PortCityFutures moved to a new website!









Pollution | Urban Development

How can policy makers, urbanists and architects help mitigate the spatial impact of highly polluting industries in line with sustainable urban development?


Heritage | Migration

How can historical cultural diversity and the values embedded in the built heritage meet the needs of citizens and migrants currently living in, working in, and traveling through port cities.

Governance | Global Trade

How can local governments engage with and regulate a port that is intimately linked to global trade flows?

Education | Automation

How will automation of technology, services and administration affect a port's spatial economy (jobs and spaces) and how can we educate children to be ready for the port city regions of the future?


New Technologies | Happiness

How will new industrial technologies and services in the port affect living conditions for all citizens?


Culture | Production

How can all local stakeholders create a port city culture that critically supports (port-related) spatial development needs?

Logistics | Liveability

How can cities and port authorities guide daily freight traffic flows in a way that they can deliver goods to city and port but do not impede city liveability?

Economy | Climate Change

How can economic benefits for a modern port city and the construction of (publicly funded) infrastructure, be combined with a climate adaptation strategy, which pays attention to flood risk reduction by ‘building with nature’ and ecological restoration?


Mutual Urgencies

Ports and cities face global urgencies, including climate change, sea water level rise, migration, and the energy transition, and local urgencies, such as education and job creation. Many spatial issues intertwine the two scales. How can stakeholders garner broad support for recognizing individual and shared problems, generating solutions, and experimenting with new ways of working?

Collective Ambitions

Mapping ambitions from all stakeholders within a port city region will unveil both conflicting and supporting objectives and motivation. Understanding each other’s contexts, concerns, and hopes, and finding the interdependencies between parties is crucial for developing a future in which city and port remain fruitfully connected.

Collaborative Progress

Port specific research and development affects the city on spatial, cultural, and social levels. A collaborative approach is needed to acknowledges this reality and to facilitate mutual benefits.

Supporting Solutions

Experiences and expertise developed by spatial design researchers and planners in each port-city domain can be shared across port cities around the world through multinational, multidisciplinary exchanges among relevant stakeholders, including academics, port authorities, city governments, and citizens.

Technology Exchange

Technologies developed for specific port or city related challenges – IoT, sensoring, truck platooning – may very well be applicable to the urban and regional context. Exchange of knowledge and technology may improve efficiency and connectedness.

Planning and Design Alliances

Collaborative design and planning processes include various stakeholder’s ambitions and needs, and result in mutual beneficial proposals and results.

Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals

26-28 November 2019

TU Delft

International LDE-Heritage conference

Heritage - natural and cultural, material and immaterial -  plays a key role towards in the development of sustainable cities and communities. Goal 11, target 4, of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) emphasizes the relation between heritage and sustainability. The conference inquires into the theories, methodologies and practices of heritage and SDG. It asks: How is heritage produced and defined? By who and in what contexts? What are understandings of sustainability, and how are these situational and contextual? How can theoretical findings on heritage and SDGs engage with heritage practice? 

The conference builds upon the multidisciplinary expertise of academics in the humanities, social sciences and spatial sciences, notably the interdisciplinary cross-over research program Design & History@TUDelft, the active collaboration in the Heritage and Identity section of the LDE-Center for Global Heritage and Development (CGHD), heritage related research conducted at Leiden University, as well as by other associated partners in the consortium. 

The Design & History@TUDelft research program brings together different departments and disciplines: architecture, urbanism, history, landscape architecture, real estate and management and engineering. Design & History@TUDelft aims to further understanding on the role of history and heritage in the transformation of cities, and consequently using the past to enable buildings, cities and landscapes to develop more sustainable, resource efficient, resilient, safe and inclusive. Researchers from Leiden University approach heritage from a broad variety of disciplinary perspectives, such as archaeology, museum studies, cultural anthropology and area studies. Leiden heritage research explores processes of heritage making, and the appreciation and valuation of material and immaterial heritages, to arrive at new insights towards the cultural constitution of societies. Creating, acknowledging and contesting heritage tends to be politically sensitive, as it involves assertions and redefinitions of memory and identity.

This conference creates a setting for academics and heritage-practitioners to explore these questions from distinct angles. We aim to bring academics and practi-tioners into conversation to further their understanding of and impact on heritage conservation, and to increase their impact towards the sustainable development of cities and communities. 


An overview of possible conference themes is below.

