01 December 2014
StigΔ partner Onno Roelofs wrote an online contribution to the 14th World Conference of the AIVP.
During the AIVP World Conference in Durban (November 3-6), architects, port operators, economists, professors, private companies and institutions get the chance to present their plans and ideas to improve port business and life in port cities and, maybe, even satisfy both these needs.
This year the conference focused on ‘smart city ports’. In other words: port cities must drive social well being without focussing solely on profit whilst maintaining a livable setting; a task increasingly complicated by today’s global economy that is experiencing profound changes.
Abstract: Port driven economic development or industry driven port development?
The aim of this paper was to identify opportunities for policy development in relation to urban planning for logistical economic activity with respect to the infrastructure investment plans as laid down by Transnet in the respective port areas of the three municipalities Saldanha Bay, Buffalo City and Richards Bay.
Moreover, the objective was to capacitate municipalities and or the individuals involved. Therefore research was conducted that addressed the basic questions of why?, how? and what? municipalities currently do, and how this could be improved to increase capacity.
This paper narrows the solution to increase capacity down to the following two pillars: conditions and corporatization. Conditions means to increase understanding of clients’ and partners’ businesses to explore freedom and effectiveness of proceedings. Corporatization means to use more of a private sector mindset on all levels of the organization; this increases understanding, trust and operational effectiveness.
The author proposes that the port, the IDZ and the municipality of which they are part are strongly interconnected and interdependent in a sense. This community as a whole would benefit most, not if they see itself as an entity with a common purpose, but with an allocation of tasks to capacity and expertise.
The paper concludes that the municipalities should understand LED to understand the purpose of local government (why), should corporatize and develop a strategy breakdown to achieve the overall objective set (how), and should operate with the mindset of a corporate entity and proactively deliver products and services, like marketing (what).
Surprisingly, and contrary to expectations, local governments may prove to play a bigger role in port development than port development plays in unlocking opportunities for the municipalities.
International Conference Cities and Ports / ISSN 2313-2124