Port cities face enormous sustainability challenges. In this chapter, we propose a relational view of these challenges, exploring how governance tries to connect the three pillars of sustainable development—economic, social, and environmental—and addresses the contradictions inherent to new port plans or waterfront projects. We zoom in on the case of Lisbon, Portugal, evaluating the role of heritage in the sustainable development of its historical maritime waterfront. We assess to what extent reusing heritage structures strengthens the Lisbon port-city relationship in terms of governance and outcome. Our account shows that the city departed from its earlier object-based approach to adopt UNESCO’s approach to Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL). This shift has triggered deeper reflections among key city actors on the connections between city and port in Lisbon, and the role of the waterfront landscape therein. We will argue that the new approach to heritage potentially produces new governance arenas to which port and city stakeholders deliver, creating opportunities for new port-city coalitions to emerge—coalitions that might be able to align economic and environmental objectives with the socio-cultural motives that underpin the goals of heritage preservation. However, we conclude by emphasizing the challenges of public participation and the crucial engagement of port authorities: both are necessary if European ports and cities are to effectively pursue sustainable relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdaptive Strategies for Water Heritage
Subtitle of host publicationPast, Present and Future
EditorsCarola Hein
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-00268-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-00267-1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Port city, Governance, Historic urban landscape (HUL), Maritime heritage, Waterfront, Lisbon, Sustainable development

ID: 45004187