Brest (France): A succesful, sustainable, and seamless port restoration that has proven to be good for the local environment both economically, aesthetically, and culturally.
By Søren Møller Sloth
Today, city-ports are more than epicenters of global trade. Europe’s oldest ports have been around for more than 3.000 years, meaning their cultural and economic role of connecting cities is much more prominent than that of any railway-station or road.
Quebec, Stockholm, Miami, and others have all seamlessly united urban environment and city-ports despite exponential growth in commercial ship trade since the 1950-invention of the container. But that seamless integration, especially to smaller European cities with antique ports experiencing relatively similar growth in trade, is both complicated and expensive.
With that in mind, Ramboll Management Consulting, professors from the University of Dublin and the University of Palermo will research four successful port-restorations over the next year with the aim of developing a best-practice framework for future port restorations. The client is ESPON, EU’s programme for evidence-based territorial development.
The four cities/ports that will be researched are Aalborg (Denmark), Catania (Italy), Cork (Ireland), and Brest (France). Ports that are considered best practice in a European context, according to Ramboll’s project lead:
“Our research will be a strong basis for decisions within the area of port regeneration. It will provide understanding of how successfully modernized ports like the four in question can be drivers of sustainable urbanization, growth and resilience. And - on a more practical level - how and when ports are considered successfully modernized. Funnily enough, I’m from Brest myself so this project feels like home in several ways,” says Xavier Le Den, Head of Ramboll Management Consulting’s Brussels office.
Aiming for a more economically competitive continent, the project framework will equally make the expected costs and benefits of restoring ports easier to accommodate, as well as reveal potential territorial capital in the region.
The project, named “ENSURE,” is expected to be completed in the late part of 2019.