VEGUETA, Número 3,1997-1998, (263-278) 263

Cities and Ports:

Concepts and issuesl

" Departrnent of Geography.

University of Southampton.

264 Dr. Brim S. Hoyle

1.- Introduction

At tlie start of this discussion of port and

cities T xvoulci like to acknowledge your

welcome and your invitation to me to give

this address in an interdisciplinary series of

lcctures on IJorts and Cities of Spain. As a

geographer 1 have niaintained an interest in

ports and port cities for over forty years.

This began when 1 travelled on holiday

with my family to seaside towns i n

England or Wales. Idater, 1 studied ports in

France, in Africa, in Australia and in Nvrth

America. The links between ports and cities

have always interested me, and in recent

years 1 have become involved in the study

of cityports and the redevelopment of

urban waterfronts.

1 must make it clear at the outset,

however, that Spain and the Spanish portcity

system lie largely outside my direct

experience. My lecture is a broadly-based

one, therefore, a background study

containing some ideas about ports and port

cities and about ways of looking at thcm

and at their inter-relationships and

problems. What 1 have to snv nhniit ports

and port cities illustrates some basic

principles of port geography which

underpin relationsliips b~twern pnrts and

their cities everywhere. 1 hope that my

views and ideas will complerrient, rathtir

tlian conflirt wi t h , t h n q ~n f histnr i2ni ,

engineers, arcl-iitects or plauners. 1 regard

tlie Spanish cityport system as one

siihsystein witliiii a glvhal cityport system;

it is of interest for itself, of course, but also

for ways in which it conforms to or

&..rersifier frurr. wer!&~,~.~idpea ftcrr.3 , I E ~

trends. My objective liere is to discuss some

global issues and general trends, and 1 hope

that othcrs will fiiid it useful Lo relate tlirse

ideas to the Spanish context.

Tlie lecture is divided into five niain

parts. 1 shall being witl-i some basic ideas ur

contextual perspectives, to set the scene.

Then 1 shall discuss the cityport concept,

uuiiiriiiig sume íactors and interrelationships

concerning ports and cities.

Thirdly, 1 shall discuss more specifically the

port-city interface and, fourthly, the

problems of waterfront revitalization.

Finally, to broaden the perspective again, 1

shall look at port citics in a contcxt of

regional develoyment.

2.- Contextual perspectives

Ports, cities and cityport systems

The cityport, or port citv, is one of the

quintessential elements of the modern

world space economy. It symbolises the

interdependence of environment and

society, and involves a fusion of cultiiral

diversity and liistorical exyerieiice. A close

association between cities and ports is a

recurrent tl-ieine tliroughout the history of

civilisation. From the ancient cultures of the

Mediterranean, üf the Iridian Ocean, or of

China, to the present day, 'cities appear as a

constant in evcry civilisation' (Konvitz,

1978, xi) and pnrts serve as transprt n d e r

facilitating economic growth a t many

different scales. Dubrovnik, in war-torn

former Yugoslavia, is a classic model. 1x1

temporal and spatial terms, port cities and

thc regions they serve constitute a

fundamental element in the spatial

structure, organisation and re-organisation

of economies and societies, and in

relatinnships hetween &ese seciokier and

their environments.

Port cities, and their associated coastal

zones, are today a focus of increasing

planning attention. There is a growing

realisation that cityports and coastal zones

.dfi&r LL-' LE-- --- -l----:.--

~ ~ C ~ J U LI ICC ,~ L L ICY nlc cl~nii~lii~,

and that they are irnportant within wider

space economies. Toronto (Canada) is

controversia1 iii tl-iis seiise. Cliaiige, if it is tu

be properly managed, must first be

understood. This series of lectures is part of

tlie process of understanding the changes

that have taken place and are continuing

within the Spanish portlcity system. These

changes are derived in ydrt frum iocdl

circumstances, at the interface between

Cities and Ports: Concepts and issucs 265

land and sea, between terrestrial and

maritime transport systems; in part from

thc national Spanish planned space

economy; and in part from the

intcrnational, global cityport system within

which eacli port city is one sinal1 but

significant element. In this serise, even a

small island port such as Las Palmas

illustrates principles of global relevante.

