developed, nobody could foresee the impact this sector would have in the city and port economy, and in the urban traffic. We already saw in Oslo that this is a difficult problem. In order to be profitable these companies, just like the cruises, need a fast access to the city center, therefore


its location outside the urban core is not possible. We must consider that this specific sort of maritime traffic is particularly complex since it combines passengers, many taking also their own car, with cargo, mainly trailers, that will be directly taken by trucks when arrived to destination. The ferry companies need the combination of the different activities in order to be profitable. In the case of Helsinki the situation is more intense than others because we find not just tourist that come for a short visit, but also commuters that live in Tallinn and work in Finland. For this reason there is not a seasonality as strong as in the cruise industry, therefore the traffic generated is constant all year around. At the present moment there are three ferry terminals near the city center (Katajanokka, South Harbour and West Harbour) and one in Vuosaari. As it was mentioned, through these terminals pass every year almost 11 million passenger and between 25% and 30% of the port cargo. This intense traffic, as explained by SA, might bring up to 4000 vehicles every day to the city, which is a significant number. Although we have to put this figure in perspective with the general traffic in Helsinki main roads. There is no argue that the ferry traffic causes an impact in the city, but in general terms the city needs to improve the traffic management system. This is one of the main concerns for the new city plan, and it will probably be handled properly. The traffic problem is a challenge for the next masterplan, particularly to one of the boldest ideas developed on it, the transformation of urban highways into more urban


Ferries in the south harbour Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez

boulevards. The positive effect this change could bring to the city is unquestioned, but how it can deal with the traffic generated by goods transportation, not just caused by the ferries but also by the business operating in the city center, is yet to be seen. This issue will be studied in further detail in the implementation plan, the following step once the masterplan is effective. In order to deal with the heavy traffic generated by the ferries there was also considered the option of building tunnels under the city center. This possible solution that could indeed solve the issue still is considered in the masterplan, but will be up to the decision makers in the municipality to see if it is a viable option. As we know, this option implies a significant investment and a complex construction process that could last many years. On the other hand, this solution has already been developed in other cases with positive outcomes, just like we saw in Oslo in previous posts. The discussion regarding the location of the ferry terminals has been going on for several years. The necessary common ground could have been found. In the West Harbour redevelopment project a new fer-

New ferry terminal in West Harbour Source:

ry terminal is under construction. Once this strategic decision has been taken it seems unlikely that the ferries will be forced to move outside the city. Also during the interview with the Urban planning department RM clarified that the ferries and passenger ships traffic has been accepted as one important element of the cityscape, it would not be reasonable to insist in moving them outside the center. For this issue there is even another possibility being contemplated. If the ferry traffic continues to grow it might be necessary to consider a redistribution of the terminals. In this scenario the possible relocation of some ferry lines in Vousaari could be considered. In order to make this solution effective the existing subway line should be extended until the harbour area. This is a considerable investment, that is also difficult to justify if it is only going to be made for the ferry passengers. In the masterplan the subway extension is an open possibility that will have to be decided in the future. New areas in the Waterfront West Harbour – Länsisatam – Jätkäsaari The project to be developed in the West Harbour is probably the most relevant for

the port-city relation. This project, along with the south harbour, is the only new area where port and urban activities will still have to coexist. The new district will host the new ferry terminal built to give answer to the increasing demand in the TallinnHelsinki connection. This new terminal will be placed further south extending the area to the end pier. At the same time the new construction will allow new berths for the ferries making this connection. The construction of the new city district is currently taking place and several housing areas have already been developed, but the greater construction phases are yet to come. In the waterline we see a new landmark gaining shape in form of a 16 floors tower that will host a hotel. This project will give an interesting urban landscape since this new construction in Jätkäsaari will contrast with the existing shipyards. This industrial settlement will continue stay in its current location. The company that owns the shipyards has the intention of staying in Helsinki and the masterplan also counts with its presence in the waterfront. We will be able to see an urban maritime atmosphere in this area like in very few places in the city. Kalasatama In the North harbour, or fish harbour as it used to be known, the presence of the port activities will disappear. Nowadays the responsibility of the port is resume to maintaining the navigation channels and the dock for the coal supply for the existing power plant. In the future with the probable deactivation of the plant this function will no longer be required.


Helsinki urban development areas Source:

In this new city district we will see one of the biggest development projects in Helsinki, including several skyscrapers. The focus of the plan is mainly housing, but it will also include several office spaces. The main question remains what will happen with the existing industrial areas. As mentioned, before the power plant is a major decision for this new district, its future is currently under discussion. If Helsinki wants to succeed in its quest of being carbon neutral the presence of a coal powered will hinder this goal. When the decision to deactivate the plant is reached, the issue would be what to do with this important mass placed in the waterfront. The construction characteristic do not allow an easy reconversion, but it could be considered as industrial heritage element, perhaps for cultural purposes.


We have seen that many housing project will be developed. Very often in the waterfront regeneration projects these new apartments have high prices, hence the new inhabitants are probably from high income classes. The gentrification process is very strong and in some cases inevitable. In Helsinki this might not happen so clearly as in other port cities. The strong position of the municipality as landowner allows a bigger regulation of the market. Since the land owned by the city is very often not sold to a private but instead long term rented the city can apply certain rules. In the areas here presented, as it was told by RM, the distribution will be: 20% of all housing would subsidized, 40 % would have controlled prices, following the Hitas system. Finally the remaining 40% should be traded in a free market.

New ferry terminal in West Harbour Source:

Winning design from moreau kusunoki architectes Source:

The system used by the municipal authorities allows a better social diversity, hence the waterfront has a more public character that in other port cities.It is important to know that although the majority of the land belongs to the city, there are some plots that have been sold to private. Also the area where the oil harbour used to be belongs to private hands and is currently under development.

ki already has an important cultural venues network, and other museums are already under construction. Also there is the problem of paying to a foreign cultural institution to place in the city a franchise of their museum. The ongoing debate might have undermine the public support to the initiative even before the final design is known.

The Guggenheim process The Guggenheim museum development process has been an important matter for the city and the port in recent times. Also a complex issue between different institutions. As we know the construction of a new museum of this scale very often generates a lot of discussion at different levels. In this case the architectural competition for the new cultural venue took this issue to the international stage. The scale of the competition, 1715 entries, generated a significant debate in the media regarding the work produced, the different approaches and even an analysis to state of the arts in architecture. In a more local context the public argument is whether is reasonable to invest in this new infrastructure if Helsin-

The main issue regarding the port-city relation in this case is the fact that the new museum will be placed in an area the port is currently using. The activities happening there, parking lot and catamaran ferry to Tallinn, could certainly be rearranged and improved, but this issue was not considered as one of the priorities of the competition. Is important to remember that the city owns the land where the port is placed therefore has great decision making capacities in this area. On the other hand the conciliation between the different activities, cultural, urban and port, was not a priority. The nonexistent role played by the port in the whole process is clear not only in the competition report, but also when we see the composition of the jury. Out of 11 members not one was representing the port. We must also point out that the process is


only in the beginning, the chance for collaboration is still possible. The winning design by Moreau Kusunoki Architectes has a certain flexibility, besides the inherent architecture quality. This aspect leaves the door open to a future integration of the different activities existing in the area. Port strategy towards the city During the interview with SA we were able to see the what are the main strategies followed by the port to have a “healthy” relation with the city. At this point is relevant to know that the Port of Helsinki received an award from ESPO in the year 2010 for the societal integration of the port. If we read the application document we see that indeed the port carried numerous initiatives at that time, perhaps motivated by the move of the port to Vuosaari. The port continues to develop a social program to insist in its integration. For example, besides the official website with all the port information and the different publications, we can also find specific information webpages. There is one particular important case, the website dedicated to the port development projects. In this page we can see what the port is doing in the west harbour or the different initiatives taking place at the moment. The activities aforementioned have a particular focus in the younger audience. The PA has developed a stronger program with the schools to allow the youngsters to visit the port and get to know how it works from the inside. This measure presented several security challenges that were solved without affecting the port operations.


Information Billboards Author: José M P Sánchez

In terms of the general public the port has hosted several open days in recent years, but without an specific date. This events often take place associated to other venues, or in some cases they are linked to different target groups. Regarding the existing information billboards placed along the waterfront we came to know that they do not belong to the port. They belong to the city and were placed long time ago, when the port was still a city department. At the moment there is no port-center where one could get to know the history of the port and the role it plays in the city. In the city museum the information is relatively scarce. This issue, as mentioned before, might be solved next year when the new city museum open its doors. Port innovation: Buffer zones, lighting, sound barriers, traffic control One of the most relevant aspects in the Helsinki study case is the use of buffer zones. We have seen before that they were necessary for the Vuosaari harbour in order to protect the existing Natura 2000 spaces. These green areas, besides protecting the natural reserve, also work as “cushion” between the housing deve-

core, some of them in the buffer zones. This system would allow the traffic generated by the cargo coming in the ferries to flow with less waiting areas required. At the same time the trucks could await in places where they do not cause any problems, releasing the waterfront for other uses. A similar system has been working in Valparaiso, Chile. Vuosaari Terminal at night Source:

lopments in Vuosaari and the harbour. They were also used for creating a new golf course, a compatible activity with the industrial port activities. In the new port we also find several other aspects that are innovative. For example the lighting scheme and sound barriers developed by the architectural office APRT. The illumination is a very important subject in Finland since they have very reduced amount of sunlight during great part of the year. For this reason is normal to develop proper illumination projects with architects and landscape architects. The sound wall is particularly relevant because it is the “façade” of the port to the natural reserve. Besides reducing the acoustic pollution produced by the harbour activities, integrates the vegetation in its structure and contains an sightseen point for the port and the natural park.

Heritage Helsinki was an important industrial city. Part of this past can be seen in several building in the city, like the Kaapeli factory or the gasometers in Kalasatama area. The port only owns one building listed as heritage, the Olympia terminal, next to its headquarters. The port is responsible for its properties and looks after them. HoweOld cranes by the docks Author: José M P Sánchez

The other relevant innovation are measures being developed to diminish the impact of the heavy traffic generated by the ferries. This strategy consist in the combination of an already efficient automatic check-in system for the trucks with several waiting areas, placed outside the urban


ver there are several old warehouses that probably were port property but are now private and have been transformed to alternative uses. We can find them in Katajanokka, where another waterfront regeneration project took place in 1980’s. The old cranes are another important part of port industrial heritage. In Helsinki we can find them in the Munkkisaari area. They are owned by the city and the main concern should be to keep them as a memory of what once used to be there. There is a new project prepared for the area where they are placed, and hopefully these cranes will be respected and integrated in the design. Personal Opinion The case of Helsinki is very particular regarding the powerful position its municipality holds. This characteristic has on one hand limited the decision making capacity of the port, but on the other hand has allowed a plan led waterfront regeneration of significant proportions. In this context, and in an often difficult position, the port has tried to defend its interests and stay in the city. The efforts have resulted in a compromise between the responsible authorities to allow the presence of the port recognizing its economic and identity value. The dialogue between the concerned stakeholders is crucial to find the common ground for a sustainable development. In this case the regular meetings and mutual recognition are the backbone of the relation. The problem might surge when the stronger actor abuses of its position to impose its will without the agreement of the other actors. So far this has not happe-


ned, although the port recognizes a certain pressure towards its position. During the time spent in this city we acknowledged how difficult the ferries situation is. The success of this sector is definitely something from which city and port benefit. Is a crucial part of the twin-city program. However there is the risk of dying of its own success. If the traffic and other externalities caused by these activities become too big the port risks losing the favorable public opinion. We have seen that the people living in nearby areas already might not be so pleased with the current situation. In this case the constant dialogue with the neighbors is important, but it might be necessary to go further. For example, in Hamburg a commitment was found with the developers of the housing projects near the port to implement a certain type of construction quality regarding windows and soundproofing, or even designing the house distribution to diminish the negative effects of living near the port. In the case of Helsinki a positive reinforcement program could be developed, for example by giving one free ferry ticket per year or a discount to the most affected citizens. The Guggenheim process could be a metaphor of the relation between the different parts, where the stronger stakeholder is somehow imposing an agenda. Besides the discussion if it is reasonable or not to develop yet another cultural venue, we could see the process as a missed opportunity for the collaboration between city and port. It would have been a very interesting approach for both the museum and the harbour. The mixed programs building are a path

into the future for several reasons. They allow occupancy at different schedules; they are economically more viable; in terms of environment are more sustainable; also the risk of a failed investment is reduced. At the same time it would have been very interesting to see in a new development the transition of uses, from the most intense port activity, including the cargo coming through the ferries, to the most urban ones, the cultural agenda of the city. If we see it from another point of view, it could be considered as a connection between local challenges and global fluxes, both in terms of transport and it terms of culture if the inclusion of a ferry terminal and port center in the project would have been considered. The process is not finished so there is the possibility to correct the path and use this development as a chance to strength the port-city identity of Helsinki. The maritime identity of the city is very clear when we walk on the waterfront, we can see old wooden ships, ice breakers, marinas, ferries and fishing ships. Besides there are also the shipyards, old warehouses and old cranes. This Genius Loci must be preserved. The new development projects must integrate these elements without affecting their meaning. Not all waterfront areas are the same, the variety should be protected and enhanced. A special sensibility is required when acting in these areas, otherwise there will be 130 km of green waterfront without a particular attachment to the place and the history. The construction started recently and the process will last for several decades, for this reason the benefit of the doubt is here needed.

collective memory it would be important to reinforce this aspect. The communication strategy followed by the city and the port regarding the port history could be improved. The city museum contains insufficient information and the existing billboards on the waterfront are in poor condition. In order to give to the people the information about what used to be there it would be interesting to find a more effective communication strategy. The project developed in Oslo could be a good example of how to do it. The transformation of Helsinki is only in the beginning, therefore some aspects of the case are difficult to evaluate. The first steps are promising and looks like the change will improve significantly this growing city. We could learn from several innovative practices developed by the PA and the city. The Vuosaari change was very successful and is a good example of how to implement a new port in the XXIst century. The way it relates with the context, the transparency, the sensibility to certain elements (like the lighting) and the general organization are positive aspects to be studied. The traffic management strategy to be implemented could be an important innovation to be applied in other cases. Helsinki is a proud port-city, the relation of the port with the citizens is probable the most important element of this case. This is something to admire and to replicate in other contexts, for example Lisbon.

When we see that the city and the citizens have the port as an important part of the



Kalasatama district Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez


Act 3 - Photo essay














4th stop

Rotterdam 60°10’15’’N 024°56’15’’E October 17 -November 2, 2015

Act 1 - The biggest port in Europe: Rotterdam

The city Rotterdam is the second city in the Netherlands and an important transport hub in the continent. It has a population of approximately 620 000 inhabitants with a high percentage of immigrants. In the city we can find several industries connected to the port that create jobs. In 2015 it was selected city of the year by the academy of urbanism. In 1340 Rotterdam received municipal rights from Count Willem IV of Holland. Later on, in 1872 the Nieuwe Waterweg was opened allowing a better connection between the port and the North Sea. This new construction would be crucial for the future development of the port and the city. Short after, in 1877, the new railway line connecting Rotterdam with Paris was opened. This new infrastructure would also boost the urban development of the city and its international connections.


quences of this path would be clear and the priority changed to bringing back the people to an empty downtown. The development of the city continued linked to the port activities. In the 1990´s the port of Rotterdam was the most important in the world, before the Asian growth of the years after. In last decades we have seen several waterfront redevelopments, but mainly we could highlight two, the Kop van Zuid and the more recent one Stadhavens.

Map of Rotterdam 1649 by Joan Bleu Source:

At the beginning of the XXth century it was already one of the main European ports. The ever increasing harbor activities and an incipient industrial sector attracted many workers from the countryside. For this reason the city experienced a significant demographic growth during this time. During the WWII Rotterdam suffered the strongest air attack from the German Luftwaffein the Netherlands. In 1940, after five days of fight, the city and the country surrendered to the invaders. The destruction in Rotterdam downtown was considerable, 25000 houses were destroyed and 900 person killed, mainly civilians. After the war the reconstruction process began inspired mainly by the American urban planning examples. The main goal was to recover the city center, from which almost no building was standing. One of the characteristic of the reconstruction scheme was the idea of leaving the downtown for services and almost no housing. Later on, during the 1980´s, the conse-


The port of Rotterdam The impact the port has in the identity, the urban structure and the economy of the city is obvious. It is deeply connected with the history and will play a major role in the future development of the city, the region and the country. Along history the port was constantly expanded. From its original core near the city center it grew towards the sea. Nowadays the port of Rotterdam is the only European one that can compete with the Asian rivals. According to recent data is in the 8th or 11th position, pending the source, in the world rankings regarding tonnage. It had a total cargo throughput of 444,7 million metric tons. From this figure the main types of cargo are liquid bulk, including oil and its products, around 45%, container 30 %, and dry bulk approximately 20%. In the harbor we can find several other activities, such as shipyards, companies in the maritime cluster with industries related with the port, and cruises. It is relevant to say that Rotterdam is mainly an industrial port, the passenger traffic is relatively reduced when compared with other cases,

Port of Rotterdam Source:

particularly with Mediterranean ports. The port has a significant role in the city and regional economy. It generated in 2013 93 766 jobs directly related with the port, and had an added value of 12 506 million â‚Ź according to the Port Authority of Rotterdam. The total port area, as explained in the same document, is 12 603

Ha (126 sq km). The figure is quite relevant when compared with the municipality which has slightly over 200 sq km. In terms of organization the port is owned by the city (70%) and the country (30%), but functions as a semi-independent corporation. The land where operates is owned by the municipality leased with long Expansion of the Port of Rotterdam Source: OECD Report



Maasvlakte Autor: José M P Sánchez

High-rise in the Kop van Zuid Author: José M P Sánchez

term contracts. At the same time the port manages the area by leasing it to the different firms which develop its activities in the harbor. This means it is a landlord port, where the Port Authority is in charge of providing the basic infrastructure for the companies there placed.

Rotterdam Waterfront During the last decades we have assisted to several waterfront regeneration projects in this city. From more central areas with a relation with the past to port brownfield that changed to urban use, like the Kop van Zuid. More recently we can identify a very ambitious operation that is very particular regarding the organization, the goals and the existing dialogue. This project is the Stadshaven. We will make a short comment from both and in the next post they will be analyzed into further detail.

One of the main advantages of the port of Rotterdam are the connections with the hinterland. It has several ways to distribute the cargo, including road, rail and canals networks. The ports faces many challenges in the future. Since the oil sector has a significant impact in its cargo throughput it must develop alternative strategies for a scenario in which this sector diminishes its activities. At the same time it has one major advantage when compared to other Europeans ports, like Hamburg, the expansion land. The port of Rotterdam does not faces the problem of finding land for its future needs, it is currently developing the expansion projects in the Maasvlakte 2. This new area placed in the mouth of the Maas river will increment significantly the available territory for logistic operations, mainly container shipping.


Kop Van Zuid This area placed near the city center on the south side of the river Maas used to be part of the port land. Until the WWII integrated several functions of the port, but during the reconstruction years, the decision was made to expand the port towards the west. The creation of the Europort with more efficient infrastructure led to the decay in the Kop van Zuid (head of the north in English). In the 1970´s and 1980´s the area was a mix of port brownfields and neighborhoods with several social problems and high unemployment rates. In the end of the decade the plan started

Kop van Zuid plan Source:

In the project the preservation of several heritage elements was contemplated, as old cranes, bridges or warehouses. Also the old offices of the Holland-American line, now converted into a Hotel.

to be prepared with two main goals, the integration of the river Maas in the city structure and to finish the perception of the river as barrier between the two sides. Besides there were other secondary goals like providing the city with more housing alternatives, mainly high class and single family dwellings. The plan was developed by Prof. Riek Bakker and Teun Koolhaas. The new development land was organized in 6 different areas: Entrepot, Wilhelmina Pier, Landtong, Zuidkade, Stadstuinen and Parkstad.

The new district became a new high-rise area for the city, particularly the Wilhelmina Pier. In this land several star-architects have left their mark. Sir Norman Foster, Renzo Piano, Alvaro Siza and more recently Rem Koolhaas have all designed a building in the pier.

The plan granted official approval in 1994 promising the creation of 5300 new housing units and 400 000 sqm of office space, besides new connections with the north and cultural venues. The construction began with the transportation infrastructure and in 1996 the Erasmus bridge was opened.

Nowadays the project is heading towards the final stage. There are several active construction sites for new apartment and office buildings. This was a complex and ambitious project that suffered with the economic crisis from 2008. Therefore we observe delays in the expected conclusion dates.


Stadhavens The plan for Stadhavens is one of the most innovative ones in Europe regarding waterfront regeneration. This project could be assumed as new model for this sort of interventions, more efficient and adapted to the pos-crisis scenario we currently are. In 2004 an agreement was reached between the city and the port for the redevelopment of the port areas that were still placed inside the city´s highway ring. The area considered is relatively large, 1600 Ha. To put it in perspective the Hafencity project in Hamburg has 165 Ha. The project started with some ambitions to “urbanize” the areas, but short after was seen that this model was not appropriate for the size and location of the intervention. The platform remained as a structure for the dialogue, negotiation and coordination of the several projects. Stadshavens site Source:


One of the most remarkable features of this plan is the fact that the main goal now is the transition from port area to port cluster and in a later phase to possible urban programs compatible with the existing industries. Methodology For Rotterdam we will follow the same methodology applied in the other cases. Therefore we will visit the relevant institutions and have interviews with representatives from the port and city authorities. However there is an exception regarding this casestudy, the available time. During the first week spent in the city we participated in theISOCARP congress. In this event we did a presentation named: “Port-City relation: integration – conflict – coexistence Analysis of good practices. Hamburg and Genoa.” In the workshop: “How to develop unprecedented port-city synergies?”.

