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 Europe both trans- and intracontinentally has been huge.
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, is both complicated and expensive.
With that in mind, Ramboll Management Consulting, professors from the University College Dublin and the University of Palermo will research four port-cities over the next year with the aim of developing a best-practice framework for future port regenerations of small- to medium-sized port-cities in Europe. 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.