Ports, record participation in the AIVP Venice 2023 summit

The award for the best sustainability strategy for port cities has been launched

The world conference of port cities closed with technical visits to the port infrastructures of Venice-Marghera, which recorded a record of international participation: 45 speakers, 320 registered delegates, 41 countries for 30 hours of work. The objective – achieved – is to discuss a new model of relationship between port institutions, citizens and stakeholders to overcome together the increasingly urgent challenges that every city finds itself facing in a climate emergency scenario and – in some contexts – also of economic and social crisis.

Among the best practices presented are those of New York, Sydney, Jamaica, Dakar, Maputo, Antwerp, Marseille, Barcelona and the Balearic Islands. The message that emerges loud and clear at a global level and which will be brought to the next COP 28 is that, to overcome sustainability challenges, ports can act as a driving force and accelerator for the green transition and more generally for implementing solutions innovative for more sustainable cities, dealing every day with a much broader international context of exchange and technical innovation.

As underlined by the President of the Port System Authority of Venice and Chioggia Fulvio Lino Di Blasio, co-organizer of the event, “today is the right time – perhaps the last? – to redefine the identity of the cities/ports, who find themselves on the “front line” to face very difficult challenges: defense of the coasts from rising seas, protection of ecosystems, circular economy, alternative energies, etc. If we see these challenges as a source of “conflicts”, where different actors bring requests that are difficult or impossible to reconcile, we will not be able to overcome them. But port cities are also ‘bridges’ between land and sea, they are excellent “zips” that unite, they are “laboratories” where coexistence and development can be experimented according to a common purpose that must be put together in a “holistic” way all dimensions of sustainability: this is the perspective we have adopted in the management of the Veneto port system, the only one that we believe capable of generating lasting values ​​for our territory”.

To make the role that port cities can play in designing new models more evident on a global level, Aivp – Association Internationale Villes et Ports – has launched the Antoine Rufenacht Award, in honor of the founder of the Association, former Mayor of the seaside city of Le Havre; the award will highlight exemplary port-city management projects with respect to parameters linked to the 2030 Agenda pursued through a global strategy for the development of the city and the ecosystem at the same time.

“The establishment of the AIVP “Antoine Rufenacht” Award is part of this perspective: to stimulate exchanges of best practices at the service of a safer and more sustainable future, so that our port cities remain sources of life, work and pride” he commented the Aivp President and current Mayor of Le Havre Édouard Philippe.

The first edition of the Award will see the light in 2024 with the awards ceremony to be held in Lisbon, the port city that will host next year’s AIVP world conference.