Land and sea: the race to re-connect

Transformational projects that create new links between cities and their waterfronts are top of the agenda in Italy. The aim is to increase tourism and generate opportunities for direct and indirect economic growth. Donatella Zucca reports

The Palermo waterfront, complete with marina and cruise terminal. Below: CGI of the waterfront at Civitanova Marche.

The Palermo waterfront, complete with marina and cruise terminal. Below: CGI of the waterfront at Civitanova Marche.

Thanks to the wise use of national and EU investment funds, Italy is on a race to renew its relationship with the sea. The first fundamental steps are being taken, for the most part by port authorities and municipal management, in a process supported by the Draghi Government with an €83 billion plan to unlock 57 large public infrastructure works that, although financed and approved, still await implementation.
Masterplans and projects, in progress or under construction, actually appear to be multiplying. Some benefit from modern marinas, some enhance older facilities and others include brand new yachting infrastructure. Key factors include the need to balance relationships between nature and urban centres, nautical and urban architecture, and preservation and enhancement of historical areas, local culture and specific natural features. The rebirth of land and sea increasingly integrates the tourist port with its surroundings.
In some cases, focus is on areas closest to the sea and in others more general modernisation of existing seafront areas is being undertaken. The latter almost always includes enhanced marina services and extra nautical facilities. Where creation of a tourist hub is the aim, great attention is paid to the environment and to architecture so as to cover cruise offerings, tourist ports and large yacht mooring.
In Venice, for example, the movement of freight, cruise vessels and large yachts is being revised via the optimal use of old waterways and the creation of new ones. This mega project is proceeding very slowly and consists of a set of demanding steps, which if accelerated would solve long discussed critical issues and restore much of the city’s splendour.

The best initiatives involve public administrations, climate and economy experts, builders, architects and urban planners, synergistically engaged in the planning and the potentials.
“The availability of funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan has generated an exponential growth of urban redevelopment projects presented to the government by many cities – in particular from those I like to call ‘maritime cities’, many of which have centuries-old history,” explains Captain Angelo Zerilli. Zerilli headed up the national tourist port sector at the Directorate General of State Property and Ports of the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry for 30 years and is now vice president of Blue Pool Advisors and a member of Marina Development Network (MDN).
The Waterfront di Levante in Genoa project, as designed by RPBW-Renzo Plano Building Workshop Architects and partner OBR Oper Building Research.

The Waterfront di Levante in Genoa project, as designed by RPBW-Renzo Plano Building Workshop Architects and partner OBR Oper Building Research.