Africa and Europe

In the Canary Islands 1 am very conscious

of being not only in part of Spain but also

very close to the shores of Africa. So 1

would like to begin my discussion of

concepts and issues with some comments

on African cityports in comparison with

tliose of Europe. Europe is a part ol the

physical world much diversified by

peninsulas and islaiids, aiici in rnariy parls

of the continent the influence of the sea is

never far away. From thc Atlantic Occan to

t h R lñck %a, 2nd trnm t l i ~K altic to the

Mediterranean, the shores of Europc are

often characterised by an interpenetration

of land and sea that has facilitated and

encouraged the flowering of many

rnaritinie civilisations, as well as a great

variety of political and trading systems,

including thnse of Britain and of Spain.

European cityport systems, together with

thc iEtcrnat i~r iu! x u r i t ime t r s n srn-n-r tnetworks

witl-i which they are associated

and upon which they depend, have thus

playcd a major role in the evolution of the

modern world (Hoyle and Pinder, 1992a

and b; Konvitz, 1978; Mollat du Jourdan,

? 993:.

In Africa tlie general environmental

situation is rather different. Broadly,

Alrica's coasts are not weli rndoweci witli

natural harbours of adequate depth and

ease of access for modern navigation, and

the problems of creating new drtifi~idpl ürls

are great though not insuperable. Specific

problems of coastal hydrology and

geomorpiioiogy aííecting port growth

include the surf barrier and littoral sand

drift in West Africa; and the coral hazard

on the ria coastline of East Africa. Africa's

great rivers, while providing important

transport arteries in inter-regional terms,

do not generally offer open access from the

sea. Africa has no St Lawrence estuary, no

River Rhine or Amazon, providing

routeways for ocean vessels into the heart

of the continent. African cityport systems

liave largely developed as a product of

contacts with externa1 seafaring peoples,

maritime cultures or metropolitan powers.

Historically, the balance of initiatives has

often seemed to lie with the non-African

party rather than with the indigenous

society (Hoyle, 1981 and 1983).

Today, in Africa and in Europe alike,

two continents which might both be

described as increasingly interdependent

are unifying, transport systems and the

factors affecting their continuing

developinent are a major focus of economic

and political attention. Pressures on

existing transport networks, and

environmental considerations, suggest that

nt thc continental scalc in Europe it is

important to encourage the further

development of railways and waterways;

tvhile in Africa the further improvement of

road networks is often seen as the higliest

priority. Islands, of course, in either

c ~ n t i n e n t ,d epenc! i n c r e a s i nou - ., l ~n~n ai r

transport cervices but also on maritime

transport systems for the continuing

development of their economies.

Ports and port cities provide not only

essential nodes within multimodal

t r a ~Ys-.-. n ~stj s t ems a t the mt iena! 2nd

continental scales, but also points of

intermodal interchange between land and

maritime transport systems in a widcr

world. Within these two restructuring

cunliiieiils, iiileriiatioiial cooperalion iii

lransport plannii-ig is essential, for the

renewal of thc economics and the mobility

of the peoples of Europe and of Africa

obviousiy ciepenci upon the eiiicierii

operation of transport systems. Port cities,

266 Dr. Brian S. Hovk

in this context, have a very critical role to

perform (Hoyle, 1990; Hoyle and Knowles,


3.- The cityport concept

1 now turn, in theoretical terms, tu the

cityport concept and to come factors

involved in cityport development. The idea

of the cityport is derived from the

traditionally close association between a

port and the city of which it is a major

component. Such an association may be

deeply rooted in history (as at Lisbon,

Portugal), linking the origins and

development of a city with maritime

trading activities over many centuries; or

the association may be relatively new,

derived from modern technological

innovation (as at Tema, Ghana). Similarly,

port-city linkages may be very varied and

complex, or alternatively relatively limited

or almost negligible. Port and city may exist

side hy sidp in a s t a t ~n f almort cnmy>lete

interdependence or with little real

interlinkage. How far is the modern urban

economy of Lisbon or Tema -or, for that

matter, that of Southampton or Las Palmas

-dependent upon port-related employment?

