The urban integration of the Port of Almería into the city has begun, and inter-administrative collaboration is in full swing to continue progressing throughout this year, also in cultural, social, and sports initiatives. Reflecting this close relationship and the commitment made by both parties, Almería gains visibility in the association for collaboration between ports and cities, RETE. In this vein, following the Port Authority of Almería’s move last year, the city’s City Council has joined the organization, ensuring that the two institutions will share their vision and learn from other experiences in the field of port-city relations.

The president of the APA, Rosario Soto, and the mayor of Almería, María del Mar Vázquez, participated yesterday in the general council of RETE and today are attending its thirty-eighth meeting held in Barcelona under the title ‘America’s Cup: the challenge of turning a nautical sports event into a model of port-city integration’. Vázquez, who also joins the international association’s board as a member, stated: “Establishing synergies with other ports both in Spain and internationally is an enriching opportunity to advance a more sustainable city model. Understanding that port-city integration is a useful tool for boosting our city’s economy, promoting blue tourism, and making the port more accessible to citizens so they can enjoy our city’s waterfront.”

Rosario Soto values the City Council of Almería’s joining RETE as another example of the complicity between the two institutions to address a historic demand of Almería. This commitment has been reflected in the Almería Port Authority’s First Strategic Sustainability Plan and reaffirms one of the association’s promoted objectives: cooperation between administrations. “Since last year, the port authority has been making giant strides towards transforming Almería’s waterfront and greater port-city integration. We opened the Cable Inglés to citizens, signed the protocol to promote the development of Almería’s waterfront with the Junta de Andalucía and the City Council, and we have already begun the urbanization of the access to the Muelle de Levante. Soon, we will advance with 7,000 more urbanized hectares and the transformation of the APA headquarters facade, which will turn the building into an architectural landmark of the city.” For the APA president, as established by the State Ports Strategic Framework, it is essential to enhance port-city relations while promoting the economic growth of the ports of Almería and Carboneras through the traffic of goods and passengers, which has a direct impact on employment and the wealth of our environment.

For her part, RETE president Teófila Martínez highlighted Almería’s commitment to port-city integration, a project aimed at revitalizing both the coastal area and the urban environment. “The incorporation of the Port of Almería into the Port-City Network that forms RETE, signed last year, and now with the support of the City Council, marks a step forward towards better urban cohesion and a broader cultural and social offering for the people of Almería,” Martínez stated. This approach aims not only to boost tourism but also to foster a greater connection between the people of Almería and their port, creating a more accessible and enjoyable space for everyone. “The City Council’s incorporation into RETE reflects Almería’s institutions’ commitment to advancing together in port-city integration.”

Additionally, within the framework of the RETE general council, it was agreed that the organization would participate in the round table that the Almería Port Authority will coordinate and sponsor at the international Sun&Blue Congress, which will hold its second edition on November 20, 21, and 22 at the Cabo de Gata-Ciudad de Almería Exhibition and Congress Palace. Last year, this event placed Almería at the epicenter of tourism and the blue economy for three days, with 169 speakers and 900 attendees from 21 nationalities participating.