“About 650 municipalities will be able to count on an economic opportunity from a €4.9 billion fund to plan for the future and help offset the negative effects of the pandemic,” he says. As Barcelona in Spain demonstrated in 1990, revitalising the city waterfront gives an opportunity to re-evaluate history and maritime traditions. The same could play out for places like Amalfi, Portofino, Tropea, Gallipoli and the more famous cities of Venice, Genoa, Naples, Bari, Taranto, Palermo, Syracuse etc.
“The downside of the ambitious programme could well be red tape but, given the recent regulations on speeding up administrative procedures, this should not happen,” Zerilli notes. “The Italian Government has provided for the direct takeover of central government bodies should local administrations delay the procedures related to the approval process.”
The most significant improvements should be made in southern Italy. “In the ports of the south, traditionally intended for fishing or small coastal boats, maximum attention should be paid to the breakwaters, adapting them to the increased violence of weather and sea phenomena. Then attention should be paid to adapting the mooring to suit the demand for vessels over 24m (79ft) by undertaking possible dredging and pontoon extensions – that still respect the spaces for fishing boats,” he says. 
“Depending on the type of boats in the marina, the creation of shipbuilding areas for refitting, as well as for nautical clubs, shopping centres and fish markets are important, as is training for port staff and the connection with the city through parking, pedestrian and bicycle areas. I believe that the cities would benefit immediately and then a worldwide promotion of the tourist, cultural and environmental riches of the territories would win through.”
Zerilli was editor of the DPR 509 -1997 on the creation of national tourist ports and thus a chief promoter of most Italian marinas. Last year, 15 projects emerged that can be traced directly back to the waterfront developments and, today, there are even more. 
Key examples include the redevelopment of the Venice lagoon and the interior canals, together with three important interventions in Marghera and a re-launch of the Lido. In the Marche region, we have the Civitanova Marche project, and in Liguria the study for the Chiavari waterfront, Marina di Ventimiglia behind the tourist port, and the reconstruction of Rapallo International Tourist Port. Porto di Sanremo is another example and in Tuscany, the Marble of Massa Carrara, Livorno Porta a Mare project and the areas around the Marina di Pisa. Further south, the harbour front of Naples and in Calabria, the waterfront and marina of Lamezia Terme and the Regium Waterfront of Reggio Calabria, with its Museo del Mare designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. In Puglia, the Waterfront San Girolamo in Bari and Mar Grande of Taranto, and in Sicily the 4km (2.5mi) of Catania Guarda il Mare. Plus others in design or proposal phase, not counting those on rivers and lakes.
Focus on Genoa and Palermo
After a lengthy planning process that saw several changes, the Levante waterfront in Genoa is now taking shape. Developed by RPBW and OBR, headed by architect Renzo Piano, it is now partly complete and will benefit the quality and hospitality of Marina Fiera Genova and the International Boat Show. The area previously occupied by exhibition halls has now been radically transformed and surrounded by a canal harbour (created by dredging the seabed) that is served by three bridges.
For the City, this is perhaps the most important urban regeneration project in decades and is in step with forward thinking environmental measures. Developed with a Nearly Zero Energy building approach, it favours local renewable materials. Buildings make the most of natural light and ventilation and energy is derived from heat pumps, photovoltaic and solar-thermal systems. Energy recovery, low temperature plant systems, smart metering solutions and advanced controls are in the mix.
The €240 million site investment includes an urban park and a new dock, and connected public works feature a panoramic lift to the city, a mobile pedestrian bridge over the main canal and multiple additional pathways.
In Palermo, the focus of a €155.5 million waterfront project is primarily the re-launch of shipbuilding in the port and development of a cruise terminal. But Pasqualino Monti, president of the Port System Authority of the Western Sicilian Sea and commissioner of the Palermo Waterfront Project, confirms there is also a plan for a 12-berth marina for megayachts up to 100m (330ft). The contract for this was issued a year ago but a further €6 million will be spent on building the marina accommodation and tourist facilities.
“This will be offered as a concession and we will go out to tender for management,” Monti confirms. He considers that “the offering will convince crews ahead of owners to stop in this beautiful town even if initially we only have transits.” Dedicated crew space and close proximity to the shipyard will be major attractions in a “sort of Barceloneta”. “We have all the credentials to succeed even if we find it hard in Italy to envisage how such opportunities can be created. Sicily offers an excellent mix of beauty, culture, history and products so the nautical tourism response could be extraordinary.”