The idea of the cityport and its

associated industrialisation are, of course,

nnon tn interpretztinn iri mmy dimoncienc. -r --- --

Some of these dimensions are reflected in

the title of a book published on the basis of

a conference at Southampton on Cityport

indtisfrialization and regional developmenf:

spatial analysis and plannitzg strategies (Hoyle

2nd Pinder, 1931). Th2i.e ai.e ~patia! and

temporal contexts; social and economic

influences; and technological and political

factors vvhic1-i often transcend ollirr

considerations. For modern practica1

purposes, planning and management

perspectives must recognise these concerns.

The degree to which a port and a city affect

one another in land-use terms, for example,

or in an urban transport context, or in

relation to employment opportunities, may

be a critical issue giving rise to a good deal

of controversia1 debate at the local and

regional level.

Locational factors: situation and site

The development of cityports is influenced

by many locational factors from the

landward and the seaward sides. Broader

considerations to do with the situation are

complemented by more specific factors to

do with the site. The original water sitc of

the port has often determined the general

layout of a port city; and decisions conccrning

port expansion have often affected the

pattern of urban growth. Ultimately,

however, the wider circumstances of the

land and water situations largely determine

the long-term fortunes of a port city.

The balance between influences on

cityport growth from land and sea, on

various scales, obviously varies from one

place to another, but in al1 port cities a

cnmmon denominator is t l e PO?! f i n r t i n ~

(the transfer of goods across the land/sea

interface) which largely explains the origin

üf the cettlement and lies at the root of its

physical and socio-econnmic expansion in

terms of layout and locatiori. Tlie old

harbour at Mombasa, Kenya, on the other

side of Africa, still receives Arab sailing

vessels known as dkows, which illustrates

the perf fUncfiGE ir. cpcrntiGx ut 2 fair!-.


basic technological level. In contrast, Le

Havre (France) carries out the same

function, csscntially, but on a far wider

scale and at a far more advanced

technological level. Today, in many parts of

L L - 1 2 ~ 1 -- -1 - - - - 1 ------ ---

ULC WUIIU, LILC ~ r u r v r ~ u ~ l lüvÍa p~uli i ciiit.5

is derived from the separation of the port

function from the urban forms to which it

initially gave rise. Throughout the

advanced world, and increasingly in the

newly-industrialising countries of southeast

Asia, such as Singapore and Hong

Kong, the increasing separation of ports

and cities, in form and function, has

become a general trend. 'lo what extent this

port-city separation is becoming a feature

Cities and Ports: Concepts and issues

of the cityports of Africa and other parts of

the developing world is an interesting


Harbours and ports

The importance of locational or

environmental influcnces on cityport

growth should not be overemphasised,

however, because port sites do not

determine port developmeizt nor that of the

r i t i ~ sw ith which they are linked. What

matters is how port sites were evaluated in

the past and continue to be re-assessed

today hy thore i n v n l v ~ d in rityport

decision-making. Port-city development

reflects the ever-changing uses of location

and the continuous reassessment of

locational values and interrelationships.

Many excellent natural deep-water

liarbours and othcr potential port sites have

remained unutilized or underdeveloped.

Shute Harbour, in Queensland, Australia, is

a SY: e i -L~iiia~fü ra! deey--v.ia:er harboUr

with only a small jetty for recreational use.

