Ports in transition
Many of the world’s welfare today has been produced or at least facilitated by ports and its related activities: ports are the locations where trade, logistics and production converge. This book illustrates very clearly that ports have developed over the last decades, in line with the emerging global economy, into global hubs for large-scale efficient trade and shipping. In many ports, this development has gone hand in hand with the emergence of large-scale fossil-based industries in port areas, ranging from refineries to chemical industries and energy plants. This has led to ports that are completely based on large-scale fossil fuels and efficient mass logistics. In our current age, however, many aspects of this historically developed basis are starting to erode. Global (economic) developments are putting pressure on the mass-logistics model, the market for fossil resources and fuels is becoming unstable also due to the scale gas discussion, and the location choice and investments in chemical industrial complexes has become an issue of debate. Therefore in many ports, questions arise as to how to reinvent the economic model behind the port and how to move forward towards more sustainable ports based on green chemistry, renewable energy and added value. This requires a more fundamental change than can be achieved only through technological innovation, optimisation or planning: a transition towards sustainable port activities.