Next page: Bird’s eye view of Rotterdam Source:

Act 2 - The Rotterdam Experience In the previous post we already mentioned that the case of Rotterdam was in many ways very particular. Although we might not like to give the rankings excessive importance, in the end is the biggest port in Europe in many sectors. This issue must not be forgotten regarding its relation with the territory, the city and the region. The visits, the city Regarding the development of the investigation this was also one exceptional case. In previous cases we usually have two weeks to do the case analysis, consult the sources and make the Photographical survey. This time we only had half the time since theISOCARP congress took one full week. For this reason, and because of the complexity of the case, we also consider that in the future a second field trip will be necessary. It is relevant to notice that some of the main experts and research projects related with the port-city subject

are taking place in universities in or near Rotterdam, for example the TU Delft, the Erasmus University or the Hogeschool. In the available time we were able to perform the necessary field work to have an initial idea of the relation between the city and the port. Following the usual steps for this work we developed a photo survey in some of the city and port areas. Also we visited several cultural institutions that could contain valuable information, such as the Maritime Museum, the Nai (Netherlands Architecture Institute), the city library and the FutureLand port center, one of two existing ones. The Interviews During this time we were also able to do three interviews to relevant professionals from the port and city authorities. In the case of the Port Authority (PA), we were able to speak with Ms. Isabelle Vries (IV),


Aerial view of Rotterdam

Port skyline Author: José M P Sánchez

Senior Advisor and Program Manager in Corporate Strategy. From the municipality we spoke with Mr. Martin Aarts (MA), senior urban developer advisor and with Ms. Stijnie Lohof (SL) responsible for urban development in southern areas of Rotterdam, who could give us the view from more specific local projects. During our interviews a major part of the discussion was on the strategic level. For a second visit we will try to focus the more on the specific development areas where the friction might occur. Also for the future remains a meeting with the communication responsible from the PA, since a reasonable part of the relation with the city and the explanation of the soft-values is made by this department.

sting heritage in some of the areas regenerated on the waterfront. The presence of canals in different locations of the city structure constantly reminds that we are in a water city.

Source: “Port-city development in Rotterdam: a true love story”

The relation between the city and the port Emotional Rotterdam is the port-city par excellence. The origin, growth and future of the city is greatly connected with the past, present and future of the port. As explained in the previous post, the reason of being of this city is its role as a logistic and trade center for the European hinterland. We can see this characteristic when walking on the streets and when we appreciate the exi-


When we study the history of the city we realize that until not so long ago many of the business and families were somehow connected with the port activities. The industrial character of the city has endured along time and indeed we find that, although several waterfront regeneration project have been made, a certain port-city roughness remains. In the authors opinion this is a positive feature of the city identity, since as said by Julian Stubbs in the Oslo Urban Arena congress, a city should be its best version of itself, not an imitation of something else. During the stay in Rotterdam we could witness, in several occasions, the existing rivalry between this city and the capital, just like happens in many other countries. In the case of the Netherlands, from the foreigner point of view, we appreciate that the port-city identity of Rotterdam has been relevant in its development as creative center for architecture and urban planning, among other fields. The fact that port-cities still have in

to the city. The new youngsters with roots outside Rotterdam might find it difficult to relate with a place and an infrastructure that is not so open and no longer provides so many jobs for the people less prepared for high skilled positions.

Port Authority Headquarters, second tower from the right.

Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez

their identity a more open mindset might have allowed Rotterdam to produce bolder projects that perhaps would not have been possible in other contexts. For this reason we consider the new waterfront strategies appropriate for the context. The citizens acknowledge the port as an important part of the identity, however as pointed out by SL this connection might not be as strong as it used to be. This gradual disconnection could happen for several reasons. The evolution of the port towards the open sea certainly affects the perception of the citizens. As pointed out by different authors: out of sight, out of the heart. Although this is not the only reason, since we still see many ships in the river Maas, the cranes are visible from a major part of the city and the atmosphere still is that from a harbor-city. Another motivation for this detachment might be that, although the port still creates many jobs, is no longer seen as an attractive place to work. This issue is very concerning for the responsible authorities and several measures are being developed as we will later see. The worry about younger generations should be considerable, especially if we consider the increasing number of newcomers

The people still love the image of the ships in the rivers. The manmade landscape the port is, still generates a certain fascination among the inhabitants and there is an intense activity regarding the usufruct of the port soft values, as we will see later on. However, as it happens in other port-cities, there is an increasing pressure from citizens to get activities and leisure areas by the water. This sort of places already are in the southwest outskirts of the city, far from the port. The question is how this demanded uses will be made compatible with the existing port areas and port-related industries active in the port-city interface. The issue that might rise is if the relation of the citizens with the port will be proportional with the role the port plays in the economy of the city and region, as we have already seen. Is obvious that Rotterdam is a port-city, but is reasonable that efforts are made so it remains as such in the mind and heart of the inhabitants. Institutional In order to fully understand how the institutional relation between city and port works we must first see the status of the PA and the land ownership. In the case of Rotterdam the PA is a semi-private corporation. Until 2004 it was still a department of the municipality, but the status changed in order give operational freedom to the port and improve the general efficiency of the


port. The shareholders are the city (70%) and the state (30%). For this reason the PA is not fully independent. Its economic plans and business models are approved by the municipality and there is a constant dialogue between the mayor and the PA CEO, meeting every two weeks. When the port was established as a separate company its scope and responsibilities were clearly described. The PA would have the duty of all the matters related with the ports, including administrating its territories. Within these responsibilities might be included educational collaboration with universities or start-ups if they are port related or might improve the port activities. The boundary, as explained by IV, was that the PA will not be responsible for urban development. It is also important to understand that the port is autonomous for its development. This means that the municipality does not pays port infrastructure. The PA must carry its own investment for the improvement or expansion of the facilities, as it has happened so far. The municipality does get revenues from the PA as the main shareholder. The land the PA administrates is leased by the municipality for port purposes. MA explained that for this reason in case an active industry in the port area comes to an end and there is no clear continuation, or implementation of new port related industries, the land might then move back to municipal control. At the present moment this process is agreed only in the M4H area. Since the land already belongs to the city the port does not get a compensation for it, simply the leasing contract ends. Although here the process has been simplified, it probably is more complex if we consider that the PA must be sure there will


not be developed any more port activities. The relation itself has been described as positive by the interviewees. Particular in the strategic level. In this field there has been a considerable improvement over the last decade. The coordination and dialogue between both entities has been intensified, particularly regarding the economic agenda and development goals. The evolution of the relation has been probably induced by a change in the way both entities look at each other. The city has moved from the previous vision of waterfront regeneration, port out and city in, to a new model where the industrial tissue responsible for jobs is also acknowledged as an important urban function. The port cluster is seen as a resource for the city, therefore the respect to the existing port activities in the urban interface has grown. At the same time the port has realized it must improve its interaction with the city. This is particularly relevant if it wants to change its current economic model, very based in the fossil energies industries, to a future model based in new energy resources. At the same time the need for high skilled professionals and the necessary citizen’s support pressures the port to find a sustainable relation with the city and the inhabitants. When we asked MA about the relation between the city and the port, he mentioned that the biggest critic it could be made was the pace of the implementation agenda of the new economic model. Although the risks related with keeping major fossil fuel industries are clear the rhythm of change towards alternative models is to slow. We might understand the criticism when reading this recent press release from the PA. On the other hand, althou-

gh the PA might understand the critic, we have to see that, as pointed out by IV, the Port of Rotterdam cannot act by himself in this issue. The global economic model has not changed yet, national and international organizations must provide a more ambitious plan regarding sustainable energy models. Besides these plans there must also be pressure and support to private companies for the change from national and European governments. The evolution must be worldwide and in this scenario the port could and should take a leading role within its context. In the operational field is where we might find the majority of the frictions, in the closer development scale. In the case of Rotterdam they might occur regarding the use of the land and the rhythm of the goals implementation. As we will see, in the projects concerned in the Stadshavens platform, there is discussion about when and where to implement some of the goals defined on the strategic level. Particularly regarding new urban uses or existing industries. However, the consulted authorities confirmed that so far all possible conflicts have been solved by negotiation. The waterfront of Rotterdam In Rotterdam the relation with the waterfront has change since the 1980´s. After the postwar reconstruction, the main concern for the municipal authorities regarding urban planning were two: the lack of relation between the city and the river and the break between the north and south sides of the river. In order to solve this issues the “Rotterdam Waterfront Program” was developed. This plan, besides dealing with the two issue aforementioned, also interpreted the port brownfields near the urban

Rotterdam, Kop van Zuid Author: José M P Sánchez

center as an opportunity to discuss the identity of the city and to improve the existing housing areas. One of the problems was the lack of housing for medium and high class groups. In the case of Rotterdam gentrification was seen as a positive element in order to provide variety to a city where, as pointed out by MA, around 80% of all dwellings was social housing. We can find several articles and research about the waterfront of Rotterdam. In one titled “Port-city development in Rotterdam: a true love story”, we see how the two waves of waterfront regeneration worked. The first one started with the Oude Haven (Old Port), focused in developing new quality housing, leisure areas and offices. Short after it expanded to other areas near the city center, more specifically Leuerhaven, Wijnhaven and Zahnhaven. Later on the Scheeprartkwartier and Parkhaven also were regenerated with high class standards. Finally, in the late 1980´s, the Kop Van Zuid was also planned. In the last post we already saw to some detail how this plan as developed, so here we will just point out that the two main goals of the waterfront program were also very present. This last area still is under development,


the connection between both sides of the Maas has been strengthened and high class apartment and single family houses have been developed. As mentioned before there is a strong gentrification in this part of the city, especially if we consider that in this area used to live many dock workers before the port expanded to the west and that the district of Feijenoord was one of the poorest. The question whether gentrification is positive or negative is a never ending debate in the field of urban planning, however it is important to look at the particular context of the case. In Rotterdam there was the need of creating diversity in the housing market and also densifying the city center. The process of bringing more people to the urban core is neither easy nor cheap, therefore it is almost inevitable that the prices would rise. At the same time the variety within a city could be seen as a positive aspect, particularly if we consider that this would make the city social structure more resilient to crisis or changes in the economic model. It is also important to notice that although the municipality might have been more focused in the high class development during the first waterfront regeneration wave, for the second one the scope changed. Stadshavens The second wave of the waterfront regeneration in Rotterdam is integrated in theStadshavens plan. This project started in 2002 and included the remaining port areas inside the city´s highway ring. All together it isa territory of approx. 1600 Ha. As mentioned in the previous post, the scale of this intervention is considerable, particular if compared with other waterfront


regenerations in Europe, for example Euroméditerranée in Marseille has 480 Ha or the Kop Van Zuid itself with 80 Ha. When we look at the map we see that the areas included in the Stadshavens project are: Merwehaven and Vierhaven (M4H) in the north side of the river, Waalhaven and Eemhaven, including the RDM campus on the south bank, and Rijnhaven, with Kathendrecht, and Maashaven on the east part of the plan. Initially the idea was to follow the same scheme as in other redevelopment plans. At the same time the port expansion towards open sea, the Maasvlakte 2, was also been planned. The concept was that the port activities would move to the new area and the place would be free for urban development. There are some particular characteristics that later would condition the success of this initial approach. First of all the size of the intervention did not allowed the same concept as followed in the other areas, the problems and challenges were not the same. Also the location of these areas was different. If in the first wave of waterfront regeneration we observe that is mainly land placed near the city center, therefore more attractive to urban development, in this case not all the territory was directly connected to the urban core. Some of the areas are far from the center and the existing links are not so strong. Another key different was that during the plans developed in the 1980´s there were mainly port brownfields, where no specific activities were taking place. In this case most of the area had an industrial port tissue, with working companies. Finally the role the municipality played in the Kop van Zuid could not be proportionally extrapola-

Stadshavens Source: “Port-city development in Rotterdam: a true love story”

ted to this case. If in the other project there were several key public investment, like the Erasmus bridge or the expansion of the subway network, in the Stadshavens plan it was not so clear whether the public authorities would be in a positon to act likewise or if they would have the resources for it. Finally the Maasvlakte 2 also went through troubled water and the move of the existing industries was not so clear. In the years previous to the crisis was already clear that the model would not work. The ambitious goals regarding housing were not realistic and the organization was not functional. The presence of two major stakeholders with different goals and priorities together with a third new founded company was not productive. In the year 2007 a new agreement was made in which the Stadshavens would remain as an

“umbrella” corporation, which main duties would be to facilitate the dialogue, communication and coordination of the different agendas. The change also implied new goals and a better relation between the stakeholders. The municipality acknowledged the value of the existing industries and an analysis of the companies and contracts was performed in order to have a realistic schedule of the transition in the concerned areas. The idea was to improve the existing maritime and port cluster, potentiating the companies that could help to develop the future model of the port-city economy. At the same time the educational links would be reinforced and the relation with the communities would be improved. 5 main strategies For the development of the plan five main strategies were decided: Re-inventing the


RDM Campus Source:

Floating communities Source:

delta technology, volume and value, crossing borders, floating communities and sustainable mobility. We will just do a brief comment about these strategies instead of explaining in detail all the different points since they are well described in several articles and brochures.

therefore improve the public perception of the port activities. Along with this target is also fulfilling the needs of new employees for these companies by creating links with educational institutions.

Regarding the delta technology the main goal is to make Rotterdam a reference in a field in which already has an important role. The technologies associated with deltas and flood management are well developed in the region, already leading companies in the world are installed in the city. This path will be exploited and the Stadshaven will become a reference with new companies, bringing the benefit of the associated jobs to it. The industries from this field would be mainly placed in the Waalhaven and RDM campus. In the volume and value strategy the goal is to develop the area into a mix of added value companies working in the portmaritime cluster and short sea hub for transshipment to secondary harbours. Regarding the new industries, one of the goals, besides creating wealth, is to stablish synergies with the local communities and


When the organization mentions the crossing borders strategies, they mainly intend to develop a different kind of interaction between city and port, better than the one being carried so far. The main point is developing activities that so far might have not been so present in the port, like the educational institutions or the creative industries. In this strategy the RDM campus has played the leading role so far. Another new type of interaction will be the creation of new housing areas, mainly in the eastern part, Rijnhaven and Maashaven. The floating communities strategy is selfexplanatory. In the Stadshavens project we shall see a new sort of urban development, directly on the water. This sort of building is not new in the Netherlands, but the new approach should bring interesting results. There are already prototypes being tested in the Rijnhaven for housing and near the RDM campus for floating trees and offices spaces. Very recently in the-

se facilities, the aqua dock, a floating office space, started to be built. The last strategy is the sustainable mobility. About this point the most relevant innovation will be the development of the waterborne public transport system. In order to give a new relation to the city with the port, this new transport should play and important role. The waterbuses and watertaxis accentuate the port identity. In this case if we see the map we notice that the option of blue transport is logical also for practical reasons. The closest connection between both sides in the majority of the Stadshavens territory is by water, and some of the main points will need an efficient public transport system, like the connection from the RDM to the city center or M4H. In the organization´s office and in the website we can find information about the planned schedule of the Stadshavens project. The short-term phase is coming to an end this year, the second phase should go until 2025 and the third phase will expand until 2040, coordinated with the regional development concepts. The plan has been developed more on a strategic base rather than a blue print with closed designs. This flexibility will allow an adaptation margin in case is necessary or even the renegotiation of the goals for certain areas, like perhaps the fruit cluster in the M4H. As we can see the plan has evolved from the initial approach and some of the main goals as well. The intention of developing housing areas was rethought. In the project, as pointed out by MA, this program would be implemented only in the land where it would be compatible with the existing activities. Therefore we would find

it more easily in eastern part, Rijnhaven and Maashaven. Also in the areas placed in the north side of the river, which eventually will fully move to municipality control, housing developments are plan, but only in the long term scenario. Nowadays we find here a major fruit cluster for the production of juice and other port related industries. At the same time in this area the transition has already started, some land is already administrated by the municipality and the front-runner creative companies are already functioning there. In the southern areas the PA will still be in charge of its administration. This decision is mainly connected with the fact that the existing and new port related companies will bring added value to the city and the port. In Waalhaven and Eemhaven we can find different sort of industries from container terminal to fiber optic cable developing companies. Closer scale During our meeting with SL we came to know that there was already an existing dialogue between the different parts involved in some projects in the Stadshavens, before the platform existed. She also explained some of the operational aspects in the development of the projects in the nearer scale. For example not all projects must be organized by the Stadshavens platform, probably just the strategic level and some key developments or complex plans that might require major negotiation between the stakeholders. In other cases the projects can be directly developed by the local organizations. Another interesting information was the existence of “beauty committees� that must


Heijplaat: Source:

approve the implementation of the plans for the local projects. These committees are formed by several independent professionals and citizen representatives. They exist in the areas under municipal supervision, but in some cases they must agree with the port quality committees which would have another point of view. Occasionally in this level we might find some frictions that are solved via negotiation. Heijplaat Included in the Stadshavens area we can find a very particular case, the village ofHeijplaat, placed between the harbours of Eelhaven and Waalhaven. This area was developed at the beginning of the XXth century for the shipyard workers. When the activities ceased the village began to be more isolated from the city center. In the 1980´s faced the risk of being demolished, but the public pressure sorted effect and an agreement was found to keep the village intact. At the same time, since Heijplaat is between port areas with safety legislation, it cannot grow more than the 200 houses that currently form it. This area presents an interesting contrast with the surroundings since is made mainly of small single family houses and in the background we can find several port


industries with heavy machinery. For the village the Stadshavens plan might bring very positive outcomes. The development of the RDM campus in the old shipyard facilities creates new activities and possible jobs in the start-ups growing there. At the same time it might also be an option for the educational path of the local inhabitants. Also, until the arrival of the new campus, one of the main issues was the lack of direct connections with the city center. This problem is already solved since now there is a waterbus connection that in the future will be more frequent as the activities in this area grow further. World Expo 2025 In the relation between city and port in the context of Rotterdam there is another ongoing interesting debate, the World Expo 2025. A group of entrepreneurs has been preparing a possible application of the city for the expo. The main topic of the event would be “changing currents”, very much related to the need of developing an alternative economic model. Within the general theme another relevant subject would be “deltas in transition”, an issue very relevant in the Netherlands, that is obviously connected with issue of the water and the port. When we asked the municipal and port au-

thorities about the issue, both agreed that, if done properly, it could bring very positive results to the city. The problem might be what it means to do it well. MA explained that it could be reasonable to make the expo in a waterfront location if it is related with the water, however always having in mind the consequences of the decisions to be taken, particularly regarding the location and the effects in the whole economic model and existing industrial tissue. It is necessary to develop a long term goal and, if considered appropriate, use the World Expo as an accelerator for the project. MA was also favorable of developing a model that would engage the whole city instead of having the focus on just one area. IV agreed with the need of having a very clear long term goal, not thinking just in the 6 months the venue lasts, and a vision or need for the transformation of an area in the waterfront. Regarding the discussion of the location it was clear for her that a similar approach like in the Stadshavens plan should be made, that is to develop the expo in areas that are brownfields or in the process of becoming one. For this reason it would only be logic to develop it, for example, in the M4H area and not in the Waalhaven or other land with functioning port related industries. This possibility, as she explained, would only make sense if the goal is very clear and if it is really necessary for the transformation of the area. Port of the future investigation The concerns about the public opinion regarding the port are not something new. Already in 2007 “the port of the future” project was developed. In this project the PA and the NAI asked six renowned architecture and urban planning offices of Rotterdam to develop an investigation about

the aesthetical qualities of the port and how they could be enjoyed by the public. In this theoretical exercise the firms, MVRDV, West8 or Mecanoo, among others, acknowledged the port as a fascinating manmade landscape, with aesthetic values difficult to find in any other context. In the proposal we could see different approaches, from giving a representative role to the roads to and around the port, the plans for implementing a system of viewpoints, alternative uses of the Maasvlakte 2 dune, the enhancement of the new clean technologies as a new element of this artificial landscape, even in same case the office proposed to treat the port territory as a national park, a landscape to cherish. As conclusion to the study Wouter Van Stiphout wrote an interesting essay with the provocative title “Lipstick on a Gorilla”. In it the author notices the change in the relation between the port and the city and points out the new stage of the relation, in which the port is something that requires explanation. Current coexistence strategies Port territory In the image we can see the port of Rotterdam extends over the territory, from the city to the open sea. This extension, over 40 km, implies also a relation with bordering towns, like Maassluis, Westvoorne or Hook van Holland. In order to have positive synergies with these settlements, as explained by IV, there are meetings twice a year, to discuss the issues that might affect them. The PA follows tailor-made approaches to cope with possible negative externalities. At the same time the companies are also implied in this process.