On a world basis, there is no very close

geugrdphical coiiicidence between the

distribution of finc harbours or other firstclass

water sites and the pattern of port

development, for ports originate and grciw

where trade demands their facilities ratlier

than where nature provides an appropriate

iocai iramework. Some vi Wesi Aíricd's

finest harbours - Freetown (Sierra Leone),

for example -contain vnly limited modern

port development; whereas in the same

region some of the finest modern ports -

such as Abidjan (C6te d'Ivoire) - are largely

artificiai creations aeveioped in response io


Cityport evolution

It is of course impossible to be unaware, in

examining present-day changes in port

cities, of the immense influence of heritage

from the past. For centuries, the pursuit of

maritime affairs has played a major role in

the development of urban systems.

Throughout these centuries of change thc

evolution of maritime technolog- ies acted as

an important instrument of progress in port

growth. New technologies of ship dcsign

and cargo handling repeatedly led to

successive eras and scales of cit.y .p ort


In theoretical terms, severa1 distinct

phases may be recognised in the physical

development of cityports (Figure 1):

1. From ancient times until the

nineteenth ccntury, the coexistence of port

and town on a primitive site involves

maximum functiokd interdependence and

very close spatial association, the town

centre being dominated by merchants'

houses and the waterfront often representing

the foca1 pnint of the settlement as a

whole. An example is 15th-century Genoa


2. The expnnding port city of the

nineteenth century -exemplified by

Marseille (France)- breaks out of

traditicna! c ~ n f i n e s , as u recii!t ef

technological developments such as tlie

coming ;f railways and stearnships, and

the de"elopment of industry. Stimulated

by, and facilitating, the overseas political

expansion of Europe, this cityport grows

rapidly arouiid the shores of the

industrialising and the developing worlds.

Cityports grow as doorsteps or entryyuiiiis

liuii-i Müi-iirrñl tü Mapüto, frox

Bombay to Buenos Aires, from Singapore

to Sydney.

3. Tlie rrroder-ri industrial port city

involves a markedly accelerated spatial

separation between city and port. Led by

oii-reiining, idrge spdce-cui~suiiiiiii~ii dustries,

based on bulk mineral trades, devglop

pioneer sites, and are preceded or followed

by container terminals.

4. Thc cmergence of maritime industrial

development areas sustains and expands port

growth in alternative or downstream

locations (as at Fos, southern France) and -

towards the city core - reinforces the retrent

from the traditional waterfront; this creates,


OUnversdad de a s Fanai d? Gran Canara i t o e c a Unuestsri Memm Dgta le Caniris 20815

Ancient/medieval to 19th Close century associatíon V Redevelopment of the ) 1970 S-1990 S


C dty pcirt

figure ? - Stages in the evolution of port city inter-relationships (Coiiuie toyli., 1988, 7)

Rapid develop iinear industries

Industrial require renewal Large-consumes land/

Cities and Ports: Conceuts and issues 269

5. The problem and phenomenon of

waterfrorzt redevelopmerzt with which many

port cities around the world are now very

much concerned. The redeveloping London

Docklands provide a major example of this

increasingly widespread phenomeriuii.

Two important consequences arise from

this sequence in modern planning terms, on

q ~ ~ idtifef erent scales. More generally, there

is a need to re-examine the roles played by

modern industrial and commercial ports in

regional and national economies; more

specifically, the challenges posed by the

decline of outmoded port areas require a

sensitive and appropriate response. We

sliall return to tlie second of tliese two

issues later on.

4.- The port-city interface

The interface between city and port, to

which 1 turn next, is almost invariably a

zone in transition (Hayuth, 1982 and 1988).

A zone of conflict, cooperation and change

Figure 2 summarises some of the elements

involved in port/city development today

and in the processes of change now being

experienced in many port cities around the

world (Hoyle, 1988 and 1989).

-Urban land uses (on the left) are

divided from maritime functions (on the

right! by tht. intcrfacc n c x , ~f t c lai mm ~f

decline and decay, but sometimes marked

by co-operation between developers and by

competition for spacc for ncw activitics.

