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Understanding the Sustainable Development Goal Approach for Ports of the Future

Author(s): Cor Schipper

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Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals; SDG targets; Port assessment; Port masterplan;

Abstract: A growing consensus recognises the need to adapt economic, environmental and social structures of ports for more sustainable models. The fairly new concept of a ‘Port of the Future’ enables policy makers and companies to identify successful strategies they can adopt, and pitfalls they can avoid, when drafting and implementing sustainable port growth policies. The uncertainty and potential impacts of climate change are the primary driving forces behind sustainable actions in coastal protection, port management and operational planning. This study connects the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN and their corresponding targets to key port performance indicators for several representative port masterplans. Utilizing the Green Port Policy (GPP) assessment framework, the SDG targets were linked to sustainability achievements according to the SDGs. The selected SDGs and targets are also used in the critical evaluation of ten port masterplans. A key challenge is the integration of the SDGs into a relevant, measurable and manageable system of 14 representative targets of moderate to high importance targets.
The port masterplans inter-comparison is utilized to detect key port related SDGs and targets; thereby linking a subset of 11 SDGs (of the 17 total) to port sustainability. The GPP framework indicators incorporates 24 relevant SDG targets, focusing on globally relevant issues related to port targets. Port service performance indicators were linked to SDG targets which relate to port policy, port operations, and flood defence management. Focusing on the 11 selected port SDGs targets in relation to the 10 port plans considered illustrates a range of sustainability from low to high (e.g. the Port of Ho Chi Minh City and Port of Dar es Salaam to the Port of Rotterdam and Port of Los Angeles, respectively). Moreover, the port masterplans contain evidence for the potential of additional contributions to the selected SDGs targets; it may be possible and indeed applicable to incorporate sustainable goals in the port design processes.


Year: 2019

Source: Proceedings of the 38th IAHR World Congress (Panama)

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