Far away ports (8) The port is dead, long live the port

puertos int-ext

Think of a complex coastline, which is under the regular impact of strong storms that even in the case of large oil tankers can lead to relatively high shipwreck events. One day comes the tanker whose wreck becomes, for various reasons of diverse coherence, a social threshold, a wreck too many. This happened in Galicia (north-western Spain) in 2002 with the Prestige tanker. As a result, the Spanish government (with powers over large ports) decides to create in La Coruña (b on the upper image) and Ferrol (d) two new large external harbours (a and c). The rationale is to take hazardous traffics off the city centres. Creating new infrastructures is rather common, but here the operation brings to mind what to do with urban core quays. Bilbao managed to conduct such an operation some 10 years ago around the Guggenheim museum.

The new General Plan of La Coruña. Urban extension land is red. The new harbor is on a different municipality.

The new General Plan of La Coruña. Urban extension land is red. The new harbor is on a different municipality.

The new General Plan of La Coruña defines a new residential area over much of what now are quays. The municipality is rather small, and quite occupied by urban areas, so it is a growth option. This will transform what is now an urban core harbour, and seems rather an industrial area, in a different thing, raising questions about how the soul of the city will change. But it also raises questions on how long this will take in a crisis context.

In the middle of this there is a large water surface.

In the middle of this there is a large water surface.

The port transformation proposal

The port transformation proposal

 

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