Map of the Port of Rotterdam. Different areas and several towns in the boundary Source:

There is a structure of buffer areas to diminish the nuisances caused by the industries placed in the port, mainly noise, dust, odor and gases. For this purpose there is an electronic system to detect if the different pollutants are within the legal parameters, in case they are exceeded the responsible authorities are warned to act. Simultaneously we see a discussion regarding “smart� urban planning, mainly concerned about not developing housing areas in land near port territories that might later cause problems to inhabitants. Education The case of Rotterdam is a good example of how to explain the soft-values of the port. The agenda developed for the social integration of the port is remarkable and proportional to the size of the port itself. As we have already seen a considerable part of the effort is being made in the relation with the educational institutions. At the same time that we see increasing synergies in the higher education level, also in the primary and secondary school several actions are being developed. Besides improving the opinion about the port among youngsters, the main goal is


to show how the port can be an attractive place to develop a professional career. This concern comes also because the port is foreseeing a possible shortage of qualified workers in the future, particularly when the change in the economic model takes place. Port center In Rotterdam we can find two port center, the EIC Mainport Rotterdam in a central position in the port land, and the more recent FutureLand in the Maasvlakte 2 expansion area. During our visit we were only able to visit the second one since both are not easily reachable with public transport. Both centers have different scopes. The EIC is focused in explaining in general terms the functioning of the port. It was open in 1994 and is a joint project between the PA and Deltalinqs. The FutureLand on the other side is far away from the city center and is focused on explaining how the expansion project of the port works, its consequences and benefits. The investment in this second one, the one we visited, is considerable. In it we can find different spaces with hi-tech infotainment

is not at all thought or prepared to become a tourist attraction has grown to a point where it became a very demanded visit. Certainly we see this mainly in harbours with a reasonable scale, where the visitors can see the big ships and cranes that form the image we see so often in magazines or websites when looking for Rotterdam or Hamburg. FutureLand, Maasvlakte 2 Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez

devices prepared for the interaction with adults and children from different ages. Besides there is also a cafeteria, exhibition areas and a sightseen terrace. Both centers offer guided tours to the port facilities. In the case of FutureLand one of the main attractions is the boat tour, since we can navigate near the giant container ships. Besides these port centers we can also find the newspaper done by the port for explaining the ongoing activities. This light publication is available not just in the port centers or in the PA head office, but also in some public areas, like the access to the tunnel that crosses the Maas river. Port as a place to visit During our visit to Rotterdam we could see for the first time in the research trip that the port is not just the economic motor of the region and a key infrastructure, but also a tourist attraction. There is a specialized company, Spido, focused on providing tours around the port. This activity manifest the interest in the port, not just for the locals or the port workers, but also for the visitors. The tourism industry is growing fast and different sort of visitors are surging. It is interesting how something that

The rise of different kinds of tourism represents an opportunity to enhance the public view of the port. In Rotterdam, besides the company aforementioned, we find others that are dedicated to industrial tourism. If the PA is able to associate themselves with this sort of activity, going beyond the education and port centers, we could have a better acceptance of the port in the cities and perhaps a better understanding of it. The port is not just an industrial area by the water, the meaning it carries for the society and the place it takes in the collective memory should be cherish. Particularly if, as we see, the general interest in it is already growing. Heritage The industrial port heritage in Rotterdam has an important role for the identity of the city. If we consider that during the WWII the historical center was tear down during the air bombings, we understand that any element that might retain a memory from the past is of great importance. However, as pointed out by SL, this appreciation of the industrial heritage has grown along time. These building might be protected but are not intended to stay crystallized, as museum or monuments, the general approach is to integrate in them urban functions.


We can find buildings that will go through an interesting transformation in Katendrecht. In this area of the city there still are functioning industrial facilities which in the future will hold an interesting mix of uses. In some cases we might even see the coexistence of industrial activities with housing. If this happens it will probably be only with certain types of activities that might be compatible with other uses. Maritime Museum, historic harbor Just like in many other port-cities in Rotterdam we can find a Maritime museum. In this case it is placed in the city center, by one of the many water canals. The museum has a remarkable collection, from old maps, paintings and pictures to old clothing from fisherman. Also has recreations of the interiors of cruise ships and several areas dedicated to the children. Another part of the exhibition is dedicated to the harbour. They have a detailed model where we see the evolution of the port, the importance of its presence and how many goods from our daily life come through it. The museum also has a library dedicated to maritime themes, including port bibliography. Besides the building, the museum also has an important feature that might have greater impact than the collection itself, a harbour for historic boats. In this area in a water canal we can visit several boats, cranes and other port machinery. Next to this space we will also find a workshop dedicated to boat and engines repairs, that we can also visit and get to know better the inside of some ships. If we consider that the maritime museum is in the city center and that also contains


Historic harbor Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez

a fairly detailed explanation of the port, we could understand why is not so problematic that either of the port centers are not placed in the urban core. All three facilities form a powerful tool for explaining the maritime world and the port, each one of them with its own scope, more historical one in the museum, a general view in the case of the EIC and the future of the port in the case of the Future Land. Personal Opinion The case of Rotterdam, as we said in the beginning of the post, is a very complex one. The dimension of the port magnifies many of the issues and solutions that could see in other port-cities. For this reason is a very good case to study the relation and detect future models that later might serve as inspiration for other port-cities. After the initial analysis here performed we can clearly see that one of the most positive aspects of this case is the existing dialogue and cooperation between the city and the port. The coordination of agendas and goals in the short, medium and long term development is crucial for the success of the alternative waterfront development model they are following. The fact that the

city was able to change the vision towards the existing industry and adapt its housing strategy should bring positive outcomes in the near future. On the other side we see how the new role of the PA´s could be in the next decades. Alternative solutions are necessary for the change in the economic model and the engagement of the PA in port related activities, going beyond territorial management and containers, could be the path to follow. In this city, where the port has played such a vital role for its development, the weight it has in the urban identity is very clear. The support and pride of its citizens in the port is clear, however the necessary measures must be taken in order to maintain it. At the same time, as pointed out by MA, the evolution is necessary so the inhabitants identify themselves not just with the ships and cranes, that someday will be a nostalgic image of the past, but also with new more sustainable model. The Stadshavens plan is one of the most interesting ongoing waterfront regeneration initiatives in Europe. We should pay attention to its evolution to notice if they are able to fully develop all the strategies. The goals are very ambitious but, if the

collaboration continues, the context seems to be the most appropriate to experiment with alternatives to the previous pre-crisis schemes. The initiatives done for the social integration of the port are in Rotterdam very advanced. As we have seen, there is a coherent set of facilities working for the diffusion of the port soft-values. The attention they get from the public is clear, however it would be interesting to see the repercussion they really have. For example what has really changed since before they were open, or what is the general public opinion regarding the port expansion. It is important to notice that due to the limited time this issue should be studied in further detail in visits to come. In conclusion Rotterdam could be seen as pioneer in the port-city relation field. The initiatives and strategies here developed should be looked up by other cases. In Lisbon we could definitely learn, for example, regarding the dialogue or the alternative approaches towards the relation with the river. The future seems to be nearer in Rotterdam, we will see how it happens.

Radhuset area with Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen in the back Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez


Act 3 - Photo essay


















5th stop

Marseille 43°17’47’’N 5°22’12’’E November 3 -18, 2015

Act 1 - Oldest city in France: Marseille

Marseille, Mediterranean port-city The city of Marseille was created in the 6th century BC when Greek explorers met with the local tribes, in the north bank of today´s Vieux port, and decided to settle taking advantage of the natural conditions to stablish a port. The colonists from Phocaea named the new town Massalia. Later on, in the year 49 BC, Caesar conquered the city in the expansion of the roman empire. The name changed to Massilia and the economic activities focused on the port continued to expand. Few centuries after the conquer of Marseille the Roman empire started to decline. At the same time Christianity spread along the roman territories including this city. This change left several new buildings in the urban tissue, like the old cathedral or the St. Victor basilica.


Mediterranean sea in ancient Greece. Source:

During the first centuries of the first millennium, while the roman empire was collapsing, the city suffered several invasions from tribes like the Visigoths, Burgundians, Ostrogoths and Franks. This instability affected the trade and consequently the port. Only under Charlemagne and its successor, in the 8th and 9th century a certain stability was regain. During this period it became part of the Kingdom of Provence. At the same time the Muslim invasion of certain territories, particularly the Iberian peninsula, did not allowed the maritime commerce to fully recover until the 11th century. Marseille regained an important role as port for the crusades and establish itself as the door for the east Mediterranean. The city continued to expand and the maritime activities had an even greater impact in the urban core. During the 15th century it was the main port of the Mediterranean Sea. Within its infrastructure we could find an important arsenal, but also shipyards. Along the middle ages and the renaissan-


ce, Marseille kept a certain autonomy although integrated in the kingdom of Provence. Its port-city condition gave a certain power and rebellious identity. During this time, until the 17th century, the city was involved in several conflicts and suffered aggressions from different enemies. At the same time, and also associated with its port-city condition, it suffered outbreaks of plague that decimated the population. The resistance of Marseille to obey a central power in France forced Luis XIV, the Expansion plan for Marseille in 17th century Source: <

Satellite image of Marseille Source:

King Sun, to come from Paris to lead his army and submit the city to his command. In order to stablish a permanent control, new fortress were built in the mouth of the port. More specifically the fort St. Jean and fort St. Nicholas. Simultaneously the new arsenal was built in the south part of the current Vieux-port. Another important urban changes were taking place during the 17th century, for example the city expansion was being planned. This project implied the creation of a new north-south axis, including Cours de Belsunce and Curse Saint-Louis. This plan would start the urban expansion of the city away from the cost. Later on we would see this axis expand from Place Jules Guesde to Place Castellane, and further on to Avenue du Prado in the 19thand 20th centuries. At the French revolution the battalion from Marseille sang the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Marseillaiseâ&#x20AC;? for the first time, this song would later become the national anthem. The city and port started growing again after the 2nd quarter of the 19th century, when two important proces-

ses began, the industrial revolution and the rise of the French colonial empire. Along this century, as it happened in many other port-cities, the new technologies accelerated the rhythm in the port and increased the size of the ships. Simultaneously the second empire, as the French colonies were also known, meant more traffic for the city. The new activities and technologies demanded the expansion of the port. Between 1855 and 1863 we saw the first port areas in the north side of the city, what is known as La Joliette and Le Lazaret. The port would grow until becoming the 4th port in the world and one of the main industrial areas in France. At the beginning of the 20th century the famous transporter bridge in the mouth of the vieux port was built. Unfortunately it was destroyed during the WWII. In this period we saw the rapid expansion of the port until L´Estaque, the natural limit of the basin. Before the WWI, tthe first discussions regarding the creation of a port outside the city area took place. The plans would be postponed due to the


Pont Transbordeur Source:

WWI and WWII that seriously affected the city and the its infrastructure. Particularly damaged was the vieux-port area, where the Nazis destroyed several blocks, up to 1500 buildings, for considering it a criminal neighborhood. In 1964 we finally saw the expansion in Fos-sur-Mer. This new territory would initially host mainly the petro-chemicals plants. Only later on would we see the container terminals and other activities. During the second half of the 20th century Marseille would go through several difficult situations. Particularly complicated was the fall of the empire, that would bring to the city many immigrants. The city is well known for its multicultural society but in certain moments of its history it has also seen social conflict regarding the coexistence among people with different backgrounds. At the same time Marseille gained a reputation of dangerous and degraded city. During the last two decades we have assisted to several initiatives focused in changing this situation. Nowadays the city of Marseille is the second urban agglomeration in France, after Paris. It has a population of 850 000 inhabitants and almost 1,8 million in the


metropolitan area. The port still plays an important role in the economy and the labor market. The city has stablish itself as an important tourism destination and is integrated in the PACA region (Provence, Alpes and Cote d´Azur) which is one of the most attractive regions for tourism and leisure activities. The physical geography is typical from this part of the Mediterranean, with an accidental topography, including mountains entering directly into the water with very few flat area. The Port The GPMM (Grand Port Maritime de Marseille) is the 5th port in Europe and main port on France regarding tonnage. If we consider containers is competing with Le Havre in this sort of traffic. More specifically last year it had a throughput of 78,5 million tons and 1.2 million containers. One of the main characteristics of this port is the fact that the liquid bulk, mainly oil and related products, take a large share of the traffic, almost 70% in 2012. The GPMM also has a strong passenger traffic, both in regular lines and in the cruise industry. In 2014 it had a combined traffic of 2,5 million passenger, of which 1,2 million were from the cruise sector. The port has its territory divided into two

View of Marseille Author: José M P Sánchez

Port of Fos Source:

main areas, east basin in Marseille and West basin in Fos. In the section placed in the city we will find all the activities related with passengers, also ro-ro, container and short-sea shipping terminals. In this area we can also see the fishing port and the shipyards. In the west basin, 50 km away, is where the port has the majority of its land (95% of over 10 000 Ha). There we can find the petro-chemical refineries and a major container terminal, besides other industries related with this sectors.

sideration, but on the long term plan. The Euroméditerranée project took place in Marseille and it affected the port mainly in the south part of the east basin, changing the physical configuration of this area and the activities related with the ferries.

Regarding jobs, the port of Marseille-Fos creates over 40 000 direct and indirect jobs. In 2012 the port had a direct and indirect impact of 3% of the GDP in the PACA region. From these figures we can see that the GPMM still has a notorious presence not just physically in the city, but also in the economy. Two of the main projects that we have seen in recent times related with the port are theMarseille-Fos 2XL and the Euroméditarrenée. The first one was the expansion of the container terminal in Fos. It started operating in 2012 after 5 years of construction period, and a cost of 400 mill. €. The future 3XL and 4XL are in con-

The waterfront The coast of Marseille has evolved considerably along its history. As we have seen the city was born near the current vieuxport and later expanded occupying a considerable territory. The first improvements in this part of the city were done in the reconstruction after the WWII. The vieux-port was the most affected area and the regeneration was urgent. Nowadays we can find here one of the main recreational marinas and mostly tertiary activities, such as leisure, offices and tourism. We can also find several housing areas, many from the reconstruction period. The typical image of Marseille is from this part of the city, with the different fortress creating a strong character that has also been used as attraction for the many tourist that visit the city. For the European capital of culture event, in 2013, there were several improvements in order to rearrange the traffic and create more pedestrian areas. Different facilities


were created, such as the shading structure from Sir Norman Foster that has become a major attraction. The regeneration process should continue until 2020. The main second urban regeneration project that also affected the waterfront and the port is the Euroméditerranée. This project is very particular for several reasons. First of all the leading role is taken by the state, instead of the municipal authorities as we have seen in other cases. Second, the project is not limited to the waterfront area, but comprises a significant part of the city center. The main goal is its regeneration and the improvement of the image of the city. Included in the plan were for example the train station or industrial brownfields, unrelated with the port. Another important feature of this intervention is the fact that in some port territories the port activities coexist with the urban ones. Therefore the port still is part of the city and the strategies developed could be an example View of the Vieux-Port Author: José M P Sánchez


for other cases looking for new synergies. During the next week we will interview several key actors of the process, we will get to know how it developed and what is expected for its expansion, the 2nd act.

Next page: View of Marseille Source: Presentation from Euroméditerranée

Act 2 - The Marseille Experience During the last two weeks we stayed in Marseille. We were able to get to know the second city of France and analyze the port-city relation. Although in terms of national importance the hegemony of Paris is undisputed, Marseille has developed along the centuries a strong identity. Nowadays aims to become the symbolical European capital of the Mediterranean Sea, a title to discuss with other port-cities, such as Genoa, Valencia and mainly Barcelona. When we talk about this French city we must always have in mind the considerable dimensions of it, is the second city of France by extension and it plays an important role for the regional and national economy. For the analysis of the city we worked following the same approach like in previous cases. We were able to visit the historic center, the expansion areas and the port territories, both in Marseille and Fos. As

we mentioned in the last post, the port was the reason why this city was created, it has clearly influenced the evolution of the urban core and it has played a major role in its history. During our stay we were able to visit several cultural institutions in charge of divulging the identity of the city. For example we can find the Museum of the roman docks or theMuseum of the history of Marseille, where the evolution of the city is explained, from the Greek roots of Massalia to the XXth century. In its collection we can identify the role the port has played and how in some cases it has conditioned the urban development. Another relevant museum is the recently opened MUCEM museum of the European and Mediterranean civilizations. This institution is very relevant for our research since is placed in what it used to be J4 area, a former port territory that was freed up during the EuromĂŠditerranĂŠe operation. Finally we


Vieux port Author: José M P Sánchez

can also visit the Musée de la Marine et de l’Économie, where we will find a collection of maritime artifacts and ship models. This museum is placed in the Palais de la Bourse, where the chamber of commerce is based. Interviews For the development of the research was important to meet with the local stakeholders, in this case we met with Mr. Alexandre Sorrentino (AS), Director of Strategic Foresight and International Relations of Euroméditerranée. We also were able to speak with the persons in charge for the port-city relation of the Grand Port Maritime du Marseille (GPMM), more specifically with Ms. Régine Vinson (RV), Head of the City-Port Department and with Ms. Claire Hallé (CH), responsible for the partnerships and synergies of the same department. We also tried to speak with the Agam (Agence d´urbanisme de l´agglomération Marseillese) but unfortunately we received no answer to our contacts. The relation between the city and the port


Emotional In the case of Marseille the port still is a strong identity element, both in the urban structure and the collective memory. When we walk around the city we perceive the presence of the port, mainly in the older areas or near the coast. The influence that the maritime activities had in the formation of the city is clear. Many of the neighborhoods we find along the coast, that now are included in Marseille, used to be fisherman villages. In the city center one of the main leisure area is the Vieux-Port were the people meet and we can find several restaurants and bars. Although this is clearly one of the main tourist attractions still is a popular meeting point. At the same time many important landmarks, like the fortresses, are placed in the coast. What once used to be the city´s defense structures are now places to visit and to enjoy the view of the sea and the port. In general terms the locals acknowledge the port as an important feature for their identity. In many families the previous generations were somehow connected to the port, when it used to employ hundreds of thousands instead of the 40 000 today (still though a considerable figure for the region). However most inhabitants have a bucolic image from the port, as it happens in other port cities. As RV mentioned, currently the majority of the locals do not know exactly how the ports works and the romantic view remains in the collective mind. At the same time the people demand more and better access to the water. Even if the current situation is better than previously, is not easy to cope with a closed area by the water. For this reason, among others, the public image of the port has been af-

Coastline evolution.: beginning of the XIXth Century vs end of the XXth. Source: EuromĂŠditerranĂŠe presentation

fected. If we consider that the jobs in the port decreased and that the majority of the port activities take place out of sight, we might understand that is difficult for the inhabitants to relate with the port. Marseille is particular in this aspect since the relation of its inhabitant with the port might vary depending on the area of the city we study. The majority might have the watered image we described, but we can also find people, mainly in the north part of the city, that have a stronger opposition to the port. There are two main reasons for this difficult relation: (i)the fact that the port developed where several popular beaches were and(ii) that is in this area where we can find the majority industrial activities

in port territory. Some of the local elderly people remember the previous state of the coast, before the port expanded its east basin. This clearly has an impact in the way they perceive the port, especially for the ones whose job or pension does not depend on the harbour activities. The second reason is probably the one that might harm the port image in the future the most, since the port location will not change. The recent Port-City charter, that manifests the institutional acceptation of the port in the urban core, says that this area will remain as the industrial core of the east basin. Therefore the focus will have to be putted in other soft strategies to find a way to improve the relation.


Finally we have to understand that the port of Marseille, as mentioned in the previous post, has two main locations, in Marseille and Fos. This two areas have very different characteristics regarding their activities, their scale and the way they relate with the territory and the local populations. We focused in the city area, the east basin, since the main focus of the research is the port-city relation and is also where we can find the most interesting challenges and the new strategies. However, the fact that the port is placed in two different areas and that in Fos, where approx. 95% of the port territory is, the expansion is apparently easier than in the urban tissue of Marseille, has given arguments to the port critics. They mention that the port could expand in Fos and disappear from Marseille. This reasoning clearly does not consider the characteristics of the port activities and the consequences it could have in terms of employment and urban development. Institutional In order to better understand the relation we must first explain that the port of Marseille is different from the cases explained previously. In the European context we can find two main types of national organization regarding some major infrastructure like ports, centralized and decentralized. The ports we have analyzed so far were mainly city owned or the city had the leading role, mainly as shareholder in case it is an independent corporation. We could see this in ports like Rotterdam, Hamburg or Helsinki. This sort of state model is more common in the north/central European countries. In the southern countries we find a centralized model, where a state authority is responsible for the organization


and control of the Seaports. This organization is more common in France, Portugal, Italy or Spain. In the current case we see that until very recently all ports remained under state control. This situation changed in 2008 and only the main ports considered of national importance remained under state control, changing their name to Grand Port Maritime, like Le Havre or Marseille. This change also meant that the PA evolved to something more than a managing institution; they changed to be the effective owners of the port territory. The port authorities gained a certain independence although always under the state control. The different approaches regarding the national organization has, in many cases, conditioned the institutional relation between city and port authorities. When we spoke with the representative from the GPMM they told us that one of the difficulties they found was that the Municipality still sees often the port as something external to the city, a body that does not belong to them. This issue might possibly limit the city-port synergies that could be developed. Regarding the institutional relation is also important to understand how the GPMM is managed. The port has two boards: the supervisory board and the development board. Both council are important for the port functioning but is the supervisory board the one that has decision making capacities. As we have said before the state is the main player in the GPMM, it has 5 out of 17 representatives in the main board. Besides the central government also the representatives from other territorial divisions, regional and municipal scales, have a sit in the board. Finally also the unions

the near future we shall see if this new organization can improve the coordination or if it will add confusion to the current situation.

Shipyards in the East Basin Author: José M P Sánchez

and several professionals with know-how relevant for the port are represented. Besides the boards there is also a managing team in charge of the operational duties. The complexity of the GPMM is also visible in the territorial level in which it has to relate with up to nine groups of municipalities, each one demanding presence in the boards and looking out for its own interests. This universe of stakeholders and different bodies hinders a possible fluid relation with the different municipalities and at the same time adds complexity to the negotiation process and strategic vision. When we speak about major infrastructure a general vision is needed, the coordination between short term and long term strategies is crucial as it is that every player in the different level understands its role in the development process. In January 2016 another institution, the Métropole de d’AixMarseille-Provence, will start working to rule the Aix-Marseille metropolis in several topics.This new organization might give the GPMM the opportunity to discuss to on a larger territorial scale. The development of the port will be one of the arguments to study by the new institution, but the port governance will remain with the current management model, led by the state. In

When we study major ports that affect a large territory, as is the case of the GPMM, we might have to choose to focus the analysis in one of the several concerned cities. In this case the clear choice was Marseille. The port also has to prioritize the municipalities that are more relevant for its operation. Marseille and Fos are obviously the ones the port has to relate more. Regarding the institutional relation between the city and the port in the case of Marseille, we can say that in last 20 years there has been a considerable evolution. All the interviewees agreed that since 1995 the relation has changed but also that there is space for improvement. We can identify two main stepping stones in this process, the Euroméditerranée plan and the CityPort Charter. Both elements here mentioned will later be described in further detail. It is important to realize that the Euroméditerranée operation is an ongoing process since 1995 that created a framework for the second element, the City-Port Charter. The main characteristic of both is the cooperation between several institutions with different priorities and goals, in some cases almost incompatible from an initial point of view. It is also important to notice that a certain pressure from the state was needed in order to impulse the project that later on would create the context for the charter.


