Today on the 17th of November 2010 the second Steering Committee of the project PORTA (PORTs as a gateway for Access inner regions) is taking place in Marseilles. The European project, based on an idea of the University of Catania, is being implemented under the EU program MED, which is devoted to the development of Mediterranean regions of the EU. The project PORTA is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and leaded by the Spanish institute FEPORTS. Among project partners there is Luka Koper, d.d., but also Port authorities of Catania, Piraeus, Alicante as well as the University of Catania and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Marseilles Province.
The project research is focused on the issues related to the connections of port systems with their hinterlands and inner regions.The majority of Mediterranean ports is directly related to urban settlements as they are located next to or in the cities. This is why ports are facing similar problems as for example congestions and inefficiencies of transport systems depending on bottlenecks at entrances of ports.
The project partners are coming from five Mediterranean countries (Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Slovenia) and they are exchanging knowledge and experiences. On this basis they wish to define and implement new common strategies and integrated transport/land use planning procedures to improve the accessibility of ports.
The project PORTA started in June 2010 and will be concluded in May 2013. The following specific goals were identified: to decongest the maritime system bottleneck by coordinating transport modal shift policies, to integrate maritime policies in the port systems with the processes of land use/transport planning in the coastal regions, to develop common integrated approaches and planning/regulatory tools to be implemented in the Euro-Mediterranean port network.
Today in Marseilles the project partners will deal with the methodology necessary to carry on the Structural analysis of port systems. This one is necessary to be able to compare criticalities of ports participating at the project. Through the realisation of national workshops the partners will be able to identify stakeholders to be included in further capitalization actions. The whole purpose is to pursue the EU Integrated Maritime Policy in the Med space and to overcome the dichotomy between maritime and transport policies and urban/ local sustainable development of the areas surrounding the ports.