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The Covid-19 pandemic is hitting people and business hard. The attempt to protect people’s lives from the potentially life-threatening disease has changed the functioning of ports and cities around the world. As people have changed their consumption, travel, and lifestyle patterns, satellite photos show that environmental pollution in many cities (including prominent industrial port cities) is cleaning up. A progress that is urgently needed.

This session explores “what if” histories, reflecting on the future of port cities, and the way in which the current crisis can be translated into a transition strategy in which ports deliver value for their host cities as well as the hinterland.

The Scientific Committee of RETE, together with Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Port City Future research group, and international delegates invite viewers to reflect on:

  • Is the current pandemic different from earlier disruptions? What would make it a major game-changer?
  • What are practical solutions (perhaps already in the making) that can provide a better relationship between urban and port needs?
  • What can port authorities do to engage with their neighboring city region?
  • What do cities and regions need from their ports to make cities more environmentally and socially just?
  • How can the pandemic change housing and lifestyle patterns and what does that mean for planning?

What new mobility patterns can emerge?

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