-Port development (No. l), usually

inclined to migrate downstream, quits the

4,.-,4:&:---1 -,...b -44.. ---- :- La*.-....

L I ' , U L L I I , I I U I y,,, I-L LLy 1 U 1 C 1 , 1 1 1 1 < 111 I < I V C , " I L I I

deeper water and niore capacious bluecoast


-Meanwhile, yort-based ii-idustries (No.

2), no longer dependent upon the breakbulk

function or on labour concentration,

migrate to other urban zones and to

greenfield sites beyond.

-1n the opposite direction, as waterfront

sites become avaiiabie, tiiere is some

competitinn for thr rrdwelopment of the

most advantageous locations, botli from

land-based concerns (No. 3) (housing,

restaurants, shopping complexes) and from

maritime interests (No. 4) (marinas,

recreation, water-based facilities).

-Withiri the redeveloping cityport cure

zone, and beyond, environmental controls

are established as a kind of filter, in an

attempt to harmonise development projects

and reduce pollution risks; and

-The entire system is affected and in

part controlled by over-riding factors such

as technological change, economic and

political conditions at various scales, and

national legislation.

Tlie niain reason for present-day

changes and problems in this sphere is, of

course, the inability of must cityport sites tu

absorb not only rapidly changing and

expanding port development but also

successive phases of urban growth.

The tranrfnrmñtinn prnresr

The transformation of the port-city

interface in recent decades has been

derived from wider, interdependent trends

(Figure 3):

-First, maritime techiiology has moved

on apace, ships have increased vastly in

size, and this has resulted in the

widespread development of container

tcrEili&., b.All< ccr-,, h--Al:-,-. c*n;1:+;*-

6" """""" 6 '""""'"

and roll-on/roll-off handling methods, al1

of which have transformed major ports


-Second, the scale of modern ports and

port-related industries, with their vast land

..,.A LA.. "-m-- ..--..:----- L- ----- ' L - L

O L C U Y V L I C C ~ ->pI C C~ i U=~ I C I ~ ~ C ~ ~ 1L 1J 1,~ 0 1 1 3 L L ~ L

traditional pvrt locatiuns are often no

longer of much use for present-day

sl~ippiiiga nd cargo requireiiieiits; arid

-Third, as is only too well-known in

many port cities, there has been a marked

decline in port-related employment; the

onward march of tecliiiology, in tliis as ir1

other spheres, has entailed thousands of job

iosses and a substaiitiai restructuririg uf the

urban economic base.

270 Dr. Brian S. Hovle


Zone of conf lict/co-operation

@ 1-[ Por! migr2t:on ,::: :::, wFmn.~wrwi.r. .n."n. .m. - .n ntal' :f. i.l.t"n.r '

@ Industrial migration Traditional port/city

core zone @) Land - use cornpetition

@ Water -use cornpetition

Ftprc 2 . Factors and proccsscs involvcd in port-city dcvelopment (Sotmc: Hoyle, 1988,141

OUnversdad de a s Fanas d? (,ran Canara i t o e c a Unuestsri Memmi Dgta le Caniris 20815

272 Dr. Brian S. Houle

Thesc three causal factors -technological,

geographical and socio-economicwhich

of coursc are closcly inter-related -

have produced a retreat from the

traditional waterfront. New port-industrial

areas have emerged elsewhere, occupying

substantial areas of land, sometimes land

that was previously underused or not even

there - for, increasingly, ports occupy

water-encroaching sites.

5.- Revitalizing the waterfront

This retreat from thc waterfront produces a

problrmatic vacuum at the city's heart -

land and water areas, warehouses and

transport facilities, formerly essential to the

port and its city, hecome redundant and

derelict. Bereft of its traditional uaicon d'etue,

the historic focus (as in Liverpool, UK, or in

Sydney, Australia) becomes a zone of decay

and potential conflict, ripe for redevelopment

(Pinder and Hoyle, 1992).