Plan of Euroméditerranée Source:

Euroméditerranée Marseille was at the beginning of the 1990´s a city with many problems. The traditional port related industries had suffered with the several crisis of the second half of the XXth century and the shipyards were struggling with the competition of the eastern rivals. The typical industries of the region no longer were providing the jobs they used to and the unemployment rate was particularly high when compared with other French cities. At the same time the investment in the city was decreasing what gave as result a degraded urban environment. The city gained fame for being unsafe and the population was decreasing. One of the main issues was also the fact that the development model of the city was not updated to cope with the change in the industry. The education rates, regarding professionals with higher studies, was poor when compared with other French cities (still is nowadays). There were no real alternatives to the crumbling industry.


This issue can also be observed in other port-cites, in which the port was the main job source. When the crisis hits these cities the adaptation period is critical and very often the port workers, who have work in the port for generations, are the first victims. For centuries the work in the port did not required any sort of high-education. This meant they were particularly exposed to the shifts in the economic situation. Nowadays the reality has changed and more often the ports need qualified staff, which is sometimes hard to find. We have to consider that for a country the size of France it can be very problematic to have its second urban agglomeration in a precarious state. It’s the first port of the nation and it should work as counterpart to balance the territorial development outside Paris. The state, along with the municipality, decided to stablish a plan to reactivate the

city. The strategy was focused on the urban redevelopment of specific areas near the city center and the waterfront. The plan was named Euroméditerranée, somehow expressing the subjective goal of redeveloping the city into a symbolic capital of the Euromed region. The project was considered an operation of national interest and a specific urban planning agency was established. The goals were mainly three: (i) to lead an urban renewal operation with an initial public investment and a clear strategy;(ii) to transform the public lead into a real estate and economic development, working with the private investors but under the rules established by the public organization and, finally, (iii) to improve the international image of the city, that Main figures of the Euroméditerranée Source: Euroméditerranée presentation

had been seriously affected in the previous decades. The organization, established in 1995, was led by the state but also included the city of Marseille, the Urban Community, the County Council and the Regional Council. Besides the main goals quoted before, one of the other purposes of the plan, as pointed out by AS, was to improve the relation between the city and the port. As mentioned before, the plan includes acting in port territory, therefore the cooperation between the different entities was necessary. The majority of the land the Euroméditerranée considered were industrial or railway brownfields. The exception was the area in the waterfront that belonged to the GPMM and, as it was stated by the RV, it was an active part of the port, therefore the negotiation was needed. The urban renewal operation has a significant scale, is considered to be one of the main regeneration projects in Europe. Besides waterfront land another areas within the urban core were considered, like the Rue de la Republique, the railway station St Charles and industrial buildings in its surroundings. In the image we can see the main figures of the plan. It is also important to explain that the goal of the project is not the gentrification of the area. Although some of the new buildings can be considered of high standards with expensive rents, the operation also includes 25% of housing with controlled pricing. Finally another important aspect is the financing of the project. The Support of the state is crucial in order make it viable, being in charge of 50% of the initial investment.


The acquisition of the land is also made by a state agency, the établissement public foncier (EPF). The Euroméditerranée organization is in charge of managing the process between the land acquisition and the private development. The goal of the company, formed by several public partners, is not to make profit but to manage the operation and reinvest the gains in the city. The economic has proven successful since it has developed cautiously without creating an excess of plots for new buildings, or jeopardizing the operation during the crisis years. At the same time the new projects, whether they are for office or housing, are only allowed to proceed if they can assure the occupancy. This is also important since its avoids the creation of empty constructions and the existence of negative degradation spirals. Negotiation When we asked the interviewees about the first phase of the negotiations both agreed that there were some initial difficulties. AS explained that there was a general misunderstanding about the scope of the Euroméditerranée. Many people and institutions thought that the goal was to push the port out of the city in order to get the access to the water and build several private marinas. This idea was also assumed by the unions that fully rejected the plan even with protests, since it was seen as a threat to the port activities and, therefore, their jobs. RV and CH explained that for them was also not easy to explain the project to the port community since they also perceived the project as menace to their business. In an initial stage, as pointed by AS, the port was reticent to collaborate.


The new project demanded a serious reflection about the role of the port in the city. This necessary change in the general mindset happened along the negotiation process, particularly when the state directly pressured for an understanding. The agreement, in the early 2000´s, was only possible when the port administration and the port community were aware of the possible positive outcome. The deal was that the port territories would remain under their control, the industrial part of the port would remain active and that the other involved actors acknowledged the important role of the port in the urban economy. Another relevant element was that a solution was founded which would allow the coexistence of certain port activities and urban ones. The port on his side should do two main things: (i) first it should leave the space for the creation of the new boulevard du Littoral; second (ii) it should give the J4 quay for the development of the MUCEM and Villa Méditerranée. In exchange for the J4 area the port had to make a landfill and change the coast line nearby, between the J3 and J2. City-Port Charter The agreements aforementioned improved the cooperation and led to interesting mixed use projects and the City-Port Charter. This document, signed in 2013, was mainly the crystallization of the negotiation process described. One of the most positive aspects of this document is the fact is an official agreement, signed by eight stakeholders: the State (Bouches du Rhône prefecture) GPMM, Euroméditerranée, the PACA region, the county, the metropolitan area, The city of Marseille and the chamber of commerce. For this reason the com-

South part of the East Basin, where the relation between the port and the city will change the most Source: EuromĂŠditerranĂŠe presentation


promise is clearer and stronger than other initiatives. In this new statement the importance of the port in the urban and regional economy was acknowledged and a commitment was made to respect its presence in the urban core, its East basin. The City-Port Charter meant also the reorganization of the East basin until the year 2025 towards a new more compatible urban port. The port territory in Marseille was divided in three main areas: North, Center and South. In the North part, from the fishing dock until L´Estaque, the waterfront would be rearranged into a pole of leisure and tourism. The existing marinas would be maximized and some leisure facilities created. In the central area the industrial activities of the port would be respected and it would remain as closed area with no public access. The shipyards activities would be expanded with the reopening of the dry-dock 10, closed during recent ye-

ars. The south part of the port would be dedicated to develop projects that allow compatible uses with the city. This change should allow a greater porosity and better access to the sea, although only visually. Example of this strategy are the Terrase du Port or Silo d´Arenc. Simultaneously the passenger and ferry activities within port territories would be reorganized. The terminals for the ships coming from countries outside the Schengen area would be placed in the central part and the ones coming from the EU would be relocated in the south section, where they could allow an easier access towards the sea. Representative projects of the new era In the south part of the east basin, where the port and the Euroméditerranée meet is where we see some of the most innovative buildings of the plan, that represent the new stage of the relation between the actors.

South part of the East Basin, where the relation between the port and the city will change the most Source: Euroméditerranée presentation


Silo d´Arenc Source:

MUCEM Source: Euroméditerranée presentation

SILO One of the first project of this group to be built was the Silo d´Arenc, placed in the north end of the first phase of the Euroméditerranée. This industrial building was reconverted into a concert hall with 2000 places and office area (4000 m2). In the ground floor the port activities continue to work, mainly allowing the cross traffic in the area. The ownership remains from the GPMM, although the majority of the investment, 30 mill€ out of 42, was made by the City of Marseille. The inside of the Silo has been rented to a partner for 50 years and since its opening in 2011 it has become one of the main concert venues in the city.

and the Ville Méditerranée, an International Centre for Dialogue and Discussion in the Mediterranean. Besides the new cultural facilities and rehabilitation of the fortress, the city has also gained an access to the sea. This is a very relevant aspect since from the vieux-port until L´ Estaque in the north the access to the water for the citizens is block by the port infrastructure.

J4/MUCEM The warehouse area formerly known as the J4 was one of the places where major modifications happened. This waterfront location placed in the south corner of the Euroméditerranée next to the Fort SaintJean was given to the city in exchange of a compensation in order to develop a new cultural pole and to give to the fortress a more noble context. In this area we can now find the MUCEM (museum of the European and Mediterranean civilizations)

Terrasses du Port Near the square of La Joliette a new mall has been developed. The particular feature of this building is the fact that allows the coexistence of the port activities under the commercial area, without compromising either of them. It opened in May 2014 with 52 000 m2 of commercial areas, 13 000 of terraces and 3000 parking places. The ground floor, excluding the entrance of the mall, is dedicated to the ferry terminal and existing port traffic, as well as the area for the passenger boarding near the quay. The project has been developed with a long term contract with the firm Hammerson. A call for proposal took place and the firm foruminvest won the bid who later would sell the project to current developer.


Terrasses du Port Source:

J1 Warehouse Source:

J1 The last building in the waterfront to be developed is the J1, a warehouse near the Place de la Joliette. This construction has already hosted temporary exhibition during the year 2013 when the city was the European capital of Culture. Since then the future of it is not clear. According to AS the decision about this building should have been reached some years ago, but so far the port has not agreed with the proposals that arrived from possible partners such as the municipality. In the past it was considered an alternative for the PA headquarters. Nowadays the GPMM is working to launch a new call for proposals for the building, following a similar scheme like in the previous cases. Regarding the physical configuration it should allow the coexistence of both port and urban uses, although the priority would be given to activities related with the maritime economy.

between the institutions is less intensive. Another key difference is the fact that for this part they will have to cope with existing industries and there are local inhabitants that actually live within the perimeter. In the first phase the majority of the operation took place in brownfield, as we have already seen, with no need of affecting local population. This added difficulties will require a new approach. AS explained that they will work more in a small scale and the dialogue with the locals will be more active in order to allow a better transition and to accommodate the local interests. Also the financing of the project will be different. In the first the state has been responsible for 50% of the funds, in this second stage this share will be reduced to approximately 20%. The program to develop will also be more focus in housing than in the first phase, during which the priority has been office area, public space and leisure and cultural facilities. Some housing project have also been built but it was not the main concern.

Second Act The Euroméditerranée perimeter was expanded in the year 2007 towards the north. There are several differences when compared with the first part of the plan. In this new stage the port territories are not directly affected, therefore the negotiation


In the second act one of the most interesting aspects will be the development of the Mediterranean eco-city project. This plan will build housing units using what AS defined as “Low cost easy tech project”,

Coexistence strategies In order to have a healthier relation with the inhabitants, the GPMM has developed a series of workshops where they try to explain the current development projects and listen to the complains of the locals. This has been one of the main coexistence actions the port has developed. The GPMM is aware that they have, as most ports, a relative negative image among the population. The communication strategies are improving slowly, however, the port community needs to understand that, if before there was no need to explain what they were doing, the situation has changed and now, in order to be accepted by the public, a certain transparency is required. Euroméditerranée act 2 Source:

so that high sustainable standards are reached without forcing big changes in the Mediterranean lifestyle. Another key project will be the Parc des Aygalade, which will take the place of the current Gare du Canet, a railway terminal for cargo. This infrastructure, necessary for the logistic operations related with the port, will be redeveloped combining it with the existing one in Mourepiane in port territory, to be later finally Terminal de Transport Combiné de Mourepiane . This change will not just replace one terminal but combine the two existing ones and improve the logistic chain, stimulating the rail traffic. For the port though, as mentioned by RV and SC, it might create problems with neighbors since it will intensify the industrial activity of the area. As we have seen the communities placed near the industrial port are probably the most critical towards the port location. New efforts will be necessary for the relation with this part of the city.

During the last years there used to be an open doors day, but apparently this initiative has ceased because of the economic cost it had. In other terms the cooperation with schools and universities continues, organizing visits and participating in workshops, for example from the architecture faculty. In the present moment there is a small information center about the port in Fos, but we were not able to find it. In the future we might see a proper Port-center, what could give a significant boost to the public perception of the port. The issue of public relation with the locals is also very relevant for the Euroméditerranée organization. AS explained us that initially the operation was better known outside Marseille than in the city itself. As we mentioned, during the first years of the project many thought it was a private operation that would end up gentrifying


the area. This view changed mainly when the people started to see results, in 2013. Since then the public acceptance has increased. Personal Opinion The case of Marseille shows several strategies that have brought positive results for both the port and the city. Probably the most relevant issue for the ongoing investigation is the fact that the interaction in institutional terms has given a great leap towards the future. If twenty years ago the relation was harsh or inexistent, now we see that there is a serious commitment for a positive synergy. The existence of a document specifically focus in the relation between city and port and signed by all the stakeholders is a good example and could be followed by other cities. The EuromĂŠditerranĂŠe operation meant a new beginning for this issue and presented the opportunity to reflect about it. Is very positive that


the initial reluctance was overcome and an agreement was achieved. The urban regeneration plan has proved to be very effective and with positive outcomes. Although the first phase still is ongoing at the moment, we see that the city has gained several important new places where it can relate with the sea. The projects before mentioned are good examples of alternative approaches to the necessary mix of functions in port-cities. The implementation of these new facilities are the result of the aforementioned negotiation process. In this article we have focused in the urban interventions, but there are also several other initiatives by the GPMM regarding the relation with the territory and the environment worth knowing. For example the project Climeport, the geothermic central or the GIREL program. All these initiatives

can be seen in the Guide of good practice from the AIVP. Regarding the communication and the use of soft values, is where we think greater improvements could be done. If the port is aware of its relative negative image, it should consider developing a more effective strategy towards better explaining itself. Although is clear that the port is an important part of the identity of the city, it could be positive if it invested in a closer public image. The goal is not to have people walking around the containers but to pursue a larger identification of the inhabitants with the port and port community. The soft values, as we have mentioned in other posts, are an important asset for the port-city synergies and in the case of Marseille they could be better explored. The possible new port-center in the J1 warehouse could improve the relation. It has an appropriate location, in the city center

but inside the harbour, and the context helps to understand the current and past importance of the port. We look forward to know how the first stage of the Euroméditerranée will end and how will the second act develop. Marseille was identified by the French geographer C. Ducruet as a Maritime city, along with Lisbon and Izmir, according to the role they have in national structure and the importance of their port in the international logistic chains. These cities share several characteristics; we shall see if they can share solutions.

Panorama from Marseille with the Mucem and the fort St. Jean in the foreground Author: José M P Sánchez


Act 3 - Photo essay
















6th stop

Genoa 44°24’40’’N 8°55’58’’E November 18 - December 3, 2015

Act 1 - The Italian case: Genoa

Genoa, a maritime power The city of Genoa is the capital of the Liguria region, in the north-west of Italy. Is part of the most industrial area of the country, historically formed by the triangle between Milan, Turin and itself. It has a population of almost 600 000 inhabitants in the city limits and over 1,5 million in the metropolitan area. The region has the typical north Mediterranean topography, with mountains with peaks from 600 to 1000 meters high near or directly by the coast. This context has been at the same time an advantage and a problem for the urban settlements and ports. The coastline creates natural deep water ports that allow an easy access for the modern ships, but at the same time the fact that the terrain is so complex complicates the creation of large flat surfaces for major infrastructure such as ports and airports. The origin of the city goes back to the pre-romans time. The existing settlement in the “Castello” hill had the conditions to work as an Emporium for commerce in the route to Marseille. As it happens with many other Mediterranean cities the Greeks arrived and contacted with the locals Ligurians to give birth to the new city. During the roman times the town was not a relevant center and was able to keep a certain independence. After the fall of the Roman Empire we could see how the city continued to grow and benefitedfrom the development of the Lombard hinterland. Only in the XIth century would the city become a proper commune.


View of Genoa in 1597 by Christoforo de Grossi Source:

During the Middle Ages, Genoa would become one of the main maritime republics in the Mediterranean region. In this period it would play an important role in the crusades on both ends of the sea, in the Middle East and in the Iberian Pensinsula, its galley fleet would gain fame for its capacities in the sea battles. In the XVIth Century the city would create, after a period of French control, a long standing relation with the Spanish kingdom. This political change was defended by one of the main figures of its history, Andrea Doria. This alliance was not just a political move, but mainly an economic strategy. The local bankers would be the ones who most benefited from this move by lending money to Spain and receiving later a considerable amount of the gold coming from South America. The new association would mean a change in its development model, more focus in financing foreign states than in the maritime traffic and commerce.


Later on, during the XVIIth century, the city would suffer a severe epidemic of the plague, second time in its history after the XIVth Century. In terms of politics it would be affected by the Spanish crisis and would end the century again under French domination from the King Louis XIV. In order to control Genoa, would attack it from the sea in 1684, what it known to be the first naval bombing of a city in history. DuMAP of Genoa in 1766 by Giovanni Lorenzo Guidotti Source:

View of Genoa Source:

ring this century we could see the creation of the free port and the new dike in order to improve its commercial conditions. In the next century it would definitely lose its overseas territories, like Corsica to France in the treaty of Versailles. It would be later controlled by Austria and again would rebel against the foreign invader. Only during the industrial revolution would Genoa recover its glory days as an important economic, logistic and industrial center. It would see the creation of several big companies mainly related with steel plants. During the WWII the city suffered severe punishment due to its seaport conditions. The focus of the bombings was the port infrastructure, although also the urban tissue suffered considerable destruction. After the war it was an important core for the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Italian economic miracleâ&#x20AC;? and formed, alongside with Milan and Turin, the industrial triangle of the north of Italy. During

the second half of the XXtth century the city suffered several crisis that reduced its industry and limited the port as a logistic center with less associated industry than before. Along its history the city has been involved in many conflicts, whether with the neighbors, like Pisa or Savona, or with sea rivals like Venice. Also, inside the city itself, we would see little peace. It has suffered constant tension from the first Commune years to the G8 summit in 2001, including civil wars, resistance to foreign domination and class struggle. The port of Genoa The port of Genoa is one of the biggest in the Mediterranean Sea. In the Euromed region we find several harbours that compete against each other for similar markets and hinterlands. Marseille, which we saw in the previous post, could be considered


View of the port from La Lanterna Source:

the main rival of Genoa for the port activity. Both harbours have large container terminals, important shipyards and are cruise destination. In this last sector, very important in the region, we also find Barcelona or other Ligurian ports like Savona. There are several similarities to the case of Marseille in terms of the physical evolution of the port. As we have seen, its origin was near the historical city center. During the industrial revolution, motivated by the growth of the factories in the region, the port needed to be expanded, starting a similar process to the previous analyzed case. From the original location the growth evolved towards the territory with the most favorable conditions, the west, where before the port expansion we could see beaches that the locals would usufruct. The first expansion took place near La Lanterna, the historical light house from the XIIth century. Gradually it took more territory, including the coast of San Pier d´Arena. The case of Genoa has the particularity of including the airport inside the port perimeter. The presence of this infrastructure is a considerable limitation for the port activities next to it. The last expansion phase of the port took place in the area of Voltri,


in the 1980´s, with one the main container terminals. The majority of the port territories are landfills since, as said before, the availability of flat land is very limited. To the east side of Porto Antico we also find port areas, but of smaller scale when compared to the other direction. In this territories we can mainly find a shipyardfor repairs and marinas with the historical Yacht club. In the year 2014 the port of Genoa registered record figures. In total it had a general throughput of 52 mill tons. From these figure approx. 30 mill was general cargo, including 21,5 mill in container traffic. In Genoa the oil sector is also relevant: in 2014 it was approx. 16 mill tons. In the same year it counted almost 2,2 mill TEU, with an increment of 9,3% to the previous year. Besides cargo, the passenger traffic is also an important sector in this port. Ferries and cruise combined moved over 2,7 mill persons, respectively 1,9 mill and 800 000. This numbers, although impressive when compared with other ports, might be a matter of concern for the port, since the cruise traffic went down 21,5% when compared to the previous year. This drop might probably be related with the fact that Costa Crociere, one of the main actors in the sector, decided in 2014 to change Ge-

noa for Savona as base port. This issue is more concerning to the city than the port itself since, as it is well known, the port does not get so much revenue from the cruise traffic. In terms of employment the port is still a significant entity in the city. We could only find data from some years ago, 2010 and 2011. Since the traffic has not changed significantly during these years we can assume they probably still are near the real current figures. The direct employment in the port is estimated in 4700 jobs, and indirect of 26 300, including activities related with the port such as the shipyards. In total we account 31 000 jobs without considering the induced employment, activities not related with the port but that benefit from the port activities and jobs. An interesting point of the port development is the new port plan (PRP) currently in approval phase. The main characteristic of this new document, in terms of port territory, the fact that no expansion outside the current boundaries is planned and the expected growth will take place within the existing area, mainly by improving the efficiency of the avaliable land and new landfills in several quays, mainly the ones placed in San Pier d´Arena. This plan and the consequences for the relation with the city will be analyzed in the next post. The waterfront The first important interventions in the Genoese waterfront took place for the 1992 World Exhibition, celebrating the 500 years of the discovery of America by Columbus (allegedly Genovese, but its nationality is always a subject of controversy). The plan for the waterfront regeneration was made by Genoa´s most famous contemporary

View of Porto Antigo Source:

architect, Renzo Piano. The project was developed in the “Porto Antico” (old port) area, a territory the port could no longer use, including old warehouses and cranes that later would become elements of industrial heritage. The project could be considered a success since it gave to the city a much needed public space and access to the water. In terms of program the focus of the project was in services and leisure activities. A new congress center was created in the magazzini del cottone, with several spaces for cultural activities, including a museum and a library. Another one of the main elements of the project was the new aquarium, the biggest one in Italy and an important tourist attraction. This new building, developed by the water was also a project from Renzo Piano, along with the congress center and other constructions. In the water plane a new marina was developed, where nowadays we might find some of the most luxurious yachts. For the management of these new spaces a new semi-private society was created named Porto Antico. In this new body the port, the city and private investors are present.