  • Time: Evolution and Dynamics
  • Roles: Tasks and Influences of Stakeholders
  • Disciplines: Capacities and Limitations
  • Place: Local reality vs Global ambitions
  • Heritage and Well-being
  • Heritage, Production and Consumption
  • Heritage and the Natural Resource Bases
  • Heritage, Governance Institutions and Means of Implementation
  • Heritage, SDGs and the next generation


Further information



Decentralization and Energy - Conference

23-25 January 2018

TU Delft

The post-oil energy transition raises questions about spatial organisation from energy production to consumption. Throughout history, changing sources of energy have shaped urban and regional landscapes. Energy transitions and changing reciprocal relation between energy and space have influenced decentralisation theory and practice revolving around distribution or dispersing functions, powers, and people away from a central location. This three-day conference asks: How do decentralisation concepts and energy systems intersect both in theory and spatial practices? Investigating the role of energy in urban decentralisation provides new insights into planning history and help develop a sustainable future.



Port City Futures - Conference


December 17th-19th, 2018


The conference is dedicated to the manifold relations between cities and ports. Historically, ports and cities have engaged with major transformations in interconnected ways – ways that will continue to play a role in the future: A strong port city culture can help resolve spatial development questions generated by contemporary urgencies, such as the energy transition, climate change, new technologies, transformations of work conditions so that the port and city (and region) can jointly evolve in a limited space. 

To test this hypothesis and to develop a long-term research agenda, this conference brings together port, city, and regional stakeholders and academics from various port cities to compare their experience with Rotterdam. It aims to stimulate/facilitate discussions between participants on port city relationships by looking at the past and learning from it, identifying contemporary problems and creating future opportunities, identifying and connecting and involving main stakeholders identifying specific different political, economic, social, cultural settings.


Biennale Architettura 2018 - Exhibition

May 26th - July 10th, 2018


at 'The Port and the Fall of Icarus' pavilion (Riva dei Sette Martiri), in collaboration with Hamed Khosravi, Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin & Filippo LaFleur

Viscous Space: The offshore physicality of the North Sea between solid and liquid - Conference

June 20th - June 22nd, 2018

Delft University of Technology, faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment



The interdisciplinary conference invites researchers to develop a new perspective on the North Sea as an integral part of our historical urban realm and the site of unfolding urbanization processes.

How are processes of ocean urbanization reshaping our regional economic, social, cultural, and human environments both at sea and on land? Which tools, methods and frameworks can help re-conceptualize the sea-space and restore its cultural relevance?


Keynotes: Andrew Barry - UCL, Rania Goshn - MIT, Christian Schmid - FLC Singapore & Milica Topalovic - ETHZ

Contibutions by: Medine Altiok, Arjan van Binsbergen, Claudia Bode, Bram Bosman, François Bruneau, Nancy Couling, Susan Dunnem, Maurits Ertsen, Kira Gee, Stephan Hauser, FLoris von Hest, Carola Hein, Jacqueline Heerema, Elmira Jafari, Anne-Mette Jørgensen, Hamed Khosravi, Anne Trine Kjørholt, Everhard Korthals Altes, Taneha Kuzniecoa Bacchin, Jonathan Ledgard, Martijn Manders, Francesco Musco, Stephen J. Ramos, Rose Sarkhosh, Dirk Schubert, Dirk Sijmons, Huygen van Steen, Enrico Tommarchi, Bram Vannieuwenhuyze, Rob Zuidwijk 


info & registration:


Nancy Couling: n.r.couling@tudelft.nl
Carola Hein: c.m.hein@tudelft.nl

Changing Ports: Labour, Logistics, and Territory - Symposium

June 14th, 2018

Dutch Pavilion Venice Biennale, in collaboration with Hamed Khosravi, Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin & Filippo LaFleur


with contributions by Carola Hein, Hamed Khosravi, Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, Filippo LaFleur, Han Meyer, Antonio Revedin, Lóri Tavasszy, Paola Vigano, Guido Zucconi, and moderated by Marcel Hertogh

Prof.dr.ing. Carola Hein - Delft Univeristy of Technology
Professor of History of Architecture and Urban Planning, Department of Architecture

Prof.dr.ir. Lóri Tavasszy - Delft University of Technology
Professor in Freight and Logistics, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management


Siebe Bakker - bureaubakker




Carola Hein: c.m.hein@tudelft.nl


for LDE Metropolis and Mainport
Carola Hein & Lóri Tavasszy


Creative Projects Amsterdam


curator Port City Futures
Siebe Bakker


Port City Futures
a LDE Metropolis and Mainport initiative