The development of cities such as Antwerp and Yokohama had been shaped by the growth of their port industry over the years.
However, this relationship is dynamic, and both cities have come up with innovative solutions to balance port growth and urban liveability.
In the case of Antwerp, the redevelopment of public spaces in old port land areas were highlighted, while retaining the maritime character of the city centre, Het Eilandje.
Meanwhile, Yokohama, a special mention recipient of the 2014 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, showcased the close private-public partnership involved in revitalising the attractiveness of the city’s waterfront district at Minato Mirai 21.
These were some of the comments heard in the forum, “The Future of Ports and Their Relationship with Cities” on Tuesday, 12 July organised by Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) and MPA Academy, the training arm of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
Leaders of historically important port cities, Mayor of Antwerp, Bart de Wever and Deputy Mayor of Yokohama, Toshihide Hirahara, shared the port development journeys of Antwerp and Yokohama with close to 150 maritime professionals, students and executives from the private and public sectors at the forum held at Marina Bay Sands this evening.
Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, presented Singapore’s opportunities and challenges at the Tuas Mega Port, and was the moderator for the session.
Andrew Tan said, “The Port has always been an integral part of our economy and with the future consolidation of our port at Tuas, we will take full advantage of technologies to enhance our port’s efficiency, reliability, safety and competitive edge. We will also look at intensifying land use such as above and underground spaces for maritime and logistics related activities, industrial uses and storage needs."
He added: "Along with other developments and amenities in the area, the Next Generation Port will also include green and community spaces and facilities to educate visitors on our port heritage and growth opportunities. Singapore also hopes to learn how to promote greater community awareness and ownership of the port from other leading ports.”
Executive Director of CLC, Mr Khoo Teng Chye said, “Given Singapore’s high urban density, planning for port growth in tandem with the city’s development is a huge challenge. CLC is excited to gather international leaders and maritime practitioners today as part of CLC’s mission to share knowledge on the challenges faced by port cities and the processes that help to achieve synergies in port and city growth.”