Press Release

ESPO Award 2013 shortlisted project: A journey through the waterways and canals

28 October 2013

Today we are presenting the fourth shortlisted project for the ESPO Award: “A journey through the waterways and canals”, which was submitted by Livorno Port Authority.

As announced in September, the port authorities of Antwerp, Cartagena, Dover, Livorno and Oslo have been selected for the shortlist of the ESPO Award on Societal Integration of Ports. ESPO would like to present the shortlisted projects to the wider public before the winner is announced on 6 November, during the traditional ceremony, which will be held at the Town Hall of Brussels. Therefore, every shortlisted project will be presented, through questions and answers, on the ESPO website in the running up to 6 November.

ESPO: Congratulations! You have been shortlisted for the 2013 ESPO Award. Could you briefly introduce your project?

Livorno Port Authority:  “A journey through the waterways and canals” is an integrated Livorno Port Authority project related to the historical monuments inside and around the port area together with the City Council and the local Chamber of Commerce. The aim of the project is to let the port be more available for the city by improving the knowledge and the use of port heritage. It is a sort of “Commemorative path of the history of the port and city”: a project devised to guide the tourist between past and present through four historical points: the Fortezza Vecchia- Old Fortress, the Forte e Torre del Marzocco – Marzocco Fortress and Tower, the Fortezza Nuova- New Fortress, the Forte della Bocca – Bocca Fortress. The project will allow becoming familiar to some parts of the port that are less known by the wider public, as they are in the zone under ISPS code (especially the Old Fortress and Marzocco tower). It will also create a collaborative philosophy between the local public bodies in order to share a common system to develop the waterways inside the port and along the canals.

ESPO: Why do you think your project deserves to win the 2013 ESPO Award?

Livorno Port Authority:  “A journey through the waterways and canals” in integrated in a global strategy the Livorno Port Authority adopted over the last few years, placing emphasis on the necessity to disseminate an understanding of the port to the local community. Therefore, the project will be not an occasional event, but a part of a general programme to let the port become part of the city.

After the first “Open port” project editions, Livorno Port Authority realised the necessity to enhance the port historical heritage, renovating constantly the interest of general public: since the town was born after the port, the port has to be involved in its reality by developing maritime and touristic activities together with the active daily city life and by participating also into its architectural renovation.

With “A journey through the waterways and canals”, through which  projects related to the historical heritage are implemented in collaboration with the local Council and local Chamber of Commerce, the Livorno Port Authority experienced that the integration between the local public bodies is the best solution to improve a process of territorial development attentive to local population and to historical inheritance. This philosophy, which was shared between the main stakeholders to make available important ports’ monuments shows that in relation with cultural heritage, if the goal is common, the results are better achieved.

ESPO: What are you going to do if you win the Award?

Livorno Port Authority: The first action we will do if it wins the Award is to give the maximum visibility to this triumph. Livorno Port Authority always thought that the ESPO Award represents a great occasion to communicate European ports’ initiatives to better integrate the port within the town and to promote a greater understanding of the benefits ports bring to community. That’s the reason why it will be an occasion to point out our involvement in this subject but also the importance of the subject itself.

A communicative emphasis can be useful not only from our personal pride or to underline the importance of societal integration, but also to support Livorno Port Authority’s relation with the city. Livorno is in a very particular step of its port history: next year the new Master Plan will be finally finished and the ESPO Award could help us to support the necessity of a better relation with the city in this period. Thus, at local level, Livorno Port Authority will improve other important actions in the field of societal integration, looking forward to improving its collaboration with the municipality and with the local public bodies.

The statue will take place inside the port centre which will be finished by 2014 and an explanation poster will explain the ESPO Award and the ESPO strategy on societal integration. Copies of the “Code of practice on Societal Integration” will be available in the port centre.

Secondly, Livorno Port Authority will certainly continue to support the ethos of the ESPO Award, using the win as a sort of testimonial to transfer them to public.

ESPO: Besides having the ESPO Award winner statute, what would the Award further mean to you?

Livorno Port Authority: As mentioned in the answer before, Livorno Port Authority has always supported the ethos of the ESPO Award and, even if we wouldn’t win, we will continue to support them. The ESPO Award is not only a good possibility to point out our own communication strategy but also to underline the necessity of this communication strategy, at local and international level. Besides, the ESPO Award ceremony is an occasion to meet other ports involved in such themes and to learn from other communication attitudes and examples.

ESPO: How would you make your experience in developing the project available to others?

Livorno Port Authority: The first step of the project, related to the “Old Fortress” and to the port centre creation has been presented on 2 October during a press conference. Since then, Livorno Port Authority received lots of information request to visit the Old Fortress and visits, which started on 3 October. At the same time, with the “Porto Aperto” 7th edition (2013-2014) schools and inhabitants will have the possibility to visit once again the port. During these visits, and during the Old Fortress visits, the “A journey through the waterways and canals” will be explained in all its components.

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