Thc dcc!inc> ~f dder pmt a r o s anc! the

revitalisation of urban waterfrvnt zoiies has

led to a re-examination of the port/city

interface in a wide variety of locations

throughout the world (Breen and Rigby,

1993; Bruttomesso, 1993; Tunbridge, 1988).

In academic terms, much has bccn writtcn

on this subject in Canada (Merrens, 1980),

where there are many excellent examples to

"~Se i -Ye a,d SoTflC CUn:r~~",CrSi~33U.d!C St a

explore, notably in Toronto (Uesfor et d.,

1988; Roya1 Commission, 1989 ct scq.).

Cnnadian exyerts contributed significantly

to a conference held in Southampton in

1987 at which these themes were explored

(Hovie, Finder and Husain, 1988).

A model of forces and trends

One outcome of these discussions was a

model designed to summarisc in a new

way some of the issues inoolved in

waterfront redevelopment and planning

(Figure 4) (Pinder, Hoyle and Husain,

1988). This is a model of forces and trends,

and it is divided into two main parts, the

upper part describing the process of retreat

from the waterfront, and the lower part

waterfront revitalisation.

The upper rectangle highlights some of

the major processes, on various scales, that

underlie port retreat and therefore the

emergente of a 'redundant space continuum'

inc-olving not only the more familiar

inner-urban sites but also otlier, discontinuous

and possibly larger sites elsewhere

within or outside the city. Historically (tl)

inner-urban sites have been dominant, but

today (t2) the combined forces of maritime

technology and deindustrialization imply

that the problem is more widespread - as

clnsed oil refineries, for example, illustrate.

In between tlie main 'retreat' and

'revitalisation' rectangles of this model

there is an indicatiun of tlie way in which

the problem of redundant space is

percrived and analy~ed, and of Iiow

(rapidly or slowly, as the case may be) there

is an increasing perception of rcsource

e p p ~ r t ~ n i -t yfo r npw i n v ~ s tm~ nrte,d rvelopinent,

re-use of abandoned areas for

new purposes. Not al1 such areas are

&osen, of course, and not al1 are suitable,

so there is a 'revitalisation selection filter'

whicli Iielps to focus attention on the most

appropriate cites.

The arrow down the centre of the lower

part of the diagram is intended to represent

p!icjr ni=!~tiun - tho gradii~! forrnl'il-itinn

and iniplementation of a strategy for

revitalisation, initially broadly based, but

cvcntually sharply targeted. Various

authorities are involved, some with original

ideas, others relying largelv on emulation

üf wha; seeins tu havc been sücccssfü!

somewhere else.

This process of strategy evolution

eventually yields ari 'ou~cume contiiiuum',

represented here as a spectrum in which

social goals (such as public-sector housing)

are dominant at one end, while commercial

interests (such ds private-sector housing

and small-scale iridustrial development) are

dominant at the uther. Cooperation inbetween

is possible, of course, but the

Cities and Ports: Concepts and issues 273

1 Technological changa k




I lnner 1

I urban I

---------- mal

Revitalisation selection filler ----------

A lncreasing perception of


Public authority G, Por1 authority

lnvolvement lnvOl*~nt . 111; :! involvement

commercisl .,::..::. . .::;:,:;a

:.. ... . ,.:::.::: ::::::::a





Cornrnercial Private sector/public rector Social goats

inlerests coo~eration/coalition dorninant

F@rc 4.- Revitalising tlie waterfront: a model «f forces and trends (Snurrr: Piridw, Hni/li, nnd Hiisnin, 1988,249)

OUnversdad de a s Fanas d? (,ran Canara i t l o e c a UnWestsri Mem<,ri Dgla le Caniris 20815

274 Dr. Rrian S. Hoylc

implication of the model is that at present

(t2) there is a marked trend towards the

commercial end of thc spectrum. One

might in fact go so far as to say that retreat

and redundancy have separated ports from

people; and revitalisation has created

commercial opportunities but has generally

paid too little attention to the social needs

of formerly port-dependent communities

(Van der Knaap and Pinder, 1992).

