This research paid attention to the relationship between port activities and urban competitiveness, as well as how to improve urban competitiveness of port city. Historically, Ports were a main driving force of urban development, and this point could be proven by the development of both emerging port cities in Asia, and the mature transportation center in Europe. However, the developing trend of the port city development in recent decades had shown two different directions. The first one was separated urban area from port area to seek for diversity development that does not depend on port activity and port-related industry, while the second strategy is developing maritime industry and seek for better positon in global port network. The conflicts between port and city in functional and spatial aspects generated the significance of this research, which was to study port-city relationship and explore the determinants of urban competitiveness of port cities, and consequently the application of the analysis was used to provide policy recommendations to municipality of port cities. The literature review provided theoretical support for this study. Segregation of a port area and an urban area due to functional conflicts were confirmed in general models of port-city relationship, However, there is surely positive and negative impacts of port activities and port-related industries in economic, environmental and social aspects of port city. Because of these impacts, different development strategies were adopted by port cities all over the world to deal with this issue. However, the selection of policy recommendation depended on whether port activities had positive effect on urban competitiveness and what are determinants of urban competitiveness of port city, as the result, FDI and container route established urban network and port network separately for social network analysis to test the relationship between port activities and urban competitiveness. Then, valued FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) was the indicator of urban competitiveness. Port characteristics and urban characteristics were independent variables to explore determinants of urban competitiveness. The first section was a descriptive analysis done by social network analysis; the structures of an urban network and a port network were analyzed by centrality and cohesive subgroup analysis. Following this, the relationship between two networks was tested by QAP correlation test. In the second stage, the regression model of port cities and non-port cities tested whether port cities have an advantage over general cities. Afterwards, the regression model with only port cities was established to seek for determinants of the urban competitiveness of port cities. The final stage compared Rotterdam and Ningbo with cities in the same regions, and the strengths and weaknesses of these two selected cities were discussed in order to provide policy recommendations to municipalities. As the result, there was positive relationship between port networks and urban networks, namely that the cities in the center of port networks were also in the center of urban networks. The second result was that when comparing urban competitiveness between port cities and general cities, port cities were weaker than general cities, and then, urban and port characteristics had both positive and negative impact on urban competitiveness of port city. Finally, though Rotterdam and Ningbo were in the center of port networks, they had significant weakness in comparison with leading cities of their metropolitan regions, these result would suggest municipalities of port cities to improve business environment based on locational advantage, and strengthen their position in port network to development maritime industry. However, negative impacts of port characteristics such as pollution needed to be moderate.

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Wall, R., Stavropoulos, S.
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Xu, H. (2014, September). Building a bridge between Port and City. Retrieved from