The Competitiveness of Global Port-Cities

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Author(s):
OECD
08 Dec 2014
Pages:
272
ISBN:
9789264205277 (PDF) ;9789264205260(print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264205277-en

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Ports and cities are historically strongly linked, but the link between port and city growth has become weaker. Economic benefits often spill over to other regions, whereas negative impacts are localised in the port-city. How can ports regain their role as drivers of urban economic growth and how can negative port impacts be mitigated? Those are the questions that this report aims to answer.

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  • Foreword and acknowledgements

    Globalisation characterizes our current times, shapes economic trajectories and determines quality of life. Port-cities are at the frontline of globalisation; approximately 90% of external trade volumes is transported by ship and is loaded and unloaded in one of the world ports. A large majority of ports is located in cities, which makes the fate of cities interlinked with the fates of their ports. Some cities have been able to foster their port and use it as an urban economic asset, whereas other cities are declining despite a flourishing port. History is full of examples of cities that prospered thanks to their port; is history able to repeat itself in this respect? Can ports once again be drivers of urban growth? The presence of a port brings special challenges related to the environment, urban traffic and land use. The stakes for cities can be high, as these challenges directly relate to the well-being of their citizens.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    Ports and cities are historically strongly linked, but the link between port and city growth has become weaker. Economic benefits often spill over to other regions, whereas negative impacts are localised in the port-city. How can ports regain their role as drivers of urban economic growth and how can negative port impacts be mitigated? Those are the questions that this report aims to answer.

  • Ports and their cities: An introduction

    Ports and cities have a strong historical association, although the link between port and urban growth has attenuated over time. The various types of port-city face their own specific challenges; much depends on local circumstances. However, the question remains: are ports still drivers of urban growth, and how can they help to achieve such growth?

  • The impact of ports on their cities

    This chapter provides an overview of the impact of ports, their terminals and their related economic sectors and activities. Despite their economic benefits, they also have negative impacts, particularly on the environment, land use and traffic. It assesses how these effects are distributed, and identifies a mismatch between negative impacts, which are mostly localised, and their benefits, which spill over to other regions. This mismatch has intensified in recent decades, due to technological, market and other developments. The concluding section of this chapter assesses future developments that could pose additional challenges to policy makers.

  • Making ports competitive

    How can ports keep their competitive edge? That is the core question of this chapter, which is of prime relevance to port-cities, given that only well-functioning, competitive ports are able to create economic value. The three main determinants for competitive ports, identified here, are: extensive maritime forelands, effective port operations and strong hinterland connections. Long-term competitiveness of the port is also dependent on the support of the local population, which is necessary to sustain port functions in metropolitan areas.

  • Increasing the local benefits from ports

    How can competitive ports be turned into engines of urban economic growth? What are the policy options for port-cities and the main policy instruments, and what is their effectiveness? This section identifies three main models for port-based urban economies: maritime clusters, port-industrial development and port-related waterfront development. In addition, a side-option is presented that does not use the port as a source of economic growth but is based on diversification of the urban economy to decrease the dependence on the port economy. A "non-regret" option involves increased co-operation between port-cities. Such policy options are archetypical, as various port-cities have strategies that combine different models.

  • Mitigating the negative impact from ports

    Mitigating negative port impacts is essential for the long-term survival of ports and portcities. Even if ports generate large local economic benefits, building on competitive strengths in services, industrial development or consumer-driven port-related waterfront development, they will not have sustainable future perspectives if they do not mitigate negative impacts related to their development. These negative impacts can be considerable, as illustrated in Chapter 2, and can relate to the environmental impacts – such as pollution of air, water and soil – land use, traffic congestion and risks related to climate change and security. This chapter assesses main policies to mitigate these impacts and risks, building on the experience of port-cities worldwide.

  • An effective policy mix for port-cities

    The appropriate policy mix for a specific port-city depends on its local assets and characteristics. Despite the need for tailor-made policy design, a few generic lessons can be identified. An assessment of port-city policies shows the effectiveness of transportrelated port-city policies, provided that policy coherence is respected.

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