Stakeholder inclusive design for sustainable port development

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It is being increasingly recognized that sustainable port development requires an integrated planning approach which includes working with nature, a stakeholder inclusive design and co-creation of values, as well as an adaptive design that can cope with future uncertainties without losing its functionality. The multi-disciplinary character of port design whereby engineering, ecological, economic and governance aspects are integrated, makes the implementation of this approach very challenging. Not surprisingly, concrete examples of port projects incorporating and demonstrating these principles are rare. This paper proposes that pilot case studies would go a long way towards the acceptance and implementation of the approach. It discusses the desirable characteristics of pilot studies (with opportunities for creating economic value), which could establish the effectiveness of this approach for sustainable port design. The ongoing UDW project "Integrated and Sustainable Port Development in Ghana" funded by NWO-WOTRO exemplifies such an inclusive pilot study and represents a significant step in bringing about a paradigm shift from a traditional approach to port development, to a stakeholder inclusive integrated approach for sustainable port development.