ports and engineers


International Research & Policy Symposium

(Re-) Connecting Maritime-Urban Ecosystems

A Framework for Planning and Designing Sustainable ‘Spaces of Flows’ in Port-City Regions

  • Date: 26 - 27 September 2024

  • Venue: Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, TUDelft (Berlage Rooms)

  • Location: Julianalaan 134, 2628 BL Delft

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions RePortFlows together with LDE program PortCityFutures invite you to the international research and policy symposium:

How can territorial planning, policy tools and actions facilitate the sustainable development of the port-city regions to mitigate negative externalities of port activities, improve well-being of local communities, and help a more sustainable integration of the port in the urbanised areas?

In an era marked by globalisation, rapid technological advancements (including the recent AI), evolving new urban economics, and societal and environmental challenges, port cities continue to play a pivotal role in facilitating the movement of goods, people, ideas, and capital. Yet the shipping industry and port activities are also coupled with negative (mainly environmental) impacts, including noise and air pollution, congestion, vessel discharges, etc. Abundant discipline-oriented literature already exists on port geography and the development of its hosting city/region. Yet, the question of sustainable adaptation and/or expansion of the spaces formed and impacted by port activities remains unanswered. We need more in-depth exploration of how global flows running through maritime infrastructures (re)shape the built environment and our societies. Seeking more space and deeper dredging, modern port infrastructures developing in the outskirts introduce a new spatial scale: the ‘port region’, which encompasses a complex configuration of spaces in terms of commodity traffic, passenger flows and network of actors. More empirical research is needed to explore the complex ecosystem generated by the maritime port(s) and its related activities, but also the layer(s) of affected urban territory.

This symposium seeks to bring together academic and non-academic stakeholders to engage in meaningful conversations, share cutting-edge research and practice, and discuss the challenges and opportunities inherent in the nexus of ports, cities and their regions. The aim is to create a dynamic platform that converges the intellectual rigour of academia with the practical insights of practitioners and policymakers to explore the intricate port-city interplay and the mapping of spaces wherein people, commodities, knowledge, and money flow. Our ambition is to foster trans-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder collaboration, inspire innovation, and create a shared vision for the sustainable development of port-city regions in Europe.

This interactive 2-day symposium features keynotes, panel sessions, a roundtable, a stakeholder workshop, and a guided tour to the port area of Rotterdam as one of our pilot case studies. Join us on this intellectual journey where academia meets practice, and together, let's shape the narrative of port-city-regions, and their vital role in the interconnected world of flows.

Visit our EU sponsor here!

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