Waterfront innovations in Canada

New agent for Capria

Breaking ground on the future

Port Vell launches bunkering service

Pacsoft launches MarinaPay

Extra berths at The Boat Works

Storm protection in Quincy Bay

Dura adds smaller size mesh

Smart Marinas guide and 2022 industry statistics

Man Overboard alarm readies for export

Eco pedestals promoted for export

Safe storage for lithium batteries

Freedom adds two Sydney clubs

Rental service boost in South Florida

New transporter is fit for a Princess

Keeping it in the family

Metstrade remains essential anchor point

Adapting marinas to alternative fuel propulsion systems

EV charging in the marina industry

Whitepaper illuminates key role of bidirectional charging

Mobile fuel station pioneers sustainability and efficiency

Resilient marina renovations lead to coral relocation

New research outlines pathways to decarbonisation

A resilient rebirth at Zeke's Landing

Renovations, partnership and acquisitions

Partnership boosts nautical tourism

Replacement docks double superyacht capacity

Premier buys leading drystack

Tourist driven marina breaks ground

Waikawa extension opens

Ultra luxury on The Spit

Launching Norlana superyacht hub

Popular boat lifts form part of renovation project

New forklift boosts operator confidence

Digital payment solution for visitor moorings

Stacking up on Okanagan Lake

Smart software drives success in Mooloolaba

Using bacteria to eliminate hydrocarbon residues

Sustainable sanitation for America’s Cup bases

MDL continues multi million pound roll ut

D-Marin makes €1.7 million investment

Voting in the best for 2023

Regeneration continues at Isle of Wight harbour

Expansion plans in a buoyant market

Customers, culture, comms and carbon

Ligurian icons make a comeback

Welcoming megayachts to Istanbul

Integra buys Aventura marina

Med marina networks partner up

Renewed Dover dock nears completion

Merger creates 'biggest' South Florida marina

Sindalah yacht repair centre, first of many for Neom

New Calero group marina, and more

IBEX one of best to date

Plans firmed up for Habacoa

M3 to boost Amaala to La Belle Classe

IWMC 2025 heads to Venice

AMI keynote announced

Redeveloping a prime lakeside marina

Charging options on both sides of the Channel

Sanitary building kick starts floating building range

Hydrogen power

Floating patio becomes new marina hub

Boosting sustainability with the WRF

New lifts in facility upgrade

Interest builds for electric hoists

Majoring on the minority

Flying the Blue Flag

Silver EcoVadis for Premier

Protecting a sensitive ecosystem

Tangible benefits for the local area

Karpaz Gate Marina: A home away from home

Convenience is not a European value

Industry lobbies government on cyclone cover crisis

Upgrades at Port of Lisbon

Port 32 expands partnership with Gulfstream

North Island marina expands

Monument buys Florida marine centre

Marine Centre plans for James Watt

JYC Marina soft opens for Saudi Grand Prix

Wider decking panel– ideal for finger piers

GCMarine partners with Harbour Assist

Elevator Lift is reconfigured

Cleaning water with Advanced Oxidation

Trouble free trolley goes international

Waiting pontoon for high season

More Freedom in Australia

First in Barcelona, first in Redwood City

D Marin wins iF Design award

Futuristic pod delivered to the Pearl

New production line, new designs and noteworthy deliveries

New owners to invest in Dartside Quay

Multi use trailer for Canadian tourism service

Handle with care: a pad for all hull shapes

One year operation of electric boat hoists

Setting new delivery records for 2023

Variable width option for mobile boat hoists

IBEX 2023: focus on sustainability

In need of new marinas and new money

Superyacht marina for Dubai Islands

Swift progress on Blue Water Cay

Bermuda dock opens for superyachts

New managers for GCCM

IGY to operate NEOM's first groundbreaking marina

Mega focus in Italian marinas

Marina Bahia Golfito: the new Costa Rica destination

Rivergate up for sale

Full service in Fort Lauderdale

Go Outdoors platform launch

Upgrading key infrastructure

Marina group in administration

Operator sought for Co Down marina

How sustainable is your marina?

