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13th World Conference Cities and Ports (Nantes, Saint-Nazaire, 18-21 June 2012)

Published the 16 November 2012

Port d'Étaples

13th World Conference Cities and Ports hosted by Saint-Nazaire and Nantes from 18 to 21 June 2012 brought together 450 participants from 46 countries. The most recent world conference of the AIVP (International Association of Cities and Ports) aimed to discuss the solutions found by stakeholders for the development of port cities and related issues. ESI has seized this opportunity to promote the specificities of straits.

Straits are gateways and links that concentrate large flows of maritime and terrestrial traffic. They are strategic areas for development, safety, planning, environmental protection, migration and commuting.

In the European Straits, there is an increasing concentration of economic and transport flows, and therefore a higher environmental risk. This development means that straits are turning into economic gateways, which changes their general structure, particularly with regards to new urban and port infrastructure.

Both sides of the straits can take advantage of this situation by working together on common topics. Cities and ports located near straits were the first twin towns created by people to do business. The sea is their common point.

This is why the Kent Committee and the Pas-de-Calais General Council have launched the European Straits Initiative - ESI, which brings together 15 partners who have signed the Founding Protocol of Understanding of 23 November 2010, in order to promote sustainable development, innovation and solidarity in their cities, ports and hinterland.

Cities and ports, as well as their hinterlands have always managed and conceived of their development separately, or in pairs, and the need for more territorial coherence on either side of the straits, and maritime continuity through the straits has led to the creation of new forms of coordination between territorial planning and maritime and marine area management instruments.

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