The Port Cityscape: Spatial and institutional approaches to port city relationships

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Port-related flows of goods, people and ideas cross institutional boundaries and create complex, fuzzy territories without strong, mutually supportive governance frameworks, legal systems and planning guidelines. Multi-scalar markets and global value chains leave their imprint on the spaces of the port and on neighboring urban and rural territories. Stakeholders in these areas are multiple and pursue different goals and functions. Politicians, planners and researchers grapple with the need to provide guidance for spatial and institutional development in a way that acknowledges the ongoing fragmentation and transformation of extended port city territories with their overlapping governance systems and flexible coalitions of actors in different power positions. A careful re-conceptualization of the spatial and institutional impact of port-city connections as a “commons” can provide insight into the form and scale of spatial impact, the places of conflict and opportunity for port cities and the need for new theoretical, methodological and scalar approaches. This introduction proposes the concept of the port cityscape as a framework for the 12 articles included in this special issue. Together, these contributions provide a glimpse of the diverse disciplinary, geographical and scalar approaches to governance in port city regions and form a call for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Issue numberSpecial Issue
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Special Issue “Governance in Port City Regions”


  • Port city regions
  • Port cityscape
  • Fuzzy territories
  • Port city values


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