Cultural contexts

The ways in which urban waterfront

redevelopment is managed - in terms of

objectives, methods and outcomes - are

themselves a product of the cultural

contexts within which port cities are set. In

spite of tendencies towards emulation and

similarity, especially in a North American

context, there iq a widespread and deeplyfelt

need to preserve the individuality of

place and to enhance the character of

Inratinn Tho art of c i i r r ~ c c f i i lw í i t~r f rnnt A - - .-- .. . - -.- - - - .. .. .. . - - - - .-

redevelopment - as, for example, in Vancouver

(Canada) - lies in revitalising the

cultural and pliysical l-ieritage while creating

attractive environments for present

and future use (Hoyle, 1992).

Around the world, cities are reclaiming

their water frontier, rediscovering their

waterfront resources, breaking down the

burricrs Vct..:en pert 2nd c i t i , 2nd

learning to shape and to share new

waterfront environments. Revitalisation

certainly involvcs a commercial element,

but recrcational and residential activities

often appear to predominate. The name of

gdme is ali ayyropricite nnd ncccptñbk

mixture of land uses and water uses,

creating attractive and accessible

environments for al1 tu sliare.

6.- Cityports and regional development

Yet we must guard against a tendency to

examine, analyze and renovate the core

areas of port cities in isolation. There is

another relationship thdt is, in some ways,

even more important, and that is the

interdependence between a cityport, on the

one hand, and the coastal region within

which it is set on the other (Pinder and

Hoyle, 1981). This relationship between

cityport and region is sometimes an

historical phenumenon - as between Venice

and the Veneto, the cityport's immediate

mainland environment; sometimes, as iii

Sydney, Australia, there is an over-riding

concern for the environmental impacts of

inner city redevelopment, the relocation of

the port function (at Port Botany), and

residential and recreational pressures on

the wider coastal zone. Occasionally, as the

bush fires around Sydney in January 1994

dramatically demonstrated, the tension

between an expanding, changing cityport

and its regiorial e~wiroi-imentc an be costly

in terms of life and property, especially

when the natural enviroiiiner-it is harsh and


Coas tal7nn~m anapment

Coastal zone management is a phrase that

has been to some extent hijacked by

environmental scientists, ecologists, planncrs

and others concerned with the conservation

of the physical environment. In human and

environmental terms, the management nf

coastal zones transcends the artificial

boundaries of the cityport to encompass the

cymhiotic interchangec hefi~reenc ityport and

region. Port cities are nodal centres uf

activity and development within coastal

zones, but it is unrealistic to focus attention

exclusively upon urban patterns and

problems, still less upon port issues or the

7".afprfrc;nt itsc!f, .Y'V,;' Lt'hL V-U'.Lt U-uL -I C-,I&I L y;.L,,I I L f j eL" , y,,l.,L.-,L C

these core areas alid functions in context.

Putting the question the other way

around, coastal zone ~nanagemeiit must

examine littoral regions as dynamic

interactive systems within wliich port cities

perform a critica1 but riut overwlieliningly

dominant role. The balance between

cityport and region must be carefully

assesseci, ior each is ciepencient upon [he

other (Vallega, 1992).

Citirs diid i'uits. Cuiicrpls diid issurs 275

7.- Conclusions

h fürü>iiig aiiriiiiüii upuii ilir dtdi~giit~

cityport in a time of politico-economic

transition, we should aim to analyze

enisiiiig siiudiiuiis, iü undei~irlild i l ~ e i ~

origins, and to consider current trends and

future developments, i ~oir der to have some

idea vi where we are going írvm here. As a

conclusion to these broadly conceived

reniarks, three n-iajor points will bear reemphasis.

