From 9 to 16 April an INTA peer-to-peer panel was in the City of Le Port, in La Reunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean south east of Madagascar. A team of 10 practitioners was helping the involved parties to define a path for the future of a 85ha area on the rear of the main harbour. The island of 800,000 inhabitants imports almost everything and needs to expand its harbour and logistic zone, linking them to the rest of the infrastructures.
INTA was helping to answer a series of questions among which:
- How will the economic situation of Reunion Island, European territory in the Indian Ocean, evolve?
- What will be the added value of the harbor and its rear area and what will be the relationship with the other regional infrastructures (airports, main circular road)?
- What has to be the perimeter of the activity and logistic zone of the rear port and how to reconcile the environmental constraints, local demand and regional economic objectives?
- What will be impact of a future cruise port (West part of the harbour) on the local development?
- What kind of economic activities should be located in this area?
What kind of governance and public-private partnership for the implementation of the project?
The team of experts met during three days local stakeholders to understand the local context and the challenges of the economic development of an island like La Réunion.
Representative of the port (State, Chamber of commerce), of the economic sector and port activities (stevedores, dockers, logistics...), institutionnals have expressed their views and stressed the issues thay have to face in the regional context.
Reunion Island and its port have a strategic position being the only European land in the Indian Ocean.
The long term port masterplan has been discussed extensively in order to find the best way to give some space for regional economic development and torecreate more urbanity in the City itself.
The recommendations of the panel started with the idea of reversibility.
Optimising the management and the performance of the existing container quay digging toward the Western port and expanding the container quay toward the sea rather than dig a new dock to build a new container wharf on the rear land of the port and in order to get the draught and the lenght of the wharf at international standards.
Starting from this hypothesis, the Panel has worked on the urban development of the area, linked with the economic regional development needs.
The City of Le Port has been since its creation a city which, like every port city, has a bad image, and the City government, together with the urban district (TCO) have been trying for many years to recreate an agglomeration centrality around the economic vitality of the port, but also working on the waterfront to reopen the city towards the sea.
Optimising the port more than extending it, gives the opportunity to the territory to recreate a piece of city, reversible, if in the future, more space is needed for port-industrial oriented activities.
The topography of the land allows to organise the space on terraces in order to have mix uses (logistics and offices, public spaces, and maybe housing).
The objective of these recommendations was to open the idea of port is beautiful and living in the port city can be pleasant. Taking into account the nuisance coming from a commercial port, there are still plenty of possibilities to carry on an economic development project (at a regional scale) together with an urban project (at a metropolitan scale).
At the end of the Panel, the City of Le Port and the urban district (TCO) have asked INTA to follow up the idea and to work together with them on the governance process for the future of the port and its rear area.
- Cesar Salvador, Director General of Territorial Planning, Gipuzkoa Province, Basque Country
- Jonathan Woodroffe, Co-Founder, S333, UK
- Maurice Charrier, Vice President, Greater Lyon, France
- Didier Drummond, Architect, Paris, France
- Philippe Sérizier, OECD
- Pablo Samaniego, architect, San Sebastian, Basque Country
- Andrew Mather, Director for Planning, Durban, South Africa
- Jerôme Ntibarekwa, Secretary General, PMAESA, Mombasa, Kenya
- Endrik Mänd, Chief architect, City of Tallinn, Estonia
- Christine Lor, Advisor to INTA President