Communicating Complexity: Understanding port-city regions
The Magic of Port Cities

Communicating Complexity: Understanding port-city regions

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Ports—large industrial complexes, urban territories and their neighbouring regions—share physical spaces, natural ecosystems, and social connections. To address climate change, the energy transition, changing technologies and the transformation of work conditions and economies, port-city regions need new regional collaboration and spatial reconceptualization. Interviews with local professionals from port authorities, municipalities, other institutions and citizens—demonstrate a lack of knowledge of each other’s needs and interests and a lack of shared values for future development. To help diverse stakeholders understand complex port-city regions and envision future spaces and forms of living together, this project investigates current challenges faced by port-city regions, explore alternative spatial scenarios and produce an informative artistic film, which makes the findings accessible to a diverse public. The project posits that we need novel creative approaches to engage large non-professional audiences in the ongoing transitions. It therefore brings together the artists and filmmakers Ollie Palmer, Lot Bakker and Professor Carola Hein from TU Delft, who is developing a “Port City Futures” research agenda (, with the LDE Center PortCityFutures. Together with De Martino, Hein has made an engaging artistic film provide a view into evolving port-city region relationships. The film will be shown in various locations to the general public—including at the Learning Center in Dunkirk and will be made available online. Hein will work closely with this and other institutions to assess the film’s impact.

Submitted by:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Carola Hein, Chair History of Architecture and Urban Planning, Delft University of Technology

Names of scholars involved:
Prof. Dr.-Ing Carola Hein
PhD Cand. Paolo De Martino

Names of the partners involved:
Private Partners
Lot Bakker
Ollie Palmer
Public Partners
Pietro Spirito (Port Authority Naples)
Marnix Bonnike/Christine Masson (Learning center Dunkirk)
Rinio Bruttomesso (RETE)
Philippe Matthis (AIVP)