Asociación para la Colaboración entre Puertos y Ciudades // Association for the Collaboration between Ports and Cities

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The scientific study of ports and port cities spans a varied and extensive subject area. RETE, with a broad, plural and global approach, centres research into their complex reality on eleven priority lines of research.


The aim of this section is to publish articles and research work that focus on studying, giving consideration to and analysing the historical development of ports and port cities from the outset, i.e. from the time they first became urban port settlements in prehistoric times, until midway through the 20th Century. The articles may offer either an insight into port cities in specific eras or periods, or partial aspects of the relationships between ports and their cities; these could be from an urban planning, socio-economic, environmental or cultural viewpoint, etc.


This section is given over to studying economic activities from the perspective of what port activities offer and the company and business fabric that such activities generate. In view of this, articles are published that are devoted to examining such questions as the economic functions of ports, the agents and production factors involved and, especially: – The different port activities: fishing; the industries associated with port activities (ship construction & boat-building, shipyards, the construction of infrastructures, port machinery and tools, the industries that have been established in ports, etc.); leisure and tourism associated with these facilities (cruises, nautical sports and recreation, cultural and leisure equipment, etc.); trade and maritime transport (traffic, logistics, intermodality); work and jobs in ports.- The economic impact of ports: the role of ports and the regional and domestic urban economy; assessment of the economic impact of ports, the methodologies used for conducting studies and examples of particular cases.


This section specialises in showing the dynamics and recent transformations that have affected ports, as well as the processes of change to which these types of large cities are subject. It also explains the changes, effects and impacts that they are undergoing as a result of those processes. It is a section that will also feature articles whose purpose it is to present the complexity and diversity of port-city relations. The way they interact, conflicts and synergies, dealing with such aspects as the administration and governance of port cities and ports themselves, conflicts of interest, and the tools and practices for reaching agreements.


Different categories of articles are featured in this section. For example: – Port planning and urban-port planning carried out on different levels and in a variety of areas. – Work that is of a methodological and epistemological nature concerning urban and port planning, on the techniques and tools that are used for planning, whether they are of an integrated nature (strategic plans) or whether they concern urban planning, infrastructures or are of an economic kind. – Articles whose purpose is to analyse and reflect upon the port city of the future and the future of port cities, the challenges and opportunities that ports and cities will be facing in the short- and medium-term, or studies that prepare concepts, new visions and proposals.


This section will feature texts that focus on subject matter such as the following: – Revitalising and transforming former port zones for urban use: devising and designing restructuring projects for waterfronts; types, criteria, models and their sustainability; the new urban-port landscapes that emerge from the redesignation of disused areas; the architecture and urban planning of waterfronts; the physical and functional liaising and organising of urban-port waterfronts in cities; the urban impact of regenerating obsolete port waterfronts. – The management and administration of urban-port waterfronts: regulatory framework; models for promoting, enhancing and operating waterfronts; financial profitability and feasibility; public and private initiative and investment; the economic effects that redesignation has upon waterfronts.


A section that is devoted to publishing studies about urban projects and actions that are carried out in the zones where ports and cities come into contact, mainly concerning buildings and properties that are important because of their outstanding architectural interest or functional singularity; urban and industrial buildings or those of other types inspired by elements that are essential to the port landscape (vessels, containers, etc.); the rehabilitation of port facilities and properties (docks, quays, jetties, warehouses, sheds, harbour stations, lighthouses and nautical signs and signals).

At the same time this section gives spaces for contributions related to the landscape of ports and port cities, the analysis of their morphology, the design and development of specific interventions.


One of the areas where the problems that exist in the relationships between ports and their urban environments have become most apparent in recent years, is the question of environmental sustainability. The aim of this section is to publish articles that: – Examine the environmental problems created by port activities and their effects upon both the natural and the urban environments, contextualising general and specific problems alike. – Concepts, tools of a technological type, regulations, procedures and controls for the environmental management of ports are all presented. – First-hand accounts, experiences and examples are given of port-city sustainability, environmental conservancy and improving the quality of urban life. – A description is given of innovations and new ideas for achieving environmental sustainability or concerning climate change.


A thematic area that is devoted to publishing articles and work on questions such as: – Port city cultural heritage: nautical and port heritage (material and immaterial); conservation; reappraisal and enrichment. – The collective cultural memory of port cities through such facilities as libraries, maritime and port museums, archives. – Ports as a cultural reference: ports and written culture (language and communication, literature, the press); ports and audiovisual culture (music, cinema, photography); ports and the arts (illustrations, paintings, prints, sculpture); ports and the necessities of life (diet, culinary activities, food and drink), clothing (attire, fashion, uniforms), etc. – Ports and urban identity: the distinctive features of ports (port-city symbols and symbolism, metaphors and ports, the notion of port cities); the port city idea (perception and meaning, port city emotions, etc.)


The purpose of this section is: – To disseminate work whose aim is to teach schoolchildren and make them aware of port cities. – To give publicity to articles, studies and research work aimed at examining, reflecting upon and going more deeply into the educational potential that ports have; defining the contents and adapting them to the school syllabus; preparing explanatory work, strategies, methods and devising tools for putting across knowledge and assimilating it. – Presenting educational examples and experiences of all kinds, and for all educational levels, the aim of which is to explain the port city concept in each and every one of its aspects.


This section will feature work and articles that focus on describing and analysing ports and their effects on the city’s structure and activities. The most important subjects in this section are: – The role of the port and the city in the logistics chains. Transport, intermodality, terminal, advanced services and port hierarchy and port cities. – Investments, planning, port development and development of the city. New port maritime technologies and their expected impact on the city. – Progress, breakthroughs and new models for use in studying subjects that include ports on their syllabuses: Engineering, Architecture, Geography, Economics, Law, Sociology and the city.


The place and the situation of the ports and cities in space, their physical location, the urban insertion of port activities, the port cities relationships with the territory, the hinterland, the configuration and networks operation of ports and port cities, the cooperation strategies and port capacity to attract flows of maritime transport, are some of the thematic lines that give content to this section.