In port regions, infrastructures – road, rail, electricity, pipelines, docks, tunnels etc. – consume a considerable amount of space. At the time of port development or extension, space may appear an abundant resource and capacity requirement may appear adequately predicted.
In this project we developed and applied a method to explore the prospects of intense spatial combination of port infrastructure.
In port regions, infrastructures – road, rail, electricity, pipelines, docks, tunnels etc. – consume a considerable amount of space. At the time of port development or extension, space may appear an abundant resource and capacity requirement may appear adequately predicted. Over time, however, port activities and the infrastructure capacity to sustain them may grow beyond expectations. As a consequence, in Greenfield extensions public port infrastructure competes with private enterprise for space. In Brownfield situations, bottlenecks may develop where infrastructure congestions occur at peak-demand, while lack-of-space prohibits traditional infrastructure expansion.
To anticipate infrastructure congestion in the Rotterdam A15 infrastructure-corridor, among others, the Port of Rotterdam has successfully implemented innovative sub-surface solutions (tunnels). Why not use such infrastructure combinations more often?
The key characteristic of a ‘combination of infrastructures’ is that it affects design, management and decision-making on each individual infrastructure. This may be due to safety concerns, e.g. the likelihood of incidents, or technical design, e.g. the corrosion of pipelines adjacent to high-voltage transmission lines. Moreover, some combinations may be preferred but impossible because of incompatible regulatory regimes or fragmented ownership; some may be better avoided because of their effect on spatial quality.
Capturing expert knowledge from academics and practitioners, a method was developed to assess the attractiveness of each combination of infrastructures. A set of indicators for infrastructure spatial compatibility was developed to compute and visualize a ‘compatibility index’ for each of over 2000 infrastructure combinations.
The insights from the model were put to the test in two ongoing Brownfield and Greenfield projects in the Rotterdam port. Results for project developers have been reported and discussed. Recommendations for infrastructure planning and project development have been given.