Later on, in 2000´s, we could see more projects focused on improving the area and expanding the public space in the waterfront. These new developments were related with the so called, big events policy. Two main venues took place in Genoa within a short time: in 2001 the G8 meeting was hosted in the city and in 2004 the city was the European capital of culture. In the waterfront the public area was expanded towards the west, the Galata sea museum was built, also a new hotel and housing by the sea. In the city center we also saw several improvement, particularly the rehabilitation of several “palazzi”. In 2006 some areas of the city center were considered world heritage by the UNESCO. During the last 15 years we have also seen some unrealized ambitions that could have improved the existing waterfront. Two main projects stand out, the new Ponte Parodi cruise terminal and the Silo Hennebique. The first one should have been a key infrastructure for both, the city and the port. It was a very ambitious project by the Dutch office UNstudio led Ben Van Berkel. It included the creation of a new mall and Affresco plan from Renzo Piano Source:


elevated public spaces, besides the cruise terminal program. The second project is the rehabilitation of an industrial building of considerable proportions. One of the challenge of this construction was to find the appropriate functions for it. For a long period it was discussed if it should host several public offices. Since the project has not been developed the building remains abandoned. Renzo Piano has played an important role in the relation between the port and the city for the last 25 years. His ascendant over the issue is a particularity of this case. In no other port-city has one single architect played such an important role. Besides the Porto Antico development and other relevant architectural projects, his office has also produced several plans for the urban waterfront, including the active port, not just the dismissed areas. The plans were “the Affresco”, designed in 2004, and more recently the “Blueprint”. In both we find ideas that have inspired the future port plan. His figure and impact will be analyzed in the next post as also both plans. Next page: view of the Porto Antico the port Author: José M P Sánchez

Act 2 - The Genoa Experience The city, the visit The time spent in Genoa was enough to identify the existing challenges and to better understand how a complex geography can condition the development of a city and a port. In the previous post we mentioned the particular situation of this case regarding its context. The fact that there is almost no flat land has forced the development parallel to the coast line of both the city and the port. The urban agglomeration has also other two orthogonal development axis, matching two rivers, the Bisagno and the Polcevera. Another particularity of this case, although is something we might appreciate in other cities, is the fact that several city districts used to be independent villages that were later annexed to the main urban core. In the Genoese case this situation is even more flagrant since its longitudinal configuration increases the differences and the distan-

ces. When we analyze this situation we see that the port and one particular road are the main links for the territory in this direction. The fact that the Port spreads along the coast from Piazzale Kennedy to the Voltri Terminal creates acontinuum of maritime activities of different kind, from industrial harbour to marinas. For the analysis of the case we followed the same methodology as in the previous cases. We visited the areas where the port-city relation is more intense and the elevated places from where we can see the contrast between the different environments. Along the visit we also made a photographic survey where the possible conflicts or synergies can be seen. The result of this work will be published in the Flickr where all the other port-cities albums are. Besides the field analysis of the relation we also visited the cultural in-


stitutions that could provide insights to the interaction between the different realities. Finally several interviews with the responsible stakeholders were performed. In this city we can find several institutions that relate with the port identity. One of the main cultural venues where we see the historical relation of Genoa with the port and the sea is the Galata Museo del Mare. This museum fulfills the role of city and maritime museum. As we will later see until very recently there was another important space to understand the linkage between city and port, the Port-center. We can also find a maritime museum in Pegli, a smaller space more focused on the maritime activities. The interviews In order to better understand the Genoese reality we got in contact with the local authorities that could add important information to the case analysis. More specifically we were able to reach the Municipality, Arch. Antonio Pastorino and Arch. Nicoletta Poleggi. In the Port Authority we spoke with Ms. Paola Gianpietri (PG), responsible for the new Port Plan (Piano Regolatore Portuale â&#x20AC;&#x201C; PRG in Italian) currently in approval phase as we will later see. Finally we spoke with Arch. Stefano Russo (SR), responsible for the Blueprint concept plan in the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. This last interview was an exception when compared with the previously analyzed cases, where we did not speak with private companies. Genoa is special in this aspect since the work of the architect Renzo Piano has a significant influence in the city, the port and waterfront development.


San Pier dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Arena: Harbour next to the city Source:

The relation between the city and the port Emotional In the emotional relation between the city and the port we can find similarities to what it happens in other port-cities, particularly Marseille. The maritime roots of Genoa are very clear and until not so long ago many families had a strong relation with the port activities. Obviously this has change in the last decades, the mechanization processes and changes in the economic flows led to the situation we currently find ourselves in. The port is no longer the job creator it once used to be, although still is an important stakeholder in the employment market. Parallel to the decrease of jobs in the harbour we have also seen the continuous expansion of the port territories. In the case of Genoa, as we saw in the previous post, the increase of port areas took place mainly during the past century, from the east to west leaving the historical location behind. Also we find port areas near the Castello hill, mainly industries related with naval repair, yacht and rowing clubs. Due to the physical evolution of the port, as explained before, the relation with it is not uniform in the entire city. In the areas whe-

re the harbour first expanded,for example in San Pier dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Arena, the rejection of the port activities is not so strong. Curiously is in this part where the physical relation is more complex since the barrier effect produced by the port is stronger and is harder to intervene. The planned projects for this section of the city, as mentioned by the municipality, are in fact focused in taking profit of the port border, to transform the existing road into a sort of main connection that would reduce the traffic in the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s urban tissue. Towards the west is where the relation gets more complicated. This happens mainly because further west we find the most recent expansion projects. In the collective memory remains the image of this part of the city as the area where beaches of Genoa used to be. In the area of Cornigliano we find naval industries and the oil harbor. Both activities produce strong negative externalities regarding acoustic, air and water pollution. In the future we will see several changes in the area, mainly in the Porto Petroli (Oil Harbor). This infrastructure will be reduced and some of its activities will change their operation into a less space consuming one. Moving some of its elements to the inland and making connections with pipes directly to the ships. In the Voltri area is where we find the most delicate relation, matching the area where the last port expansion, the container terminal, took place. This project was inaugurated in 1992 and changed significantly the configuration of the coast in this part of the city. At the time the possible impact was not a main concern, although a water channel was created as blue buffer to the

Voltri Terminal and Fascia di Rispetto di PrĂ Source:

city. Nowadays there are several construction sites in this area to configure a green buffer running parallel to what is known Fascia di rispetto di Pra (Respect strip of Pra). In this space we can find several public sport and leisure facilities such as a football field or the waterfront promenade. In the west part of the city, the most affected area by the Voltri terminal, we can also find an association named Fondazione Primavera,focused on the development of the city district. This autonomous organization tries to handle the relation with the port, considering it an important part of its territory. For example, in their vision for the district they include a point regarding the porto amico (the friendly port). They accept the port presence but demand certain improvements for their life quality, such as electric quays that would cause less acoustic pollution. This is not an organization created by the PA or other institution, although they do keep a dialogue. It is clear that the majority of the coexistence issues might be found in the west part of Genoa, but also in the east we could see problems. More specifically in the area near the naval repair where an intense industrial activity takes place. The city di-


Porto Antico Area current state Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez

strict in the hill next to it does not have any barrier that could protect them from the noise, also the height difference accentuates this issue.

several points where is difficult to find an agreement, but we must also understand that there are precedents of close collaboration among both institutions.

In general terms, as pointed out by PG, the port community is aware that the city does not know well what happens in the port. To solve this problem, as we will later see, in 2009 the Port center was created, this type of initiative will be further studied in the next stage of the research. Nowadays the PA is conducting a study to better understand the impact of the port in the city and the hinterland. The focus of this survey is the economy, but also includes the employment and possibly new information regarding the public perception of the port.

The cooperation between the Municipality and the PA started in the late 1980â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for the 1992 exhibition. During the process there was a strong dialogue for the development of the project. Later on, for the different waterfront interventions near the city, the collaboration was also necessary. From the year 2008 to 2012, the Genova Urban Labwas established, where once again both entities worked together for the improvement of the relation and the urban environment.

Institutional The institutional relation in the case of Genoa has as well several peculiarities. On the contrary of what we have seen in most of the previous cases the interviewees from both authorities, the Municipality and the PA, agreed that the relation is quite straightforward and the synergies are in general terms positive. This is quite surprising if we consider that usually there are


Simultaneously the PA has changed their way of looking to the city. PG explained that there has been an evolution of the PA initiatives towards the city, mainly regarding the activities that can happen in the boundary between port and city. The intention of the PA is to go further than the mandatory dialogue forced by the law for the approval of institutional documents and plans. However she also pointed out that each body has different priorities and

Liguria region: Genoa in the center, Savona on the left side and La Spezia on the right. Source:

goals, what eventually might lead to more intense negotiation. Where we could find more difficulties was in the relation between the PA and the national government. In Italy a centralized system is established, just like in France and other south European countries. For this reason the PA does not have full control over its budget and the revenues their activities generate. Although in recent years the control by the central government has slightly eased, the PA still is not able to fully decide where it will allocate its resources without consulting the national authorities. The interviewees mentioned that probably, if the port was more autonomous regarding its financial management, it could be more generous regarding the projects more related with the city.

In previous posts we have already seen how the organization of the country regarding its infrastructure can affect the relation between ports and cities. Related to this subject we will also see some changes in Italy in the near future. In recent years there has been a discussion regarding the organization of the Port Authorities. The main issue is the possible combination of different PAs into what could be consider a regional institution, for example the Ligurian Port Authority replacing the ones from Genoa, Savona and La Spezia. The initial idea behind the process could, in our opinion, bring positive outcomes, since it would allow a better organization of the port system and better coordination regarding the maritime traffic. The law is currently under discussion and the initial idea has


evolved, changing the criteria for the combination of the different PAs. As it was explained by PG, the latest information they got was that the new PA would combine Genoa and Savona, leaving La Spezia with the PA responsible for the ports of Tuscany. Another problem could be the new Port Plan. This document, which we will later see in detail, is currently in the final development stage and the PA expects to have it functional by the end of next year. In case the new port system law is official before its approval, it could mean significant delays for the port plan, with the need of a new unprecedented document for the new institution. The Port and the Waterfront – Long standing discussion topic Previous approaches

The waterfront of Genoa has been a subject of public argument for several decades. As we explained in previous posts, in the late 1980´s and early 1990´s the port area near the city center was released and a new public waterfront was created with a project from Renzo Piano. After this operation we can find other contributions from several renowned architects and urban planners for the port and waterfront of Genoa, including Piano himself several times. In 1996, the PA decided to create a specific agency where the new port plan would be discussed and new ideas could be developed. This new approach included the collaboration with the university and four well known architects: Rem Koolhaas, Marcel Smets, Manuel Solá Morales and Bernardo Secchi. The process was coordinated by Stefano Boeri and it brought new Proposal from Solá Morales Source:


concepts, mainly for the port-city interface, which could have inspired the port plan published in 2001. We will not stop in detail in each one of them since there are several publications and articles that explain in detail the projects. The main areas of intervention were in the Cornigliano-Airport area, by Smets, the boundary between the city and the port from Ponte Parodi to La Lanterna, by Koolhaas, and the east part of the harbour, from the Porto Antico area to the Fiera del Mare (Exhibition fair). The last mentioned project was focused in a section of the city that is currently been discussed in the Blueprint from Renzo Piano that we will later explain. L´Affresco In the first decade of the new millennium we saw another ambitious plan for the Genoese waterfront. This time Renzo Piano decided to develop a plan for the entire port, not just the released area. The goal was to redesign the port territory giving it a certain coherence that would eventually rearrange the logistic area of the port and improve its capacity. Consequently, this could lead to new waterfront areas been released for public use.

The main idea of this new plan, presented in 2004, was to transform the airport into an artificial island in front of the city. This would allow the space of the airport to be used for new container terminal. In the San Pier dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Arena area several quays would be landfilled to allow more area for port activities. At the same time the naval reparation could be transformed into an island placed in front of La Lanterna. The plan caused controversy and several changes were requested. In the following years, 2005 and 2006, the project was reviewed and adapted to different demands. The moving of the airport was considered a key point but the idea of changing the naval repair area was dismissed. Another main goal was the improvement of the public access to the sea, for this reason in the area of Multedo we would see several changes. Here was where we could find the oil harbour, one of the most polluting activities along with the coal energy plant, the idea was to relocate them and leave the opportunity for new waterfront uses. The plan was very discussed by public entities and the port community, but eventually it was not translated into a reality. The need of massive investment, estimaLater version from the Affresco Plan Source:


ted by president of the region at the time in 4,000 mill. â&#x201A;Ź, was considered excessive. When we asked the interviewees about the failure of the plan,they also mentioned other points, such as the airport or the landfill needs. Regarding the airport,the main issue was that moving it into an artificial island it would not solve the problems it causes. The height limit established by the responsible authorities or the boundaries to the port activities would remain the same since the landing and take over routes would be very similar to the existing ones. Another issue was the execution of the project. Until the new airport was concluded,the existing one would not be dismantled and prepared for port activities. Also the economical and ecological impact related with the key project were an issue. To execute the necessary landfill, the idea was to use earth coming from the new highway and railway connections, which included several tunnels that would generate excessive dirt. Since these new infrastructures were not built the impact caused by the artificial island would be even greater. The Affresco was not implemented but some of its ideas would later become a reality, such as the reduction of the oil harbor or the deactivation of the coal power plant. In this plan it was already clear that the port community is formed by very different realities and that change is not always seen as something positive. Blueprint In September 2015 a new document named the Blueprint plan was publicly presented. The author, Renzo Piano, decided to give it to the city rejecting any kind of


compensation. As told by SR, Pianoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office was contacted by members of the region, PA and the municipality to request him a concept plan for a part of the waterfront. This time, in contrast with the Affresco, the area was significantly smaller, with clear boundaries and specific problems. The concerned part of the port was the waterfront between the Porto Antico and Punta Vagno, where Piazzale Kennedy is in the east part of the city. The main concern in this intervention was the current situation of the naval repairs shipyards that needed new facilities in order to continue with their activity and not move away to other city, such as Marseille as it has been rumored. On the other hand the same companies are not so opened to major changes, as we saw in the Affresco plan, so the solution needed to work without major configuration changes. Besides this main issue, which was the main problem for the PA in this area, we have other elements that demanded a new solution. Regarding the maritime activities in this area, we also find several marinas, sport and leisure associations, like the Yacht Club (the oldest one in Italy), the rowing club, or Societaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Canottieri Genovesi Elpis, among others. These organizations are also relevant since, as we will see, they do not fully agree with the proposed solution. From the city side,the Fiera district has become an urban problem. The global importance of industrial fairs has been diminishing over the last decades since the advent of new and more effective communication methods. In Genoa we can still find the Boat Show, which is one of the biggest worldwide, and other minor events

now did not had any sort of direct contact with the sea.

Genoa exhibition fair Source:

that only use the existing facilities for a short period in specific dates. This situation is becoming problematic because the current buildings are oversized and have entered in a possible degradation process. At the same time the lack of revenues has caused serious economic problems to the public company that used to manage the industrial fair, therefore the maintenance is even more complicated. This is an urban problem that was included in the scope of the new plan. Finally another issues were the fact that the area hosts several important road connections that add complexity to the situation. Also this part of the city center until

Renzo Piano, besides considering all the existing problems, also took the opportunity to give access to the water to this city district, creating a new longitudinal park, as pointed out by other authors following the idea of Solรก Morales. This new public space would be able to connect the Porto Antico to the Piazzale Kennedy, an area that would also be regenerated into a new green area. The main concept of this plan is the development of a new water channel that would create a sort of blue buffer between the urban and port realities, giving a more clear separation between the different industrial, sport and urban areas. The line followed by the new water canal it is not casual, it follows the path of the old port walls, the Mura della mala paga. This new water area does not always has the same width, but always keeps a minimums size in order to allow the navigability. The widest point would be in front of the current Yacht Club building, where it would stretch until reaching a maximum width similar to the one of the old dock, the first harbor of Genoa. Blueprint plan Source: Renzo Piano Building Workshop


Besides the new channel, that transform the shipyard section into an island, there would also be a reconfiguration of the industrial part, creating more space due to the planned landfills. These interventions would use the land extracted from the new waterway hence increasing the sustainability of the project. In order to grant the access to the industrial area, a new parallel road would be created in the level of the intervention, following partially the path of the Sopraelevata. The new island would include two connections with firm land. The waterfront longitudinal park would exist mainly on the city side of the waterway, and only partly on the sea side, in front of the Yacht Club. During the design phase there was the attention to provide at least the same linear meters of docking space as the existing ones, although in most cases the final figure was bigger than the current situation. What clearly changes is the configuration of the berths, from a compact distribution to one along the new canal and in the fair area.

The Fiera part would also suffer major changes. The area of the fair would be reduced to less than half and only the buildings that are considered more relevant would be kept, such as the one from architect Jean Nouvel. In this section of the plan the sport centerPalasport would also be preserved, although its context would change due to the new presence of water that would allow the creation of roofed docks for small and medium sized embarkations. Also in this part of the plan is where we can find the new constructions. The program would be mainly focus on housing, tertiary and commerce related with the maritime world. Regarding the project financing, the PA is expected to be responsible for financing the works related with the port activities, but the private investment would also be part of the equation. Although the general intervention is to be led by public institutions, the new construction would be developed by private investors. The agreement would probably require certain negotiation, but these sort of financing schemes is a Section through the Palasport Source:


typical approach to the urban regenerations projects, as we have seen in previous cases. It is also a characteristic of the current model of large urban interventions which contrasts with the first generation of waterfront plans in the Mediterranean sea, such as the Port Antico or the Barcelona case. There are several key ideas behind the plan, besides the physical interventions, that must be kept in mind as Arch. Russo explained us. First of all the fact that the plan is a conceptual document, therefore is not to be taken literally and certainly it requires a considerable amount of work to fully develop the concepts presented. At the same time, the main features of the plan allow its adaptation to the different possible solutions to existing problems near the concerned areas, such as the creation of a tunnel under thePorto Antico bay. This option has been discussed for several decades and never fully dismissed. In the municipality we were told that the current mayor considers this to be an option for the cross traffic. If we eventually see in the near future a tunnel, the Sopraelevata might change its use for example to an elevated public space. The Blueprint is thought in a way that allows different approaches without compromising the key decisions of the plan. Another important point is the fact that the plan establishes several areas that should be discussed in further detail in new urban planning competitions. The decided boundaries are simply a suggestion from the project team and could be adapted to changing scenarios. The intention of Renzo Piano would be to allow young architects to bring new ideas for the waterfront

New context for the Yacht Club building Source:

and further develop the plan. The Blueprint has caused a considerable discussion since its presentation to the public. Not all the concerned actors are in favor of the plan concepts. As mentioned before, there are several groups opposing its implementation, mainly the Yacht Club. This organizations disagrees with the idea of changing the distribution of the berths although their main building would remain in the same location. One of the main reason for this opposition is the fact that in their eyes is not so clear what happens when the nautical fair takes place, since they would need the berths next to main fair halls, an area they would use. For this reason, in the plan the project team carefully increased the linear meters of docks when compared with the existing ones. On the other hand the port community is very often reluctant to change, as we have seen in other cases. In this particular context the members of the yacht club are often persons with considerable connections and resources. At the same time the concession contract for the docks given to the club would end in December this year, therefore a negotiation was already necessary. At the present time there is an intense


Blueprint plan, contrast between the water and the city Source:

discussion about the topic, hyped by the press. During the next year we should find out if the pressure groups against some of the plan ideas succeed and are able to force a change. Finally there is another point we were able to discuss with SR, the name of the plan. Blueprint is the name given in architecture to the construction plan that are taken to the site to have the instructions and detail for the construction. In this case, the plan is exactly the opposite since is a concept for the waterfront, far from the execution phase. The name is related with the dominant color of the intervention, blue. Renzo Piano insisted in leaving the water with its color and abstracting the land and construction so the most important element would be enhanced. The key was to give a contact with the water to the city, and this was achieved with the new waterway. This main concept is even clearer in the simplified plans, without the satellite picture, therefore the simplification was crucial to better explain the concept and leave the essence of the project very clear, just like what happens with the sketches in the architecture projects.


Port Plan The new port plan has been under development since 2010 and currently is in what we could consider the final stage near the approval, something that it should happen during the year 2016 or beginning of 2017. In the new plan there are several elements that are innovative and could bring significant improvements to the port-city relation. The concern about the interaction with the city has been one of the key elements on the making process and the main goal, as expressed in the plan, is to be able to create value for the territory. We have seen in this post and the previous one that Genoa is placed in a territory with a complex topography, for this reason the expansion of the port has been decided to be inwards. The opposition to new landfills would be significant hence the only option was to improve the operation of the port within the existing territory, changing its morphology to receive the largest ships reaching 18,000 to 22,000 TEU. The plan is organized into two main components: the physical plan and the immaterial plan. Both are important and both have consequences for the city. In the case of the

View of Genoa Source:

immaterial plan the main innovation is the improvement in the integration of control and custom system in order to have a more fluid traffic hence reducing its impact in the city. This is something we have also seen in other cases like Helsinki. In order to work it requires an effort not just from the PA, but also from all the other concerned authorities. The physical plan would be responsible for the changes in the port territory and for achieving the industrial, environmental and integration goals.In this plan is where we can find the new protection projects, a new system of breakwaters that would allow the bigger ships a safe entry into the port. Operational areas The plan is organized in three different operational areas, the PO (Operational Port), the PP (Passengers Port) and the PU (Urban Port). For this article we will focus in the urban and passenger areas since these are the ones that will have a more direct interaction with the city. Regarding the operational port is important to understand that the interior growth would require more land for the docks. This incre-

ase in the activity would partly be achieved by creating more space for the berths of ships in the San Pier d’Arena port section, land filing several basins like it has already been done in some areas. Another important change for the industrial port is the reduction of the oil harbour, as we have seen an idea already explored previously. The motivations are both environmental and economical, since the released area could be used by the shipyards Fincantieri. The system could be replaced by hoses therefore avoiding the birth of the oil tankers. The operational fields aforementioned are very often intersecting with each other and with the city boundaries. The Passenger Port is the one that has a clearer physical translation. This last one is considered to form the transition areas in several points, such as the ferry terminals that allow more direct interaction between the citizens and the port. These points are also part of one of the strategies to improve the visual interaction, called the “grafts”, areas where there could be a more direct physical and, mainly, visual relation. For the Passenger Port is also very important the parallel circulation, following the concepts that we already see in some of the ferry terminals or in Terrasses du Port in Marseille. In Genoa should be even easier to achieve since the topography allows the creation of two different heights, one in the harbor level and another in the street level. This increased interaction, that could be very positive for city’s perception of the port, is now jeopardized by the increase of the security measures which go in the opposite direction by separating the people from the restricted area as much as possible.


