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Governance of the port city in Latin America

19 July 2017|Briefing note

Maritime and Logistics Bulletin 65


Photo of Port-au- Prince’s port in Haiti
Rebuilding works of the container terminal at Port-au- Prince’s International Port, in Haiti.
Photo: ECLAC

A large part of the population in Latin America lives in the port cities, important economic and industrial poles, as well as logistics and commercial centers. The economic, social and environmental impacts generated in these cities give rise to two domains of governance and development: the city and the port. In September 2015, world leaders adopted Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), setting the world on a challenging road to a future of greater social and economic wellbeing, both inclusive and environmentally sustainable. These SDGs are a set of very challenging goals, a great frame of reference that engages local and national governments. A path of opportunities for many port cities in Latin America to expand their models of development and leave behind traditional development models, achieve inclusion, sustainability, diversity, transforming cultural enclaves and achieving the economic well-being of their populations.

Being already at the forefront of many processes of global change, in commerce, innovation, technologies and education, the port cities can also emphasize in the sustainable development improving the quality of life and
also to become attractive centers of investment and regional leadership. Port cities as reflections of the success of the region's international trade, can also be a gateway to aligning economic prosperity with social needs and ecosystem conservation in a new era of sustainable urban development. Agenda 2030 is a global policy process that involves broad groups, national, regional and local authorities. City governments, in addition to other non-governmental parties, are called to be key players in SDGs. However, the chances of success for planners and authorities depend on available processes and institutions to assess and apply sustainable development best practices to their port cities. This paper explores and offers some preliminary ideas on how to incorporate collaborative strategies for better governance in port cities in Latin America. A process to implement comprehensive and inclusive sustainable development, deploying creative solutions to multiple gaps, problems and challenges of today's port cities, through renewed comprehensive solutions, participation, debate and consensus between stakeholders and all levels that make up the economic life, communities and population of a port city.