The President of RETE – International Association for Collaboration between Ports and Cities – Teófila Martínez, stated today in Santander, during the opening of the Port Week at the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP), that in port-city integration processes “there can be neither losers nor winners, the whole society must reap positive results from these complex and long-term projects.”

Teófila Martínez, president of RETE and the Port Authority of the Bay of Cádiz, is the director of the first meeting of this Week: Smart Port Cities: “Challenge of Technological Collaboration between Ports and Cities.” Speaking to reporters, she emphasized that “in integration through new technologies, to reap the benefits of smart cities and smart ports, it is essential to value the benefits not only from an economic standpoint but also from cultural and social angles.”

“In port-city integration processes from a technology perspective, as those taking place here in Santander, the role of universities as engines of analysis is crucial. Nowadays ports have to be sustainable and use new technologies, but they also need to move very quickly as new societal needs are emerging,” she indicated.

In the four thematic blocks of this first day, led by the President of RETE, the aim is “physical integration, but also social, cultural, and economic integration, and in this case, also intelligent integration. We all have to add up so that port cities can be smart,” she added.

These panels explore technological collaboration between cities and ports in creating “Smart Port Cities.” Often, both settings work in isolation to become “smart,” not recognizing the synergies and benefits of collaboration. This union can address integration issues and offer new forms of collaboration, such as the use of digital infrastructure and local economic development. This approach aligns with the “Ports Committed to Their City” line of the Strategic Framework of Spanish ports. In this regard, today’s meeting has a dual objective: to show the advantages of technological collaboration and to provide practical inspiration through experiences and debates.

A delegation from RETE, Association for Collaboration between Ports and Cities, will be present until next Friday, September 8, at this UIMP Port Week 2023, organized by the Port of Santander. Alongside its president, speakers will include Manuel Arana Burgos, Director of Planning and Development at Puertos del Estado, and a board member of RETE; José Luis Estrada Llaquet, founder and managing partner of Estrada Port Consulting and director of PORTUS, RETE’s online magazine; and Carola Hein, professor of History of Architecture and Urbanism at the Universities of Leiden, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and TUDelf and a specialist member of RETE.