First, the zvorld cityport systeiri (Figure 5)

is a dynamic phenumerion, and the

essentiai pacemakers are the maritime

factors. Port cities are gateways orientated

towards tl-ie world's seas and oceans; tliey

belong to tlie world o1 seaborne transport

and trade. New technologies of ship design

and cargo handling are tlie key factors that

have led to successive eras of cityport

evolution, producing a remarkable variety

of cityports around the shores of the world

lake, that interconnected global water

surface linking together al1 port cities and

al1 maritime transport networks.

Second, in economic terms, cityports are

continually involved in inferpovt compefifion.

A seaport survives by attracting traffic

flows to itself. Traffic flows are fickle and

can always grow, decline or be diverted

elsewhere - even from a single port which

may seem to have an unshakeable

monopoly on a small island. Traffic flows

involve port selection by ship operators

and others who base their decisions on

factors affecting efficiency, cost and

converiience, and un the coridition of tlie

wider economy. The behaviour of decisionmakers

in tliis competitive environmeiit,

and the responses of port authorities, are

critical to tlie long-term evolution and the

short-term fortunes and patterns of port

activity and cityport development. Quebec

(Canada), in this context, seems today to be

relatively unsuccessful, almost an historical

anachronism, compared with Montreal.

Behavivural geography, rather than

p l~y s i c dg eog~dpiiyi,d rgeiy tixpiairis iiw

continuing process of differential cityport

growth. It is tlie interaction of clianging

ecuiiui~iiesd ~ i dw cieiies, iogeiher wiih

political influences and eniironmeiital

attitudes, tliat ultimately influence what

happens ai the interface between ianci anci

sea, wliere port cities are located and where

they prosper or perish. In East Africa, the

archaeoiogicai ruins oí Gecii marK a piace

on tlie coast of Kenya whicli in the 15th

century was a cityport of ten thousand

iniiabitants alid tiirivir-ig trade. ioday it lies

abandoned, iiidicatirig to us that interport

coinpetition is a long-established element in

economic and political Me, and une that

sometimes leads tu commercial extinction

(Hoyle, 1983).

Third, the most critical issue affecting

the contemporary cityport is the separafion

of port nnd urban functions. Closely

intertwined in the 15th century, as the core

area of historie Venice (Italy) so strikingly

demonstrates (Ashworth and Tunbridge,

1990) these functions have diverged in the

closing decades of the twentietli century, as

at Marseille-Fos, as the global forces of

maritime technology have required a new

scale of port development quite out of tune

with dimensions associated with traditional

urban cores. This planning problem lies at

the heart of cityport development today

throughout the advanced world and

increasingly in developing countries too. As

sucli, it is a problem that must be kept

continually under review and 1 personally

welcome most warmly the iiiitiative sliown

by tliis University in bringing together ideas

and viewpoints on an interdisciplinary

basis. No-one has a monopoly of truth. 1

have spoken about shared space in a

practica1 context, on the waterfront. How

much more important is shared intellectual

space, as we seek continually to refine our

concepts, ideas and perspectives.

I SCALES - Local


Internat ima~/g~oba~ I I ENVIRONMENT

- Rdirf 1 . . - . . - .




- Agriculture - Structures/flows

lndustry Demand lmarkets

Ernpbment Controls



- Structure Maritime Dislribution Ship/Mobility


- InternaI stability

7 r -UN AID

Externa1 Iinks Neocdonialism


Mult ilateral/bilateral

- Precolonial systms

Colonial heritage

lndependence - Positive Neutral

Negat ¡ve

F i p r t . 5 . - Tlie world cityport syslem (Suutce: Pitider atid Iloylr, 1981,337)

-Cities and P orts: Concepts and issues 277


1 Este artículo fue presentado en el curso de de 1994 en la Facultad de (;eografía e

invierno titulado "Puertos v Ciudades Historia de esta Universidad.

Portuarias en España", celebrado en febrero



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