Urban Port In the Urban Port we find several areas that will gather the majority of the interventions. In the west, the Voltri terminal will be transformed into an island by the creation of a new water channel, extending the Fascia di rispetto di PrĂ . This new waterway will include new public waterfront and it will work as a blue and green buffer between the city and the industrial area. Still in the east we might eventually see projects for the area of the oil harbor that could include a beach and public waterfront, although this is still an element to be discussed. Another important point will be the area around the Lanterna. The old lighthouse should be better connected with the city center since it is considered the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s landmark and the current access is clearly deficient. In this waterfront section we will also witness major changes in the power plant that will be deactivated in 2017. There is an ongoing dialogue to decide the future function of it, but it could be a very interesting point in the waterfront regarding the geographical location and for the possibility of turning it into an element of industrial port heritage. In the central section of the waterfront, the Porto Antico area, the existing functions will remain and the previously planned

project should be executed. In this case, the Silo Hennebique and Ponte Parodi would be the main interventions. Since they are object of controversy we will explain them in further detail later on. Finally, the eastern part of the port, the one concerned in Blueprint plan, is where we might see the bigger changes. The ideas developed by Renzo Piano were incorporated in the plan and the concept of developing a blue buffer is consider to match the strategies that were already thought. In this area, we shall also see in the near future another project from the same architect, replacing the previous one that in May 2013 was destroyed in an accident. Of all the waterfront interventions, the one that has more clear options of becoming a reality is the one in Voltri, since it could be included in the plan for the terminal. This is an important issue because the port is mainly allowed to invest in projects that have a direct impact in the port activities. The intervention in Voltri could be considered a compensation measure or part of the necessary buffer to industrial activities. The other ones are more complex since they will not probably depend from one single investor. Changes in the Voltri Terminal Source:


Waterway of Prà

View of the Silo Hennebique from the water Author: José M P Sánchez

Silo Hennebique One of the most notable projects in the Genoese waterfront is the rehabilitation of the old silos. This building is placed in a prominent location, particularly when seen from the sea, entering the bay. What it used to be a warehouse for grain, kept functioning until the beginning of the 1990’s and it is a crucial element for the completion of the waterfront, from the Magazzini del cottone until the cruise terminal Ponte dei Mile. The building is in poor condition and any kind of intervention would require important sums for the investment. Its size, over 8,000 sqm, the demands from the port regarding the future functions to be hosted and the economic situation caused that the call for proposals from 2012 was declared deserted. During our interview PG explained us that in the coming year 2016 there will be a new call for proposals which will demand 30% of public functions. In the near future we shall see if this important element of industrial heritage is regenerated and included in the urban life.

the Dutch office UNstudio, led by Ben van Berkel,won the international competition for the new terminal project. The building would continue with the concept of sharing the space between port and urban functions, besides the terminal it would include a mall and public areas. The problem is that since 2001 the project has been constantly delayed for many difference reasons. Currently there are several port activities taking place in this quay, for example it still hosts the tugboats. During the process there were also changes in the investment firms and discussion with the affected port industries who also opposed to the project. We understood that also the administrative process has not been so easy. This part of the waterfront was included in transformation district, a part of the port territory that would pass to the municipality. This process is still ongoing, but the municipality considers it finished. The agreement was that the PA would be in charge of the maritime works, for what we could see they are taking place. At the same time the demolishing of the existing warehouse that have no value is happening. We can still see the project in the website of the owner company, the French firm Altarea.

Ponte Parodi The second project, also very relevant for the completion of the waterfront, is the future cruise terminal Ponte Parodi. In 2001


Ponte Parodi Cruise Terminal Source:

Piano Urbanistico Comunale In the past, the port and urban development plans were published almost simultaneously, therefore the coordination between both was easier since they referred to the same time period and the discussion would be in the same terms. This time themunicipal development plan, named the PUC (Piano Urbanistico Comunale), was finished before the one from the port. In this new document the port is mentioned and the coastal development has an important role. The importance of the harbour is acknowledged and there are several key interventions in the waterfront that are coordinated with the PA. In the interview with the architects from the municipality, they explained us which project will be more important for the waterfront. In the west part of the city, the area along the PrĂ water channel will continue to be developed adding new green areas and sport and leisure facilities. Further on, an agreement has been found with shipyards. They will be allowed to extend to the oil harbour territory in Sestri once it changes its configuration, in exchange the shipyards will give back to the city the land they own placed next to the railway. Also


in Sestri there is another area that will be subject of discussion in the next years, the Piaggio industrial plot. The historic brand is currently going through a difficult period which could eventually lead to dismissing a part of their industries in Genoa. In this case, the location of this land could be an option for increasing the public access to the water, but during our meeting it was clarified that this decision is not taken. Nearby we can find a marina and public waterfront, but as we understood they are not planned to grow. In San Pier dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Arena we can find another significant project, the Lungomare Canepa. The goal in this case is to improve the existing road in the boundary with the port in order to handle more traffic and retreat cars and trucks from the inside of the neighborhood. The current road is not in the best condition and the barrier effect is inevitable. In this area the PA has also not planned any changes, therefore the idea of retreating traffic from the inner roads could make sense. Finally, in the west part of the city, the Blueprint plan could show the path to the future. Since the problems handled in the plan, as we have seen, are not just port issues, the city should also be integrated in the solution. Being that the document is very recent we should wait to see how evolves and how do the necessary agreements between the concerned authorities work out. Renzo Piano In the case of Genoa we can find a figure that has had considerable influence in the planning of the waterfront and the port over the last 25 years, the architect Renzo Piano. For this reason when we spoke with the different stakeholders we had to ask how

In general terms the work of Renzo Piano and his contribution for the city is much appreciated, also by the inhabitants who identify him as one of the most notorious Genoeses of the last century and beginning of this one.At the end, if the majority of his ideas were to become a reality, we could observe a port-city with a more coherent vision making it more particular when compared with other cases. Lungomare Canepa Source:

was this relation. In general terms they all agreed that this architect, and senator, has played a central role in the development of the city. Since the Porto Antico project his ideas have influenced the port and urban plans. Although nowadays his main office is in Paris, he keeps an emotional connection with the Ligurian capital that has taken him to donate several works, like the aforementioned Blueprint plan or the pilotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tower project. In the municipality, we were told that his ideas do not always find the expected reaction, particularly regarding the follow up after the first concept. At the same time, his presence has become a political and economic assets, since his participation in projects and initiatives gives them credit and work as a facilitator for their conclusion. Sometimes though, the dialogue in the high political levels are not so well connected with the everyday reality. For example the port plan was an ongoing process since 2010 without the collaboration of Renzo Piano, only later the concepts in the Blueprint were brought and incorporated to the plan, with the initiative of the high political spheres as mentioned by PG. This was not so traumatic since the ideas were coherent with the ones in the plan and a dialogue process was rapidly established.

Soft-values, cultural initiatives The relation between the port and the city in Genoa has evolved significantly in the last years. In recent times we have seen several initiatives that allow the citizens to have a better understanding of the port. Particularly important is the Genoa Port Center, inaugurated in 2009, it functioned until September 2014. The port-center was born from a collaboration between the PA, Torre Piloti from Renzo Piano Source:


tled, although it has been already closed for over a year. The port-center issue will be studied in further detail as the research advances. It is relevant to say that the network has been expanding and in this year the Livorno port-center opened their doors in the historical context of the Fortezza Vecchia, the old fortress.

Genoa Port Center Source:

the port community, the region and the university. It received initial funding from the EU and it implied a considerable preparation work in order to summarize the complexity of the port into a short exhibition reachable to children and youngsters of different age. This facility was one of the founding members of the AIVP Port-Center network. During the years it was open it achieved a reasonable success, during the first three years it welcomed almost 20,000 students of different levels. PG recognized it was a very useful tool for the disclosure of the port activity and importance. The center has been managed by the Muvita foundation, an organization from the region. Unfortunately the port-center had to close its doors due to changes in the management. From what we could understand, the idea was that it would be managed by the PA when the European program ended. When this happened, it closed and since it has remained like that. We tried to contact the person responsible from the organization but unfortunately got no answer. We expect it will reopen in the future since it has not been fully disman-


The PA has also engaged in several initiatives related with soft-values and communication with the citizens, such as the web TV and other cultural activities. These events, like the port-day, were more common when the port-center was fully functional, since they were also in charge of the cultural agenda, as we can see in the website. In Genoa we can find other cultural facilities where the portâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role in the city is well explained. The Galata Museo del Mare is another example. This museum works both as sea and city museum. The link between the city and the maritime activities is very clear and a very complete exhibition, including actual size galley models, explain us how it has evolved. We can also find the naval museum of Pegli. As the name indicates is more focus in the maritime history and affairs. In the case of Genoa we might also find often cultural initiatives related with the port. In the different museums there are exhibitions of photography and painting, also in spaces like Loggia dei Mercanti, there are usually activities that have a relation with the port, for example the industrial heritage or the commerce. Besides the local initiatives there have been other related with the port that are

focused on enhancing the cultural importance of this infrastructure. Particularly interesting is the international film festival “Zones Portuaires“, an initiative born in Marseille five years ago, therefore also very relevant for that city, was hosted in Genoa in last September with a program full of events related with the seaport culture, mainly focused in this city.

after the plan have not always been fully achieved. For other port-cities is a good example of joint project. We already saw in Rotterdam the positive synergies that can be created with this sort of initiatives, Genoa shows another path that might be better adapted for the southern European countries, where the central government has a strong influence over the PA.

Personal Opinion The territorial constraints present in the case of Genoa force a more intense relation between the city and the port. The fact that the boundary between both territories is so complex has brought even more attention to the problem. As we have seen, the discussion of the waterfront and the physical and visual access to the water has produced interesting publications and plans from renowned architects and planners. Unfortunately, all this intellectual effort has not been translated into equivalent physical changes. Some of these plans were too ambitious and in other cases the economic and/or political context did not allowed their further development. The fact that since 1992 we have not seen major changes in the waterfront, except the ones in 2001 and 2004 in a smaller scale, might have affected the credibility of the new plans. As we saw there are important projects waiting to happen, but they carry a delay of almost 15 years in some cases. In this case the dialogue and cooperation is higher than in other studied cases, particularly if we consider that the institutions depend from different bodies in different levels, local and national. The initiatives like the Genova Urban Lab or the Agency for the Port Plan reveal a predisposition towards the dialogue, although the steps

The new port plan has also several concepts that might be interesting for other cases where physical boundaries constitute constrains for the port activity. It is an intelligent approach for the port growth, instead of physically expanding the port territory to try to reach the maximum capacity by improving the efficiency of the existing infrastructure. In other port-cities with territorial limitations is a good option instead of demanding more land to the urban area next to the port. Another approach is the expansion in Brownfields that also has less impact than blue or green port expansion. We could see this sort of plan in Lisbon, since the port will expand to the south side of the river in an existing brownfield. This leads us to another important issue, the intervention in the active port to improve the relation with the city. In the case of Genoa we see that, due to territorial limitations, we will probably not see large waterfront interventions in dismissed port areas, instead the strategy will focus in specific points with smaller projects in the boundary between the active port and the city. The concept of the blue buffer is an example of this sort of project. In the eastern part of the city the ideas presented in the Blueprint plan could also be a significant improvement for both the city and the port. This sort of “urban acupuncture”, a set of


specific small scale actions that lead to an improved relation, might be the model for the future in opposition to the previous large scale operation. Regarding the social initiatives of the PA, Genoa was for some years a real reference in the field. Their Port-Center very often worked as a role model for the new ones in other ports. The impact this kind of initiatives is not to be seen immediately but more in the long term. In order to get the SLTO (Social License to Operate), the PA must develop an agenda of events and take profit of the existing structure. It is understandable that in the central government the soft-values of seaports might be more dif-


ficult to conceive as something important, but in the end is one of the main ways for the port to be accepted by the inhabitants of the city on their back. We can only expect that this situation will change and that the port-center will reopen its doors. The problem of social integration of ports will be studied in further detail in the next stage of the research. Hopefully, we will be able to get to know other cases and the role the AIVP has played in the development of this kind of initiatives. In conclusion Genoa is one of the cases where the relation between city and port is more intense, however they have been able to keep relatively positive interaction.

The strategies here presented could be adapted to other cases. The alternative of small actions against the policy of white elephants is an intelligent approach, particularly in crisis or post-crisis scenarios, like the one we find ourselves in. It is time to try alternatives to the business as usual model, and learn how we can act in the active harbor and still improve the relation of the city with the port and the water.

View of Genoa Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez


Act 3 - Photo essay


















Final stop

Lisbon 38°42’50’’N 9°8’22’’W December 14 - 21, 2015

Act 1 - Final stop: Back to Lisbon

The final stop of the Port-City tour was again Lisbon, where the trip first started in September. After visiting several port-cities in different countries we came back to the main study case in order to make the final analysis, complete the information about the Portuguese capital and reach some conclusions. In this post we will focus in the gathered information in two new interviews with the Municipality and the Port Authority. The conclusions of the trip will be published in a final stop after Lisbon. Also a paper about the developed research will be written and presented in the AESOP Young Academics congress during in spring in Ghent. Lisbon’s study case has already been described in the blog in the beginning of the trip, hence for this post only the new information is relevant. In all the previous study cases we interviewed representatives from the main organizations. In this case in our first stop we were only able to speak with Mr. Rui Alexandre from the APL (Lisbon Port Authority). This time we were able to contact with Mr. Pedro Dinis (PD), Architect head of the public space department in Lisbon’s Municipality (CML). We also spoke once again with the APL, this time with Ms. Mariana Teixeira from the development and institutional relations department and Ms. Carla Matos, architect from the same institution.


The relation between the city and the port When we asked the interviewees about the issue both mentioned that in the last decade the relation has evolved positively, more significantly in the institutional field. Institutional PD pointed during our interview that the key moment for the current stage of the relationship was the passing of the law DL 100/2008 of June 16 2008. In this new legal document it was stated that the territory under the Port Authorities control would be moved to municipal control in case there was no port activity or port expansions planned in it. The importance of this document is obvious; previously we had already seen waterfront interventions, like the EXPO 98, or important plans, like the POZOR, criticized for its excessive construction near the river. The main step forward of this law was the normalization of the port land release process. An official procedure for this sort of change was created, prepared for improving the urban integration of these territories and avoiding industrial brownfields.


The next step for the release of the unused port areas was the creation of a strategic plan in order to grant the correct and promptly transformation of the concerned territories. In the case of Lisbon this mandatory document, as pointed out by PD, was the General Plan of Interventions in the waterfront of Lisbon. In this document, we can find the different partial plans for the released sectors of Lisbonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waterfront, back then with 19 km length. At the same time the plan established which areas would remain as active port and also which ones would have a mixed management. In the first posts about Lisbon we saw that the active port is mainly concentrated in two sectors, the one from Poço do Bispo to Sta. Apolonia and the one in Alcântara. Here the APL has total autonomy regarding the planning, although generally the APL contacts the municipal authorities regarding new interventions, as confirmed by both sides. We have not seen major changes in the port infrastructure and as we know the main interventions will happen in

General Plan of Interventions in the waterfront of Lisbon. Source:


Museo dos Coches. Project from Arch. Paulo Mendes da Rocha in Belém. The new museum was responsibility from the extinguished Frente Tejo organization. Source:

the south side of the river. The three mixed use areas at Lisbon’s waterfront are: Pedrouços dock, Santos and the waterfront sector where the new cruise terminal is being built. These territories will later be explained as well as other waterfront interventions. In our interview we also asked about a possible collaboration or a public company for the management of the waterfront territories, just like we have seen in Oslo (Fjordcity) or Rotterdam (Stadshavens). In Lisbon we already had public agencies of joint ventures for the development of waterfront projects with two cases being particularly relevant: the Parque Expo and the FrenteTejo. Both platforms produced visible results in the city. The first one was in charge for the management of the EXPO 98 area, and later on it developed several urban plans and waterfront regeneration projects in the scope of the Polis program. The second one was responsible for the three key projects Lisbon’s waterfront, the Museu dos coches (Carriage Museum),


the Praça do Comércio and the Ribeira das Naus. Unfortunately both platforms were closed due to political or financial reasons. PD agreed that it could be an interesting option for the future perhaps not a public company but rather an organization focused in the management process of the waterfront, with fixed meetings for discussing the matters related with this particular territory. Emotional In our first posts we already saw that for the local inhabitants Lisbon is a maritime city but not necessarily a port-city. In this issue we find similarities with the situation we encountered in Oslo, where the Fjord is the main identity element and not the port. In the case of Lisbon the Tejo (Tagus River) is indeed a constant presence in the arts and the history of the city. It was the connection with the sea and the source of inspiration for poets and painters. On the other hand, as all interviewees confirmed, historically the city was not so much open to the river. There was a clear connection and the river was an important economic

resource, but at the same time was something to protect themselves. From the river several threats could arrive to the city, so only in certain areas the contact with the water was open, although until a certain point there were constructions directly in the coastline. We could say the current public quest for the access to the river is not a re-conquest of the waterfront, as we find often in the media, but rather a first conquest. Also is important to notice, as pointed by the APL professionals, that the industrial Port of Lisbon did not developed using urban territory, but by creating landfills in front of the city. It is clear that we have seen this situation in other cases, like Oslo, but also Marseille and Genoa. One of the main challenge for the APL regarding its relation with the city and the citizens is clearly the communication and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). If the people from Lisbon are able to understand how important the port is, perhaps they might embrace it as an element for the urban identity. The Waterfront One of the most intriguing features of Lisbon’s waterfront is the relatively scarce construction near the water. When we compared with other cases we see that in the north-central European cities, like Oslo, Helsinki, Rotterdam or Hamburg, the urban tissue reaches the water line. In the Portuguese case, except some port related buildings such as old warehouses, silos or terminals, we find very few new buildings. The new constructions on the waterfront are almost exclusively in the Expo area or in Cais do Sodré. When we asked PD his opinion about this characteristic, he

explained there might be several explanations for this issue. The POZOR plan, as he mentioned, included a considerable amount of construction in the waterfront and it was not well received, therefore it might have been a reaction to it. On the other hand, the concept of leaving the waterfront free from dense construction had the support of all political groups, which was considered to be a necessary common ground for the future development. At the same time the construction constraints are stricter regarding housing projects. We can find new buildings in the waterfront related with other uses, such as offices in Cais do Sodré, or research, the Champalimaud Foundation. The limitation for housing projects is due to the fact that this sort of development changes the perception of the river, creating spaces that might be perceived as semi-private, harming the public identity pretended for this sensitive section of the city. The exception to this rule can be found in the Expo area, far from the historic city center, where small amount of housing were allowed near the water. In the neighbor municipalities we can find more projects of this kind, mainly in Oeiras and Cascais. Finally another important issue is the fact that Lisbon is the center of the metropolitan area with almost 3 million inhabitants that come to the city, therefore it is necessary to have large public spaces able to answer the demands of this population. East part of the city We have previously seen that there are several important projects planned for Lisbon’s waterfront. In the initial posts we explained that some of these projects had a doubtful future. For these reason we


asked Arch. PD about them. Apparently, the economic crisis that stroke Portugal in 2008, and that we still suffer nowadays, was the main reason for the delay of these projects. The plan for Matinha, the area contiguous toward the south to Parque das Nações, is being developed into further detail. Next to it, the Jardins de Braço de Prata from Renzo Piano, is currently being revised, we can imagine it is necessary to update the project since it was originally designed in 1999. In the same area the eastern riverfront park should also be developed as compensation for the housing development. Since the project did not advance when it was expected, we can imagine that for this reason the investor did not built the park. As we mentioned in the previous posts about Lisbon, the competition for this new green area took place but it was cancelled due to irregularities in the process. Its development should be resumed in short time.

Central section Near the historical city center is where we find one of the first mixed management areas, the Doca da Marinha (Navy dock), Also here we can find the Cais do Jardim do Tabaco and the old Doca do Terreiro do Trigo. In this location is the passenger terminal of Sta. Apolonia which will be replaced by the new Lisbon Cruise Terminal (LCT). In October 2015 the building contract was signed and the construction is already taking place. The new infrastructure should be finish for the first months of 2017. The location of this new terminal caused much discussion back in 2010 when the architectural competition took place. Its location in a sensitive context was seen with some reluctance by some planners. PD explained us why this place and this project were chosen. There were three main reasons: (i) one of the main goals was to create a direct pedestrian connection with the main tourist attraction areas and avoid the traffic generated by the large amount of tourists

Plan from the Braço de Prata housing development, original project from 1999. In the image we also see the plan for Matinha. Source:


that arrive in the cruises. If the terminal would have been placed in the other possible location, Alcântara, the traffic problem would continue and new public transport lines would be needed; (ii) the context where the new construction will be built is indeed very sensitive, but at the same time is considerably degraded, it is expected that the new terminal will help to regenerate the area and the local commerce; (iii) another key goal was the creation of public space on the waterfront, the project from Carrilho da Graça generates new public areas on the ground but also on an elevated level. In the central section of the riverfront we can find two new projects that will improve the relation with the river. Near the Sta. Apolonia cruise terminal the same architect won the competition for the Campo das Cebolas, next to Praça do Comércio. This new space will have a green area near the river and improve the living conditions of this neighborhood, which due to its dense medieval urban structure has almost no green spaces. The other project, in Cais do Sodré, will improve the existing square opening it to the river with a new space by the water. Between both interventions the Ribeira das Naus project is already in use, since mid 2014, with very acceptance from the citizens. In the area of Santos, one of the mixed management sections, there is still no specific project for it. In the strategic plan there are guidelines to what could happen in this area, mainly destined for leisure facilities. In the same document the main goal was to improve the visual and pedestrian connections between the consolidated urban structure and the river.

