Port-City relationship in the era of hybridization. A development model


  • Giuseppe Borruso Department of Economics, Business, Mathematics and Statistics, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy


Ports are important nodes and interfaces among land and maritime areas, playing an important and changing role at global, regional and local levels. Their relevance has increased in the years, particularly with the more important transformation and development of the global value chains that has, as a consequence, the transformation of ports into important areas of transport and logistic activities’ integration with other, industrial and tertiary ones. This manuscript focuses on a proposed current evolutionary stage in the port evolution, as that of “hybridization” with particular reference to the port-city relationship. The main idea behind the paper is that of the hybridization from different points of views: of the city-port relationships on the waterfront and among urban peripheries and inner harbor facilities; of the port functions, from the single-purpose, specialized terminals to the multi-purpose, hybrid ones; of the port roles, from the pure gateway or hub functions, to the mixed ones. An overview of the major changes intervening in these relationships is analyzed, with particular reference to Bird’s model of Anyport, Hoyle’s port-city interface and Vigarié’s port triptych model. A modified Anyport model with hybridization is proposed, with reference to the most recent evolution of maritime transport. A case study is analyzed and presented with reference to the Port of Trieste (Italy). The port of Trieste was chosen as a case study as it has undergone an important transformation in the most recent years, increasing the quality and quantity of traffic volumes, as well as transforming the layout and set of operations of terminals. The relevance of the port as a case study it is not to be found in its dimensions, but in the relative increase intervened, as well as a case were the different stages of the evolution of ports can be found, including that of hybridization, suggested in the present research.


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Topics on Geography of Transport and Logistics ed. by Borruso, Mazzarino, Tadini