Ports of Gdańsk, Hamburg, Valencia, and Vigo in final competition for the ESPO Award 2021

27 September 2021

The projects of the ports of Gdańsk, Hamburg, Valencia, and Vigo have been shortlisted for the 13th European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) Award on Social Integration of Ports. The jury selected these four applications from a total of eleven submissions on the theme of this year’s edition: “Role of ports in the recovery of the city and the local community”.

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.

This year’s submissions demonstrate the diversity of European ports and their adaptability to local circumstances. Each port has chosen to intervene where it felt that it could make the greatest impact. Some opted for ambitious development plans which would enhance their presence, create jobs and ensure long-term prosperity. Others embraced art and culture which suffered during the pandemic, opening the ports to the public, organising events and collecting heritage, old and new. Actions to create citizen-friendly spaces that raise the quality of life of the area, in what is otherwise a commercial setting, are also proposed. Last but not least, the theme of sustainability is high on the agenda. The high quality of the candidatures made it difficult for the jury to shortlist projects and will make it even more difficult to choose a winner. There are no losers in this competition, the port sector wins as a whole," comments Dimitrios Theologitis, Chairman of the ESPO Award Jury. 

The winner of the 13th ESPO Award will be announced during the traditional ESPO Award Ceremony and Dinner taking place on 9 November in Brussels. The shortlisted projects will be presented on the ESPO website in the coming weeks and all eleven submissions will be presented in a special brochure to be published on 9 November.

ESPO Award 2020: Algeciras Port Authority wins the ESPO Award – The 2020 Award Ceremony was held in a digital way given the health restrictions related to COVID-19.

About the ESPO Award

The ESPO Award was established in 2009 to promote innovative projects of port authorities that improve social integration of ports, especially with the city or wider community in which they are located. In this way, the Award aims to stimulate the sustainable development of European ports and their cities.

Previous winners of the Award are the Port of Gijón (2009), the Port of Helsinki (2010), the Ports of Stockholm (2011), the Port of Genoa (2012), the Port of Antwerp (2013), the Port of Koper (2014), Port of Dublin (2015), BremenPorts (2016), Guadeloupe Ports Caraïbes (2017), Port of Rotterdam (2018), Port of Dover (2019), and Algeciras Port Authority (2020).

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