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|Title:||Ports as Drivers of Urban and Regional Growth|
|Authors:||LONZA Laura; MAROLDA Maria Cristina|
|Type:||Articles in periodicals and books|
|Abstract:||Traded volumes – from raw materials to final consumer goods through intermediary products – are projected to continue growing in the foreseeable future: sheer domestic EU and global competition will impose challenging requirements to providing innovative supply-chain and logistics solutions, including not only smart business models but also smart and foresighted infrastructural planning and management capacities. Public planning and funding face critical limitations, such as: (i) not duly accounting for the induced pressures on inland transportation infrastructure allowing access from/to the port to/from interesting trade links/destinations; (ii) not duly accounting for indirect costs and benefits resulting from either new infrastructural developments or re-deployment of existing infrastructures, and (iii) not duly accounting for the impacts of ports on the cities in which they are localised. Fragmented projections and impact assessments lead to sub-optimal economic performance of multi-modal terminals, the transportation network and the area they impact on increasing the risk of depleting initial investments or requiring on-going/ permanent – public support, including to overcome local negative impacts. This article has two main purposes. On the one hand, it strives to identify shortcomings that hinder the achievement of expected benefits on urban and regional growth linked to port activity expansion. It is not based on a comprehensive analysis of case studies but on literature review and for that reason limiting factors mentioned in the article are not necessarily suited to specific situations. On the other hand, the article proposes a reflection on the relevant analytical and policy intervention tools having the potential to tackle and – ideally – resolve shortcomings. It advocates that a wider use of such tools would enhance the efficiency of handling freight volumes through ports and onto surface transport corridors maximizing positive spillover effects while minimizing nuisances and drawbacks for the urban and regional areas concerned. Congestion reduction in and around port areas and enhanced competitiveness are the expected results from balanced multimodal transport solutions. Many benefits are associated with efficient ports yet there tends to be a mismatch with gains spilling over to other regions and negative impacts borne locally. This area of research is expected to become all the more relevant in view of growing size of ships and therefore reduced number of ports/operators capable of handling those as well as higher induced pressure on – often already congested – inland transportation corridors. Conversely, development of the Motorways of the Sea and implementation of Short Sea Shipping foresee the increased use of medium and small ports to relieve the heavy burden on land transport, but this implies revised shipping patterns as well as overcoming fragmentation in transport infrastructure planning.|
|JRC Directorate:||Energy, Transport and Climate|
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