Geoff Phillips

UK marina group signs four year service contract

Valterri Vauramo

Joint connector enhances breakwater performance

Flovac wins second Mallorca contract

Setting a new standard in marine electrical safety

Smarter management, happier customers

Enhancing customer service across a multinational portfolio

Moss Marina: surviving the storm

Developing the Eagle Float

Wet versus dry in the western Med

First phase drystack opens in Charleston

Forklift design for growing centre console market

Pioneering drystack buys larger forklift

Industry views: Drystack storage

Promoting a customer focused culture

Ismailia contract awarded

Trophy asset for east coast portfolio

Marina completes waterfront regeneration

Investment plans for Pylos

Operator chosen for Elounda

New marina at town gateway

Guidelines for sustainable infrastructure

Evolving design over the decades

New trends drive marina reshape

Electric chargers for Italian marinas

D Marin expands digital solutions

Next generation buoy

Ultranav invests in LifeLadder

New hoist brings new technology

Pontoons for Ocean Race

Electric propulsion: a solution to pollution

Collection and protection for small islands

AMI Expo: a record breaker

Slovenian marinas join forces to boost potential

Resilience, long term vision and personal approach

Support for local businesses

Becoming a master at planning marinas

A nautical tourism centre for Piombino

Ismailia Yacht Marina: a key player in the new era of the Suez Canal

Rebuild underway at Club marina

Upgrade approved for Jones Bay

Port 32 buys Lighthouse Point

Suntex adds NJ and AZ marinas

Marina group expands to Spain

Port Vell as Cup superyacht marina

Berths still in high demand

Community space with maritime focus

Livart builds state of art factory

Dock company changes hands

New catalogue highlights

A 3D map of your marina

All change at ICOMIA

ICOMIA stats for 2021

Stellar joins Molo

Developing a fast charge network

The move to electric: e handling and e boating

Building a sustainable marina

Buzzing on full power

Innovation on the dockside

E dock supports e boat challenges

World Cup boosts pedestal contracts

Power for bigger berths in Dubrovnik

Opening the APS Seychelles agency

Building post pandemic momentum

Jesolo Marina plays major part in coastal plans

Reimagining Noss on Dart

Regeneration planning for Des Moines

Suntex buys Green Cove

New docks at Blue Haven

First NEOM island announced

Plan ahead for Marinas24

Novalja opens second phase

Melbourne City completes large berth upgrade

Inaugural PIANC America

Calypso Cove project agreed

Funding boost for Ocean Reef

MarineMax buys marina build specialist

Pod design to regenerate seagrass

First electric boat supercharger in Portugal

20 years for ICMS

Community docks for St Johns River

D-Marin invests in Sense4Boat

Autonomous gardening – anywhere under the sun

Australian marina sets new benchmark in waterfront living

Electric and traditional – hoist designs for all

Cat trailer range expanded

Ontario operator buys multi use trailer

Green o'clock at Metstrade

40 years of yard deliveries

One of the world's first electric marine hoists is installed in Spain

Twenty years of talented teamwork

Kemah Boardwalk: Gateway to Galveston Bay

Marinas and takeovers: Enough room for boating?

True spice in the Spice Island

Top US boat dealer launches first in state drystack

Captains and crew vote Coral Sea Marina 'best in world'

First superyacht repair and refit centre in UAE

Abu Dhabi: a new winter oasis

Gibraltar superyacht berths near completion

Superyachts welcome at Palm Beach marina

The big boat picture in southern Italy

Seclusion and luxury in the Bahamas

Jersey marina invests in rebuild

New superyacht haven in Greek isles

Resort opens in favoured tourist spot

Hurricane Ian devastates Fort Myers marinas

NZMOA 2022 Awards

Big Challenges, Big Decisions

Suntex expands into California market

Ocean Reef breakwaters complete

Almarin buys Aister

Historic club installs movable rowing pontoon

Partnership boosts green awareness

Fast charge expansion to US and Sweden

Customised forklift for Saxon Wharf

New decking prompts rethink

Silver and gold for D Marin

Third gen business buys third MT

MARINAS22: inspiring – and successful

Adelaide Pointe: a new development model

Repairs bring new energy to Dinner Key Marina

Buying and managing a first Italian marina

South Island gem for boating community

Construction starts at Dana Point Harbor

Second contract for 2024 Olympics

First phase completes at Windermere

Golden centrepiece at Beach Marine

Interest builds for megayacht marina

Common nautical rules sought

MarineMax to buy IGY Marinas

Bristol town upgrades harbour

Med market hit by lack of uniform fee policy

The good, the fair and the dangerous

The future of government marina leases and concessions

Boosting berths in Roskilde

Vacuum sewage system for new Spanish marina

Canadian club buys stacker crane

European boost for electric charging

Phase one portal release

Sign up surge for marina platform

Maximising occupancy: the smart way

Mia and Mateo and the smart marina

Delivering a digital future for marina management

One system for your whole business

Revolutionising time at the fuel dock

Kempinski to manage one of a kind hotel

A shared vision for the future on water

Building the first sustainable floating city

Flexible marina investment for maximum returns

New life for neglected peninsula

APCC wins Jubail contract

Resource consent for Te Rahui Herenga Waka

Spit plan contract

Berth boost at BYC

More cats welcome in Kemah

Planning for Enviro Officer course

Marina mooted in the east

Revised costing for St George's

JDC progresses mega project

Health of Industry report

MYP becomes MYTR at IBEX

Free flow club design links land to sea

Ambitious plans for a 21st century network

Azimut Benetti marinas

New all tide marina to enhance leisure mooring

Balancing land use, economics and destination appeal

When the seas rise

Sponsored feature: Semi automation boosts drystack

Phase two pier in place

Superyacht marina opts for vacuum sewerage

Storm proven attenuator protects Sunset Bay

Custom forklift for Cape Cod yard

Added value software features for ever changing industry

Developing a new green standard for Italian marinas

New yachting brand officially launched in Monaco

Coral Sea Marina Resort marks Clean Up Australia Day

Closing the loop on waste

Sustainable solutions support yard services

Composite piling for eco sense and long life

Future proofing St Michaels Marina

Trio to develop resort on Al Marjan Island

Semi automation boosts drystack profits

Final phase at Corpach

Upgrade complete at Albert Pier

Marinas to compete in Smart and Sustainable Rendezvous 2022

Abu Dhabi breaks ground on new marinas

Resort plans in Wallonia

Pelican Waters breaks ground on Queensland marina

New Cyprus Marina

Positive signs for Metstrade 2022

LA Waterfront. Setting the stage for new development

New yard in Australia

Marina group marks 35 years