The new Lisbon Cruise Terminal (LCT), a project from Arch. João Luis Carrilho da Graça. Source:

Campo das Cebolas, a new public space in Lisbon’s Waterfront. Arch. João Luis Carrilho da Graça. Source:

New project for Cais do Sodré. Arch. Bruno Soares. Source:


West waterfront Alcântara is the second part of the waterfront where we can find the active port. Besides the cargo and cruise terminal we can also find the general offices of the APL and the historic cruise terminal that hosts paintings from Almada Negreiros. This building, as we mentioned in the initial posts, will be refurbished to host the APL headquarters and the documentation center that we will describe later. Along the river, the next area where most important changes will take place, besides de new museum in Belém, is the Docapesca- Doca de Pedrouços, the third mixed management section of the waterfront. In this territory we used to find the fishing activities that unfortunately were moved outside Lisbon, to the MARL (Mercado Abastecedor da Região de Lisboa) and Nazaré. MT mentioned that the existing facilities were already in poor condition, therefore change was necessary. In this case a new agreement regarding this area was signed between the municipality and the APL during the port’s day, on the first of November of 2015. The main goal for this collaboration is the development of a sailing center including training facilities and a marina for teams from the Volvo Ocean Race, in order to allow them to stay the whole year and not just during the event. The municipality agreed to this new activity since they are also potentiating the water sports among the schools of the city. Also as compensation they demanded a new pedestrian connection with the waterfront to be built in Belém, what would allow the replacement of the existing ones, which were supposed to be temporary but ended up remaining for several years. In


Champalimaud Foundation. Project from Arch. Charles Correa. Source:

the same sections we should also see in the following years the second stage of the Champalimaud Center. For the development of this area the APL also collaborated with Oeiras, the bordering municipality. Ideally this project could be extended until the national stadium sport complex, regenerating a major section of the waterfront with 2 km, joining municipalities and port. Communication - Soft Values Talking with the neighbors We have seen previously in this research how important is the communication and interaction with the local communities for the relation between city and port. In the case of Lisbon we asked the representatives of the APL what initiatives were being taken in this matter. Regarding the communication we were told that the contact with the local communities is done mainly through the official channels, collaborating with the municipality and the freguesias, the neighbor or parish representatives. Apparently in recent years there was no need to establish a direct communication with the inhabitants of the areas near the active port in the north side of the river.

Alcântara Passenger terminal. This building will be refurbished and host the CDI. Inside we can visit the paintings from Almada Negreiros. Author: José M P Sánchez

Visitors during the Open day at the Port of Lisbon. Source: Porto de Lisboa

Nowadays the main effort is been made in the south side, in the areas affected by the new terminal. In this context there were at least three debates with the locals since the project location was decided.

grated in the network of Lisbon’s museum and libraries. For the moment the CDI is still a project without a specific opening date and is certainly pending from other real estate operations that would make possible the moving of the APL headquarters to the aforementioned terminal.

Port-Center For the disclosure of seaport soft values, the port-center are a very useful tool. We have seen in Genoa and Rotterdam how they can explain the port reality and increase the acceptance of the port. In the case of Lisbon, MT confirmed us that there is a project for a new documentation and information center (CDI). The project is associated with the refurbishment of the cruise terminal of Alcântara, as it was early told by Arch. Rui Alexandre, and it would include an exhibition area prepared for groups of different ages, researches space, an area for meeting with the municipalities and citizens and a café. This new facility could complete the existent exhibitions about the history of the city since, as we said in previous posts, the current information available in the city and navy museum does not explain the important role of the port in the development of Lisbon over the last 150 years. Ideally the port-center could be inte-

Image of the Port Early before we mentioned the open day at the port of Lisbon that took place in Autumn 2015. This was the first time this sort of event took place in Lisbon. During this day the citizens could visit historic ships, like the navio escola Sagres, tub boats or the cruise terminal. We were told that the initiative was prepared in very short time therefore it did not got all the attention it could have gotten. The intention is to transform it into a fix event twice a year in fixed dates, which would allow more detailed planning and disclosure in the media. In other port-cities, like Hamburg and Rotterdam, these sort of actions are celebrated and bring the people to the port. The scale is clearly different but the effect can still be very positive.


During the time spent in Lisbon we got to know other cultural initiatives also related with the port, for example an exhibition with historic pictures of the port that has been on tour in different locations. Regarding other cultural events, like concerts or festival, the APL rents some spaces for them, like the N贸s festival in Alg茅s waterfront. In compensation, besides getting a rent, they also request that the image of the port is present, mainly by playing a video before the shows. In other cases we have seen stronger port characterization of the space where the concerts take place, for example the Elbjazz festival in Hamburg or the classical music concert in Las Palmas. Like many other ports the APL has developed a collaboration program with many schools of the region, organizing visits for children and teens. In the early mentioned agreement between the municipality and the APL, besides the professional sport facilities, the goal is to increase the water sports presence in the schools of the city. Conclusion The relation between the port and the city in the context of Lisbon has evolved significantly as we have just seen. Although the agreements took a while to happen, they did gave an important thrust to the synergies between both parties. Unfortunately the crisis that stroke the country in the year 2008 affected negatively the urban development towards the river and the port. In this post we have seen that there are important projects planned for the waterfront, but most of them have suffered a delay of several years, in some case even more than a decade. The result is that for several years we had areas of the waterfront


that no longer had port use, but were not fully integrated in the urban structure. During this time gap where the projects were place on hold, it could have been interesting to create temporary uses in order to allow them to be assimilated by the local inhabitants. Nowadays, as we were told by the municipality, the projects will finally become a reality and the general image of the waterfront should be improved. For the next step of the research it remains to analyze the most delicate part of the waterfront, the actual border between city and port in both sections of the active port in the north side. In these areas the challenge is even more difficult and a more thorough investigation will be required. The expansion of the port in the south part of the river will also be an interesting subject to study. We have already described the main goals and the process so far. The development of the ongoing competition and the approach for the relation with the municipalities should be also very interesting. The main question might be: How to create a container terminal in a brownfield which relates with the local community and the urban structure? In all the interviews performed in this visit and the previous one. it was clear that the port is an important part of Lisbon, therefore its presence should not be questioned. However, we find that many inhabitant do not share this point of view. The fact that the port did not actually took space from the city, but built its own in landfills, does not eases the image of the harbour among the locals. Lisbon is a river-city, but could it be a port-city? In this context the com-

munications strategy has a key role. In order to have a good port-city relation in the future, the APL must act now. To achieve the acknowledgement from the citizens as a key element of their identity, the port must open itself even more and intensify the dialogue. Several important initiatives have been started, we hope they are consolidated and are able to give a correct use to the seaport soft-values. For the next stages of the research we will address some of the problems here mentioned, particularly the role of port centers and the good practices on social integration of ports. This following step should be done collaborating with the AIVP, which will allow a new approach and hopefully bring new inputs from renowned professionals in the port-city relation field.

Port of Lisbon. The main challenger remains the border between the active port and the city. Source: Port of Lisbon



Paper presented in the AESOP YA Congress - Ghent

Conclusion 51°02′59″ N 3°43′00″ E March 21 - 24, 2015

Port-City governance. A comparative analysis in the European context.

1. Introduction The relation between cities and ports has been thoroughly analyzed from different perspective in the last 50 years. We can find several investigations that try to explain the concept of port-city and the evolution of their interaction. Many authors, e.g. Bird (1963) and Hoyle (1989; 2000) among others, have developed spatial models that explain the different stages the relation between ports and cities goes through. Although the mentioned models present limitations they are widely accepted as the better abstraction of the evolution of the port-city interface. One of the critic that could be made to these schemes is the fact that not all port-cities fit the description (Kokot, 2008). However, in order to perform a comparative analysis, it provides a solid starting point. According to Hoyle’s model we currently find ourselves in the 6th Phase, when new links between the city and the port can be established. In this article we will not focus in the theoretical research or abstract analysis of port-city development, but rather in the actual governance praxis that we can find in Europe.


Stages in the evolution of port-city interrelationships according to Hoyleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s model (2000)

In order to better understand the role of the context, the different problems and solutions that we find in the European continent a research project was proposed. For this investigation a sample of six port-cities was chosen representing different realities: Oslo, Helsinki, Rotterdam, Marseille, Genoa and Lisbon. In this selection we can find some of the main ports of the continent, such as Rotterdam, but at the same time the Nordic capitals, like Oslo and Helsinki, in which the port is mainly relevant in the regional and national level. Also present are port cities that host the major national port for industrial activities but simultaneously tourism or passenger related activities, like Genoa and Marseille. Finally the port of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, that is suffering strong national competition and seen an important increase in the cruise sector. Newman and Thornley (1996) have explained before the differences between the planning systems in the context aforementioned. These distinctions in the national legal framework and the particular physi-


cal and social conditions generate different approaches and solutions for nuisances generated by port activities. These externalities are frequently very similar since the main harbor activities are very often alike. The PAs (Port Authorities)must have a policy to cope with the issues created by its activities in the cities since the positive effects of the port spread throughout the region but the negative externalities very often remain in the urban core (Ircha, 2013; Merk, 2013,2014). The combination between global problems and local solutions generates a diversity of management and planning practices worth observing and comparing. The methodology for the analysis of the study cases was based on visits to the port-cities for periods of two weeks during which one of the main tasks was to perform semi-structured interviews to the responsible authorities in order to get first hand information. We were able to establish contact with the port authorities, municipalities, planning agencies and professionals. In total 15 interviews were done.

Dimensions of waterfront (re-)development for comparative perspectives (Schubert, 2011)

At the same time we contacted the local inhabitants informally to better understand their perception of the port and the role this infrastructure plays in the social identity of the city. The methodology was completed with consultation of bibliography and official documents. For the analysis of the waterfront regeneration projects present in all the study cases we followed the method proposed by Schubert (2011), which includes quantitative and qualitative dimensions e.g. size of the project, start and completion dates, planning culture or location. Finally the time spent in each of the study cases allowed us to perform a photographical survey of the port-city environment and the interaction of the city with the water.

In the work developed by other researchers we can see that there are several key topics related with port-cities. For example in the series dedicated to port-cities from the OECD (Merk 2010-2013) the economic subject was predominant, although it also included information about the urban planning, environmental impact and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The waterfront regeneration projects are another issue that has been extensively studied by other authors, mainly with study case analysis, e.g. Schubert (2008, 2011) and Meyer (2003). Another important source are the guides of good practice developed over the last decade. Several of these publications have been supported by the existing internationals organizations


RDM Campus in Rotterdam. In this project the PA changed its status from Landlord port to developer since it decided to directly invest in the project. Author: Unknown

focused on ports and port-cities, such as ESPO (European Sea Port Organization) the European ports lobby, the AIVP (Association Internationale Ville et Port) or RETE more focused in Mediterranean and south American countries. We were able to identify 3 main common topics in the port-city relation among the selected study-cases: (i) Institutional relations and role of the port authorities, (ii) physical interaction, including the portcity interface and waterfront regeneration projects, and (iii) the social relation between ports and cities. 2. Institutional relation - New synergies In the European context most PAs follow the landlord port model1. Although the functioning scheme is very similar the political context of each port changes the governance capacities of each PA, being particularly relevant the national political 1 According to the AAPA (American Association of Port Authorities) at a Landlord port the PA is responsible for the basic infrastructure which later leases to private operators for the different port activities.


system of each country. In the selected study cases we could also find one PA, Rotterdam, that has evolved from this model into a developer port (Vries, 2014) as we will later see. We could find two main schemes for the national systems in the studied context, centralized and decentralized (Newman & Thornley, 1996). These two models for the national organization of the state create crucial differences between the European countries. In the particular subject we are concerned the major difference is related with the control of the PA. In the case of the centralized model the central government plays the leading role, in some cases being even the sole responsible for the PA board. This model is mostly seen in the South European countries, in our case sample we could find it in the cities of Genoa, Marseille and Lisbon. The main issue of this scheme is the fact that many decisions regarding the strategic planning and the allocation of economical resources are not taken in the PA itself, but in the central authority, usually the ministry or

national department. In this decision making process the priority is given to the economical aspects of the port activity and the resources are mainly dedicated to the major infrastructural works. Regarding the relation with the city, the issue that might surge is the fact that frequently it is not considered a priority and the investment in projects or activities that could improve the synergies is very often declined. During our interviews we could see that for example in Genoa the PA does not fully controls the revenues its activity generates, therefore does not have capacity to decided where the majority of the investment should be made. Regarding the studied cases that have this model, we also found that when the PA is mainly controlled by the central state, there is a certain institutional and emotional detachment between the city and this infrastructure. This was visible in the Marseille case, where, besides the strong presence of the central state, the complex configuration of the boards hinders the negotiation process. The alternative on the other hand is more common in central and north European countries. In the study cases this option could be found in Rotterdam, Oslo and Helsinki. In the decentralized model the city has a prominent role in the control of the PA, very often being the majority shareholder in case is a semi-private company, like in the Dutch case (Vries, 2014), or even the PA is under the â&#x20AC;&#x153;umbrellaâ&#x20AC;? of the municipality. Previously, in some cases, this institution used to be a department of the municipality, like in Helsinki, but recent reforms to improve the management transformed them into semi-public companies controlled by the local authority. In these

cases the state also plays an important role although not so determinant as in the alternative model. In some cases is also present in the shareholding and, in most countries with this system, is in charge of the national coordination of these key infrastructures. For the port-city relation the decentralized model is more beneficial since the city has a stronger voice in the management decisions, they receive benefits from their shares and the urban issues in the interface are considered important as well. The two models aforementioned condition the port-city relation in the institutional field, but are not the only elements that affect this interaction. Another issue is the land ownership. In the analyzed cases we found three types of situation. In the first scenario the port land is owned by the PA and it can be used as a resource for financing port projects in case a waterfront regeneration plan takes place. We could see this in Oslo, where the PA was able to finance the Sydhavna terminal through the revenues of the real estate operation involving the port territories near the city center. Another similar case would be Marseille. The GPMM (Grand Port Maritime du Marseille) controls the port land since the last legislation reform in 20082. For this reason when the port released the area for the waterfront regeneration, it received a compensation from the planning agency. Another situation regarding the land ownership is when the port territory is owned by the city. In this case there is a leasing contract which ends when the port activities are ceased in a certain waterfront section and the land is released without the need of a compensation. This scheme can be found 2 Law n2008-660 4th of July 2008


in Rotterdam or in Helsinki. The Finnish capital can be considered an extreme case since the municipality is one of the main land owners in the city. In this case the PA only owns the constructions and machinery built in its territory. During the interviews the port representatives claimed that the land issue puts them in a disadvantage position in the case of a negotiation regarding urban issues. Finally we can find cases in which the land is owned by the central state and there is a standardized procedure for the ownership transition. We can find this situation in Lisbon, where the law3 states that in case the port territory does not have a current or foreseen use it should be handled to the local authorities if there is a clear plan regarding its transformation for urban uses. In the institutional relation we could also observe another issue that affects only certain ports. These are major infrastruc3 Law DL 100/2008 of June 16 2008

ture that even in the smaller cases include a vast extension of territory. In the sample we studied the size of the port varies from 125 Ha4 of land in the port of Oslo to 12500 Ha5 along 40 km of the river Maas in the case of Rotterdam. This dimension affects the territorial management that in some cases it includes several municipalities. The two most extreme cases among the selected port-cities were Marseille and Lisbon. In the French case the port territory is divided into two main location, Marseille (east basin) and Fos (west basin). Besides the two very different realities, the port activity also affects a broader number of smaller municipalities, at least 3 communauté6 4 Source: port_of_oslo/ 5 Source: the-port/facts-figures-about-the-port 6 The term communauté de communes refers in French to a federation of municipalities. In this case the three communauté in question gather 27 communes. On January 1st of 2016 a new administrative body, the Métropole d’Aix-Marseille - Provence, was created which gathers

View of the East Basin of the GPMM. Source: © PORT DE MARSEILLE-FOS


from Marseille to Fos sur Mer (Bertoncello & Dubois, 2010) that demand a sit in the management board. The negotiation with so many stakeholders, each one with very different priorities and development goals, is considerably complicated. In the Portuguese capital we found that the port limits with 11 municipalities. In this case each one has a different relation with the port authority and different openness towards port activities. These issues that might seem subjective might affect the port development. In the Lisbon case one of the factors that influenced the decision of the new container terminal location was the political relation with the local authorities7.

the fact that the PA is not the same as the port community. Therefore, the concept or agenda of the official institution is not always welcomed by the companies, workers, unions and other individuals or organizations from the port. In some cases, mainly Genoa and Marseille, we noticed how this diversity of actors might difficult the dialogue and in some cases delay important reforms. In general terms we could see that the port communities are not so open to change, particularly if it is brought from outside the port. The PA plays a crucial role since it has to properly explain the necessary change and convince this very resilient community to accept it.

Another issue that affects this relation is

In the investigation we were also able to understand the importance of the negotiation process necessary between all the involved stakeholders. In port territories very often we find other institutions besides the port authorities, such as railway companies, road authorities, customs, pu-

the aforementioned municipalities and Aix-enProvence. This new institution should easy the territorial management and the relation of the municipalities with the port. 7 Source

View of the Tagus estuary and Lisbon metropolita area. The PA controls coast sectps on both sides of the river, intearcting with 11 municipalities Credit: NASA


blic transport companies, cargo and ferry terminals, etc. In all the study cases the negotiation and willing to dialogue was crucial for the urban and port development. For these negotiations the existence of dialogue platforms, sometimes linked to a project, was considered to be a useful approach. 3. Physical relation - Interface and Waterfront regeneration projects - Dialogue and negotiation In the selected study cases we could observe how different sorts of urban projects in the waterfront are taking place or have been developed in the past. Since these port-cities have been studied previously by other scholars into more detail, we will only mention the main aspects of them, specifically the most recent developments. 3.1 The interventions 3.1.1. Helsinki In Helsinki, after the relocation of the industrial port in Vuosaari, several urban development are taking place that will change the relation of the city with the water. Particularly relevant are the ones in Jatkasaari and Kalatasama. In the first one we shall also see the interaction with port activities (Laitinen,2013), more specifically the ferries, that brought in 2015 10,7 mill passenger8 and also a considerable figure of ro-ro 9 cargo, approx. 25% of the general throughput (Merk et al. 2012).

8 Source: Port of Helsinki, 9 Ro-Ro is, as defined by the AAPA, Short for roll on/roll/off type of cargo. This sort of cargo is not lifted inside the ship with cranes, but rolls on and off it, since it goes in cars, trailers or other type of vehicles.


One of the future development areas in the waterfront of Oslo, Vippetangen, near the Akershus fortress.

Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez

3.1.2 Oslo In Oslo the Fjord City plan is being developed since 2000, when the municipality chose to implement the urban strategy be focused in improving the contact of the city with the fjord rather than the one more harbour oriented (Kolstø, 2013; Gisle Rekdal, 2013). This decision was also very representative of the different types of relation that cities have with their ports, not always considered an identity element. In this case the dialogue and negotiation has played a crucial role, since the land, as mentioned before, is owned by the port. One of the most important features of the plan is the new coherent vision for the waterfront. The presence of a global vision for the relation of the city with the water is important for the development of a regeneration project. In the case of Oslo the waterfront promenade plays an important role, since it is the link between the different areas, that go from new port terminals in Sydhavna in the south to the new centralities in Bjorvika. The plan will proceed with the development of Filipstad and Vippetangen. These sections of the waterfront will require more negotiation than in previous parts since there are port related industries operating there and the solution for connection

Kop van Zuid development. This project is entering its final stages. It was a classical approach of port out- city in in and port brownfield. Author: José M P Sánchez

with the urban tissue implies not just the port but also the railway company. 3.1.3 Rotterdam The case of Rotterdam presents two main examples for waterfront interventions, Kop van Zuid and Stadshavens. The first is entering its final stage and is an example of “port out-city in” type of project. In this case a port brownfield was transformed into a high standard mixed-use district. The clear gentrification we can see it was considered positive, being one of the goals of the project, since the city needed greater variety in a dwelling market dominated by social housing (Daamen et al., 2015). The second interventions could be considered a model for the future. Its scale and complexity is greater than other cases since it implies an area of 1600 Ha, of which 600 Ha of land (Vries, 2014) with many active industries. This last section of the port inside the highway ring began to be discussed in the year 2004, with an initial approach similar to the Kop van Zuid. In 2007, before the world financial crisis, it was clear that the scheme could not be replied and that a different strategy was necessary (Daamen,2010; Vries, 2014). The model changed from a “port out-city in” approach

to a real coexistence among port and urban uses. The industries are considered to be important, particularly innovative ones related with the port, and the transition will be developed in a slower rhythm, with a more flexible implementation agenda. The housing program will be built in the areas that allow a compatible use. This case is considered to be very innovative since, as mentioned before, the project no longer takes place in a port brownfield, but in a active port sector. The integration can hardly be achieved, but the coexistence between port and city can be a reasonable goal. 3.1.4 Marseille Marseille is also undergoing an important urban transformation. After the industrial crisis of the 1970-1980 the city went into a process of social and physical degradation, unemployment rates grew considerably, the lack of private investment caused a degradation of the urban tissue with several brownfields and the productive model did not evolved from the previous scenario. The port, as in many other cases, was no longer the job provider it used to be. At the same time the city gained a negative reputation. To invert the negative development tendency the central government decided to act by implementing an urban regeneration plan in 1995, the Euroméditerranée (Bertoncello & Dubois, 2010; Martin, 2015). The operation was destined to change the image of the city and its productive model, with a new CBD where several industrial brownfield used to be, near the urban port. The operation required the cooperation of all the involved actors, including the GPMM. After intense negotiation all the stakeholders agreed and the regeneration process began. One of most interest facts about this case for the port-city relation is


The Docks project in Marseille. An intervention in the old port warehouses, now refurbished into commercial and office space. Author: José M P Sánchez

the vertical integration of port and urban activities in several key projects. Terrasses du Port, Silo d’Arenc and in the future the J1 Warehouse show the compatibility of port activities with cultural, service or shopping programs. Besides these specific projects the process also allowed the city to regain an access to the sea in the J4/MUCEM section. Another important element was the flexibility of the plan, since the construction was only developed when a high rate of occupancy (70%) was assure, avoiding the risk of empty buildings and the possible degradation. Most importantly, the commitment achieved was translated into the city-port charter, a document that summarized the negotiation process and granted the presence of the port in the urban core, easing the acceptance of the project by the port community, not always opened to change. The plan is still ongoing and in the next years it should start its second phase, this time without affecting directly port territories. 3.1.5 Genoa The case of Genoa presents a different reality from the ones discussed previously. In the Italian city currently there is no waterfront regeneration project in the classic


meaning of the concept, acting in a port brownfield to generate an urban tissue near the water. This sort of intervention already took place in the late 1980’s, early 1990’s, and later, in the early 2000’s, in every case associated with a big events policy (Gastaldi, 2010, 2013). The particularity of the Genoese context is the need to intervene in the active port, to give answer to specific technical issues and, in the process, use this opportunity to improve the relation of the city with the port and the sea. The Blue print project developed by Renzo Piano is a conceptual plan for the east section of the port territory focused in reorganizing the shipyards industry, improving its infrastructure and implementing a better distribution of the existing activities, which include a yacht club and water sports. Simultaneously the exhibition fair district, outside the port boundaries, should also be affected by this plan, since it also requires an intervention to invert its current degradation process. The project plans the development of 11300 m2 of housing, 25 000 m2 of tertiary activities and 12 000 m2 of commerce in the sector focused in the urban regeneration10. This figure is relatively small when compared to the previous cases, which also shows the different scope of the project. One of the main features of the plan, as we can see in the image, is the creation of a new blue buffer, i.e. a water channel separating the city from the port. 3.1.6 Lisbon In Lisbon the most important waterfront regeneration project took place in the late 1990’s, the regeneration of a port 10 Source: Official project document and website:

brownfield in the east part of the city for the EXPO 1998. After the event the area suffered several changes to adapt to its post-expo use, hosting a new business district, several housing projects and key cultural infrastructures. The main critic to this project was that it created an island of new urbanity disconnected from the existing urban tissue (Ressano Garcia, 2011). In 2007 the general plan for waterfront interventions was published, in which the future use of riverfront areas and port territory to be dismissed was described. This plan was developed in the strategic level and the partial projects were developed in a closer scale. The economic crisis that affected the world economy, and particularly the Southern European countries, burst short after the release of the document and several project there hosted suffered signi-

ficant delays, being developed only today. In this period the absence of activities in the released areas increased the negative image of the port, although the port itself was not responsible of the situation. The importance of temporary uses was clear in this case, since they could have allowed an appropriation of the space by the inhabitants that later on might ease the integration. 3.2 Conclusions of the physical relation analysis 3.2.1 Contracts One of the elements that are most relevant for the waterfront regeneration projects is the situation regarding the contracts with the existing companies. The majority of the PA, as we have already mentioned, follow the landlord model, therefore there

View of Lisbon. The central sector of the active port between historic center and the eastern part of the city remains a challenege for the coexistence Source:


are companies developing their activities in the port territory which have made an investment based in a long term commitment. These contracts are usually signed for several decades and imply considerable compensation sums in case they are broken. In the waterfront project they might form an impediment for the implementation of the plan. We could find this issue in several cases. In Oslo there are operating firms in Filipstad and in the silo in Vippetangen. In Rotterdam there are several companies with long-term contracts in Merwerhaven, Eemhaven and Waalhaven, that in case they had to be relocated the necessary compensation could affect the outcome of the project11. One of difficulties of acting in the active port is the issue of respecting the contracts, in this context the flexible planning and negotiation skills might prove to be determinant for the success or failure of the project. 3.2.2 Agencies The waterfront and the port-city interface are a very specific situation, the issues affecting this part of the city are very particular and the solutions applied in other locations of the urban tissue might not work here (Hoyle, 1998). At the same time in this context the municipal authorities deals with another institution managing a vast territory, the port authorities, with different priorities and goals, that counterbalances the negotiation process. In order to find solutions very often an specific planning 11 Another case where the importance of the contracts situation can be seen is Hamburg. For the 2024 Olympic proposal, that finally was rejected by the citizens in a referendum, one of the bigger challenges was the figure of the compensation for the companies operating in the Kleinen Grasbrook, port territory, where the Olympic village was supposed to be built.


agency is created. In the analyzed study cases we found several agencies, frequently linked with a project, instead of a steady organizations meant to follow different plans. In Rotterdam the Stadshavens evolved to be a dialogue and coordination platform after the approach to the project changed (Daamen,2010; Vries, 2014). In the case of Genoa we found precedents of these sort of initiatives, created by both sides of the relation. For the port plan the PA established an agency for the development of the port Masterplan. This new office counted with the collaboration of world renowned architects and planners, e.g. Rem Koolhaas, Solá Morales and Bernardo Secchi, to provide new ideas for the port-city interface (Boeri,1999). Later on another agency, the Genova Urban Lab, was created to solve the existing urban issues, among them the relation with the port. The synergies created in the process have helped to improve the dialogue between the municipal and port authorities. In Marseille the Euroméditerranée was created by the national state with the scope of the urban regeneration of the city. The participants in the new public agency were also the GPMM, the urban community, the county council, the regional council and the municipality. The agency forced a dialogue almost inexistent until that moment. One of the greatest achievements of this initiative has been the connection between the national and the local decision makers. This agency is linked to the project development and its destiny is to disappear when the plan is finished. However it has already left a document that should work as guide for the future of the port-city relation, the “city-port charter”.

Tjuvholment waterfront development. This urban project continued the model established in Akker Brygge. The profit from the real estate operations financed the new terminal in Sydhavna Author: JosĂŠ M P SĂĄnchez

The other cases have not developed an specific waterfront agency, but in certain moment have established joint venture dedicated to specific projects, such as the Frente Tejo in Lisbon, focused in three major public projects and later extinguished. 3.2.3 Two tendencies Waterfront projects have been studied by several authors since the pioneer interventions in Boston and Baltimore in the 1960â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Ever since we have seen an evolution in the development models. In Europe we could until now find several generations of waterfront revitalization (Schubert, 2008 and 2011). The first one exemplified in London, the Canary wharf, contrasting later with what took place in Barcelona or Genoa where the public space and leisure had the dominant role. Later the focus changed to mixed- use and housing very often linked with a landmark cultural project, following the example of Bilbao. In the studied port-cities we found two main sorts of waterfront revitalization plans. In the Nordic countries the concept has followed what we have already seen in other locations e.g. the Netherlands. The reloca-

tion of the port industrial harbor created the opportunity of a waterfront project. In Oslo the new port terminal in Sydhavna has been developed with the revenues from the Oslo Havn KF, which also benefited from the real estate operations . In Helsinki on the other hand the decision of moving the industrial port to Vuosaari released a considerable space for new districts in the city. While in Oslo the free market law prevails, therefore high standard housing for high income class, in Helsinki the role of the municipality as landowner allows a greater social mix in the new city districts in the waterfront. The composition of both social structures might provide in the future different perceptions of the public space and the urban environment by the water. The second type of waterfront intervention is the one that acts in the active port territory, as we see in Rotterdam and Genoa. In these cities the plans are not limited to port brownfields, but propose the reconfiguration of the active port, considering at the same time the urban needs and the


harbor related activities. In this cases the interface between both realities changes and technical needs from the port are used to improve the synergies with the city. When comparing both we could say that Rotterdam takes the concept further since the transformation is not physical but also social and economical. The RDM campus is one positive example of interaction between city and port in the educational sector, in the boundary between both territories (Aarts et al, 2012). This sort of plans could be considered a new generation of waterfront regeneration projects since they offer a new approach to the port-city reality. The Euroméditerranée plan in Marseille has elements from both, since this operation has not altered significantly the configuration of the port territory and only in a small section the PA has released area by the water. The main innovation was the coexistence of port and urban activities, as we have seen in several projects. The waterfront interventions have clear development stages (Schubert, 2008). Starting with the abandonment of the area and relocation of port infrastructure, to the emergence of a port brownfield, later proceeding to the implementation of plans and its revitalization. In the last decade we have already seen that the process was starting to change, since the real estate development were proving to be economically very convenient. The pressure to the port to move it mains infrastructure to another location was not only due to the technical and logistic needs for more space, but also from the different urban stakeholders. We might have achieved a new stage, the waterfront intervention no longer happen after the port released the area, but rather take place in the active port. At the same time


also the model of intervention has changed in these cases. If previously the main goal was to develop green public spaces, cultural venues or mixed-use and housing developments, what could be named the “beauty waterfront”, now it seems we have an alternative “productive waterfront” model, where the industries are considered important for the city and the effort has to be made for the compatibility and coexistence between the port and the city. This evolution in the waterfront projects and the dangers of the previous model, more focused in housing and leisure programs, were already detected by other authors, e.g. Chrarlier (1992), who named it “the dockland syndrome”, Bruttomesso (2009) and Ducruet (2013), who considered a mistake to remove all the port activities from the regenerated waterfront, denaturalizing it from its original function. 4. Emotional relation During the study case visits and analysis we were able to observe a third dimension of the port-city relation, the interaction between the citizens and the port. Until very recently the PA’s in general terms had not considered the importance of the public image and the communication with the inhabitants of the city where they were placed. Several scholars have already studied the negative image of the port, e.g. Hooydonk (2007), but the responsible authorities did not considered it an issue for their governance until recently. Regarding this topic one of the key concepts is the SLO (Social License to Operate). As explained by Dooms (2014), 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

Contrast between the city and the port in Genoa. The port machinery is part of the city identity. Author: José M P Sánchez

port activities by local communities. This subjective dimensions are often difficult to measure. In port-cities the SLO is not achieved easily since often the positive effects of port activities spread through the entire region but the negative externalities remain in the urban core (Ircha, 2013; Merk, 2013,2014). In order to achieve this license the ports have to look for values that go beyond the usual port arguments regarding their economic impact, jobs, tons of cargo, etc. The soft values of seaports have in this context a key role. They are defined by Hooydonk (2007) as “the non-socioeconomic values which include among others historical, sociological, artistic and cultural sub-functions that form the soft-function of seaports”. In the selected port-cities these soft-values were presented in several ways, from education to heritage to cultural or communication initiatives. During our research we observed that the different actions taken in this field could be organized in four main categories: education, communication, heritage and social agenda. Besides these key issues, the

matter of the port as an identity element was considered to be transversal to all subjects. The problem of the urban identity in port-cities has been studied by several scholars, e.g. Hooydonk (2009) Warsewa (2011). In the concerned port-cities we were able to see that not all of them that host a port consider themselves a portcity, or the port as a key element of their identity. We can mention Oslo or Lisbon for example, in which the citizens and the authorities acknowledge other features as more important for their identity. In the Norwegian case, as stated before, the fjord has a dominant role, the people are more related with the natural element than with the artificial port landscape. In the Portuguese capital the same happens with the Tagus river. Although is very clear how the port activity and development has affected the character and morphology of the city, the inhabitants are not able to relate with the port, sometimes even considering it an impediment to a more fluid relation with the river. In the other cases the port is considered an important characteristic for the collec-


tive image of the city. When we observe the different cases is clear that this key infrastructure does not has the same weight in the identity of each city. The role the port plays in Rotterdam cannot be equal to the one in Helsinki. However we have detected that there might be a growing detachment towards the port. For this reason the need to improve the social relation is clear. In some cases the goal is to strength the role of the port, in others, to create a social relation with it. For this reason the four categories above mentioned have to work jointly to achieve the desired result. 4.1 Education The relation with the educational institutions has been one of the fields where the PA have made the greater efforts for the social integration. In all the visited portcities the PA had organized school visits to the port facilities for groups of children of different age. In another level the collaboration with the universities is also very frequent. In Marseille the PA participates in workshops with the architecture faculty. In Rotterdam the cooperation with educational institutions goes beyond visits or workshops. In the RDM campus the startup companies focused in port activities give the students the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge. The education programs are also being use to deal with another issue, the fact that to younger generations the port is no longer seen as an attractive place to pursue a professional career. Regarding the issue of understanding the port, an specific infrastructure can be found in some port cities, the port center. This space is focused in explaining the port


to a broader audience, particularly children and teenagers, to allow the inhabitants to regain a sense of ownership of the port (Marini et al., 2014). Very often their exhibition and educational activities are complemented by boat tours where the students can see what they have learn before. In two study-cases, Rotterdam and Genoa, we could visit the port-center. Both cities have this kind of centers12, although the one in Genoa has been closed since 2014. There is a Port-Center Network organized by the AIVP which coordinates the relation between the different institutions. In the future is expected to find more centers in the different ports. In some port-cities we could also find maritime museum that often have a section dedicated to explaining the port. 4.2 Communication In the paper â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lipstick on a Gorillaâ&#x20AC;? (Van Stiphout, 2007), we could read that the port is now a reality that must be explained. The communication has been another field in which we have assisted to important changes in recent years. The use of social media to explain the port and interact with the inhabitants has become a regular activity. Most PAs have a communication strategy but often does not reach the targeted audience.The port of Rotterdam has been active in many channels to spread the news about the port activities. They produce a free newspaper and have an online TV channel, an initiative we can also see in Hamburg13. Another useful stra12 The port of Rotterdam has two Port-Centers: the EIC, placed in a central location in the port territory with the scope of general explaining the harbour and the port activities, and the Futureland center, in the Maasvlakte 2, focused in explaining the port expansion project. 13 Both PAs have channels in the online platform YouTube

Real Estate development in Katendrech. In the future the relation with the industrial heritage might be tighter than what it is today, passing the musealization and integrating it in every day uses Source:

tegy are the local information signs, where the port and its history can be explained to the inhabitants. In Oslo the information strategy in the Fjord City project was particularly effective since it was linked to the waterfront promenade project. The possibility of joining a coherent urban vision with an user friendly information boards prove to be useful. The port history is explained where the current waterfront regeneration projects are being built. The explanation of the transition could help to have an emoional connection with the port heritage and improve the port identity role. 4.3 Heritage The next category where we can find softvalues strategies is the heritage. In old port areas we can often find harbor machinery, cranes and warehouses. During the field trips we could see the different role this heritage has played in the port regeneration projects. In Oslo, Helsinki, Rotterdam and Genoa we could see the cranes working as sculptural elements in the public space. The use of warehouses and other buildings like silos is also frequent. In Marseille the Silo dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Arenc was refurbished into a cultu-

ral venue, keeping the port circulation underneath. In Genoa the congress center is the old cotton warehouses. In Rotterdam, in the Katendrecht district, we should see in the near future several projects in industrial buildings take place, which could allow a mixed use of the space. In the same city we can also find the historic harbor associated with the maritime museum. In this space, besides the cranes and boats we can also see the workshops where they are repaired, allowing a relative coherent atmosphere. In Hamburg the Speicherstadt, considered UNESCO world heritage in 2015, hosts nowadays office space, including the PA headquarters. The use of heritage to connect with the history of the port is one of the most effective and accepted strategies. In case the buildings or cranes are kept, is important that they are integrated in the new urban plans but with the right context, otherwise, they might be isolated elements losing their strength as a whole. 4.4 Social agenda Finally, the last type of strategy is the social events for the port integration. The open


door days and port festival, like the ones in Rotterdam, Helsinki or Lisbon constitute the typical example of this sort of action. In most guides of good practice they are mentioned as an effective method of bringing people to the harbor and rising the interest of the general audience for the port issues. These sort of event might be characterized by a certain folklore and detachment from what really a port is nowadays. Nevertheless they do attract attention and must be complemented with the educational programs and infotainment from the portcenters and maritime museums. Besides these venues, the port also can be active in the other events, such as the city marathon, concerts or exhibitions, that put the focus in the port, or the port can work as background. This way, the harbor image is introduced in the life of the inhabitants, what could lead to a broader acceptance of its presence. All the strategies aforementioned are correlated, the cultural venues are often associated with the port-centers which can be placed in port heritage buildings. The softvalues can be explained in different ways but their effects in the general mindset cannot be measured from one year to the other. The successful cases that use these strategies have been applying them for the long term results. However, it is important to have a realistic idea of the perception of the port by the citizens by performing studies, like the one from Lisbon in 200714, where the actual image of the port is evaluated. The effects of these policies could lead to higher acceptance of the port. 14 Sustainability report from the year 2007, available in: page/portal/PORTAL_PORTO_LISBOA/AUTORIDADE_PORTUARIA/RELATORIOS_PUBLICACOES


In this article we have not focused in the environmental policies followed by the different PAs, although is clear they are the first priority regarding the coexistence with the city and CSR. This is a broader subject to be dealt in another article, but we can notice how important they have become in the different ports we visited. The control of the different pollutants using sophisticated sensor system is an usual practice in the European ports. At the same time there is a constant dialogue with the responsible authorities for an effective control of the nuisances and the companies operating in the port. In another dimension we can also see how the new terminal or port expansion projects have environmental concerns regarding the fauna and flora. In the Maasvlakte 2, in Rotterdam, the creation of the breakwater reused material from the original Maasvlakte. The new port territory in Vuosaari is placed in a Natura 2000 reserve, therefore the nuisance had to be reduced to the minimum. For this reason the sound barrier in the east border is a wall made with concrete blocks that allows the integration of vegetation to reduce the impact of the port. 5. General Conclusion After analyzing the different study cases one of the original assumptions proved to be correct, it is not possible to achieve a real physical port city integration, only a sustainable coexistence (Bruttomesso, 2011). The current technical requirements and security limitations will constantly hinder the full integration that belongs to the early phases of Hoyleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s model. In this case the description of Hoyleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 6th phase might be correct, since we did found new links between the port and the city, and in the

future they might even be reinforced due to the economic development associated with port industries and port-clusters. In the selected port-cities we found common problems to all of them, e.g. environmental issues, traffic associated to port activity or the barrier effect. However, the physical, political, emotional and institutional context plays a key role in all the cases, requiring specific solutions for the mentioned general problems. We also found that the abstract models proposed by several authors and the rankings do not fully express the reality of the port or the complexity of the port-cities. The two existing schemes regarding the national governance, centralized and decentralized, can affect the relation between the port and the city, particularly in the institutional level. These differences can later be seen in the effort the PA is able to do in order to improve the interaction with the city. The allocation of resources controlled by a central authority might difficult the investment in the disclosure of the softvalues of seaport, what could in the long term increase the positive synergies with the inhabitants.

could imply a new access to the water or new associated industries. This change, that in this article we took the freedom to name “from beauty waterfront to productive waterfront”, might introduce a more balance relation and better acceptance of the port presence. At the same time this sort of plans could help to maintain the port identity, providing a certain variability to the necessary coherent vision for the waterfront. Finally, during the analysis of the study cases, it was clear that the role of the PA has to go beyond the management of the port territory and activities. The port has to assume its role as constituent element of the urban structure and collective image. The disclosure of the soft-values of seaports by the PAs should help the port to achieve greater acceptance by the citizens. If we consider that very often the PAs are politicized institutions it seems reasonable that an investment is made for the improvement of its public image and obtaining the SLTO. We have seen that the full physical integration between port and cities will not be possible, but the social integration of the seaports should be considered an important goal to be achieved by the PAs.

In the waterfront we have seen how the intervention model has evolved, although in the selected study cases the plans developed in the 1990’s and 2000’s are currently under development. The new strategies are focused in intervening in the active port, in some cases generating new types of interaction between both realities. The need of a port-city combined strategy affects both the physical and economical development. One technical improvement might cause an spatial redistribution, which



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Port-cities represent one of the most fascinating urban situation of our time. The two parallel realities have given birth to endless conflicts and difficult relations. Ports are the raison d’être of many cities, but nowadays they have become inhospitable places for the human being. In the 21st century ports are the backbone of the globalized world. Through them 90% of the goods we consume in the European Union pass through. They are key players for the commerce and economic engines for the regions that host them. But how does the relation between cities and ports in the 21st Century really works? How is the coexistence between the urban issues and the port logics? What image do the inhabitants of the port-cities have from their own ports? What can be done to improve the relation? All these questions are the inspiration for the current PhD Investigation: “City and Port? City or Port? The coexistence between City and Port, the Lisbon Case.” In the Portuguese capital the relation between both entities has evolved but still is far from what we see in other port-cities in the European continent. In order to analyze what is being done in other cases, a research project was developed including five study cases representing different realities: Oslo, Helsinki, Rotterdam, Marseille and Genoa. The present book is the final result of the research trip done in 2015 sponsored by the Übersee-Club. During this trip an online on-board diary was written, hosted in the blog: The posts written during the almost 4 months of travel are here transcribed along with the result of the photographic survey done when visiting the different cities. The conclusions of the trip are summarized in an article presented in the AESOP YA congress. This paper is the last chapter of the book and explains the main issues and strategies found in the analyzed study cases. This investigation will not stop here and will continue to develop a final strategy that could be implemented in the case of Lisbon, including both hard (physical) and soft (non-physical) interventions. The port and the city blog continues online and can be visited for the next stages of the research.


Profile for jose manuel pages sanchez

The Port and the City - On board diary  

This book is the result of a research trip focused in the relation between cities and ports.The investigation can be followed in : https://t...

The Port and the City - On board diary  

This book is the result of a research trip focused in the relation between cities and ports.The investigation can be followed in : https://t...