ESPO Award 2021 shortlisted projects: Port of Gdańsk Authority

27 October 2021

The ESPO Award 2021 will go to the port managing body that succeeds best in playing a role in the recovery from the current crisis and in contributing to enhancing the prosperity of the city, local community and region. The winning port will demonstrate to what extent its focus and activities are essential for the recovery of the surrounding city and local community and which successful steps it is taking to assist in the social, cultural and economic recovery and prosperity of the city, local community and region.

The four projects that are shortlisted for this year’s Award are the projects of Port of Gdańsk Authority S.A. (Poland), Hamburg Port Authority (Germany), Port Authority of Valencia (Spain) and Port Authority of Vigo (Spain).

ESPO is proud to present the shortlisted projects before the winner is announced during the traditional ESPO Award Ceremony and Dinner taking place on 9 November in Brussels.

Port of Gdańsk Authority

WE ARE – unification of local community of Gdańsk’s districts Nowy Port and Stogi with its old neighbour, the sea port

ESPO: Congratulations! You have been shortlisted for the ESPO Award 2021! Could you briefly describe your project?

Thank you. It is really a great honour for us and an appreciation of the efforts we have been making for the last two years. The Port of Gdańsk is currently involved in various activities under the WE ARE slogan. The purpose of the project is to integrate the local community of the Gdańsk districts of Stogi and Nowy Port with its old neighbour – the seaport. Through these actions we want to promote the values of cooperation, solidarity and responsibility, which are so much needed in these times of pandemic.

Port Gdańsk

ESPO: How has your project contributed to the recovery from the current crisis and to enhancing the prosperity of the city, local community and region? Could you tell us more? How does your project contribute to the societal integration of the port?

During the difficult pandemic period, we have focused our efforts on the residents of two districts of Gdańsk: Nowy Port and Stogi. During the longest lockdown, we funded and distributed 8000 meals to seniors who were most exposed to the risk of contracting COVID-19. We purchased medical equipment for Pomeranian hospitals to combat the coronavirus. We also gave meals to medics and paramedics who found themselves on the front line of the fight against the pandemic. We supported local sports clubs that could not organise competitions and play in front of an audience so as to continue training and allow children, teenagers and adults to pursue their sports passions. Finally, we noticed two local initiatives. The first was the project of a social library established by a former terminal employee at our port, which is not only a place to borrow books or hold cultural events, but above all a meeting point for the inhabitants of the Stogi district. The second project was to support football enthusiasts who wanted to recreate a sports club in the Nowy Port district. We purchased the necessary equipment and paid for football coaches, who now conduct regular football classes for kids in our district. Each of such initiatives leads to another one, and that is why in the summer we organised the next edition of the summer cinema on the beach in Stogi, beehives appeared on the roof of the port ferry terminal, and recently we cleaned the beach together with the residents. The good we do comes back to us. That is why we are convinced that there will be more similar initiatives in the future.

Port Gdańsk

ESPO: Could you describe the original and innovative character of your project?

The original and innovative character of our project is to make the seaport friendlier to its neighbours, as currently it is associated with powerful infrastructure inaccessible to ordinary residents. To provide a seaport that is close to the people, their problems and needs. A place which, while fighting for its position on an international level, also notices social needs and the problems occurring just beyond its administrative borders. Project activities started during the difficult time of the pandemic. Through these activities and the involvement of port staff, we want to show that the world would be a better place if we learned to work with each other. Seaports are an important element of the urban space, especially those that have been operating for several hundreds years. The port connects the city with the sea. It is also the perfect location to put the "think globally, act locally" principle into practice.

Port Gdańsk

ESPO: Why do you think your project deserves to win the ESPO Award 2021?

Gdańsk is the city where the “Solidarity” movement was born, which then changed the face of Poland and Europe. Our fathers changed the political and economic system. Today we can continue their work through concern for others, through actions that are not always spectacular but are important for seniors, for the excluded, for people who want to grow with their dreams and passions. We want to demonstrate that solidarity with others, relationships, cooperation and openness to the needs of neighbours living next to the port are the values that can make the world better.

“At the Port of Gdańsk, we believe that the world will be a better place if we learned to cooperate with each other. This is our philosophy, which we consistently try to put into practice.”

Łukasz Greinke, President of the Port of Gdańsk Authority

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