• Inland shipping agrees to substantially reduce CO2

    On Thursday 12th of April, the ‘Declaration of Nijmegen’ was signed by a lead group of twenty parties who declared to accelerate the greening of the inland shipping sector. Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, also signed and made clear that ‘speed is required’. The authorities and businesses that also signed promise to do everything in their power to reduce CO2 emissions in inland shipping by 20 percent by 2030.

    The participants of Ports and the City were enthusiastic about the prospect of providing inland vessels with clean engines and clean fuels. ‘Inland shipping has a distinct advantage if you compare its CO
    2 emissions to those of trucks or trains,’ Van Nieuwenhuizen says. ‘In order to maintain this advantage, inland vessels are going to have to make the transition to cleaner technology.’

    The ultimate aim in the Declaration of Nijmegen is to have a climate-neutral inland shipping sector by 2050. ‘In other words, the sector has no time to lose,’ the minister emphasises. A truck can already be replaced after six or seven years by a cleaner one, equipped with the latest technologies, whereas a ship lasts forty years on average.

    Green Capital
    The Declaration of Nijmegen is an initiative of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in collaboration with Nijmegen, which was named European Green Capital this year by the European Commission. Signatories of the Declaration of Nijmegen include BCTN, Heineken, Friesland Campina, North Sea Port, NedCargo, Danser Group, Port-Liner and the cities of Rotterdam and Nijmegen.

    The participating parties are going to proceed according to a three-step approach. The first step is a cross-border study of sustainable inland shipping solutions, which will last until late 2020. Step two requires the sector to come up with commercially feasible ideas in public-private pilot projects, which will subsequently be widely implemented if successful.

    Role model
    Participants of Ports and the City were guests in the city of Nijmegen. Mayor Hubert Bruls said that his city is investing in on-shore electric facilities, encouraging the use of clean fuels and participating in pilot projects with electric ships running on liquid gas. Nijmegen benefits from the Waal River, but it also suffers tremendously from air pollution on one of the busiest inland shipping routes in Europe.

    Via a video message, Karmenu Vella – European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries – stressed the importance of pioneering cities such as Nijmegen. ‘Europe needs good role models.’ The ports of Duisburg and Ghent provided inspiration during the workshops on the first day of the conference. Businesses and knowledge institutes addressed the possibilities of using hydrogen, for example, as compressed gas or even as powder. Lively discussions during some of the sessions unleashed the energy required to move forward the process of introducing clean technology in inland shipping.

    Urban Partnership for Air Quality
    On 13 April, the second day of the conference, the main focus was on inland shipping in relation to Europe and the European member states. René Korenromp, who works at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management for the Smart and Healthy City programme, is also coordinator of the European Urban Partnership for Air Quality, a project in which several cities and governments are participating and sharing knowledge and experiences. ‘We started to look for gaps in regulation and implementation two years ago.’

    The partners expect to have a recommendation for the European Commission and for cities and countries later this year. They will also look at ways to improve the planning of a range of measures. ‘That may seem an obvious thing to do,’ Korenromp says, ‘but best practices show how important it is.’ In addition, attention will be devoted to the right funding for investments in inland shipping, for better ways of measuring emissions and for campaigns to increase stakeholders’ enthusiasm for a cleaner inland shipping sector.

    Deputy of Water and Transport by Water in the province of Zuid-Holland, Rik Janssen, advocated seamless corridors by smart shipping. Inland shipping needs to become greener faster in order to remain competitive with road and rail, according to Janssen. The main considerations are that no single party can ensure a faster passage – think, for example, of a ‘green wave’ for commercial vessels – and that making the fleet greener requires high individual investments in inland shipping that have a long payback period. In the province of Zuid-Holland, inland shipping is ‘linked’ to traffic management centres in order to promote the flow of road transport and commercial shipping.

    Business model
    An interesting question for discussion on this day was: What is the biggest dilemma standing in the way of clean inland shipping: legislation, funding or knowledge? Ultimately it came down to the required investments in individual ships and hence the business model of shipmasters. The impression is that the shipmasters need to be encouraged and supported in this matter, with a level playing field, in which citizens could potentially also contribute to cleaner transport by water via a CO2 tax. It was pointed out that citizens stand to gain health benefits from it. A forerunner in sustainability is Port-Liner, recently developed by a family business called Van Meegen. The current director, Ton van Meegen, proudly showed an animation of his first fully electric cargo vessel.

    René Korenromp closed the conference with the observation that working together in Europe is a condition for achieving cleaner inland shipping. ‘After all, we’re not talking about a Dutch or a German fleet but about a fleet that navigates throughout Europe.’ Moreover, Korenromp stressed the need to stop talking about the air quality problem and start talking about improving health.

    Finally, Korenromp handed the large sign with all of the signatures under the Declaration of Nijmegen to the Nijmegen alderman of mobility and sustainability, Harriët Tiemens, with the promise to return to the city next year to see what the first year has yielded.

    More information on the conference can be found in the press release (NL) from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

  • Saving time, fuel and money with open data on the waterway

    In the future, by having an immediate overview of current and planned bridge openings, skippers – simply by adjusting their speed - no longer have to lay idle for no reason. And there is no need to look for a berth or to relocate later, as there is real-time information available of berths in the port. Also bridge openings can be aligned with each other to minimize road traffic disruption – thus saving time, fuel, money and causing less air pollution. Lilian Froitzheim-Leijs (Provincie of Zuid-Holland) and Martijn van Hengstum (Rijkswaterstaat) will present these and more waterway innovations during the workshop ‘How open data can help you plan a better and cleaner journey’.

    Their organizations are among the partners of ‘Blauwe Golf Verbindend (BGV)’ and ‘The Blue Wave connects’ and try to optimize the service to waterway and road users through the use of innovative technology and smart cooperation.

    Together, the partners of these programmes realized smart mobility solutions (like RiverGuide) for reliable, current information about bridge openings and available berths in ports. This successful cooperation extends constantly with more partner-Governments. 

    Necessity to share and combine the data we have
    In the Netherlands there are many waterway administrators. In order to accomplish a smooth and safe passage (as described above) on the waterways, we need to share and combine the data we have. The BGV is in the process of doing just that, creating a single coherent flow of data. Traffic control centers, ports, and shippers can combine the BGV information with real-time information about the location, direction, and speed of vessels to achieve optimal fine tuning.

    Because waterway management made the first move, other parties can now use the information. The data can be used by users/carriers/shippers in order to optimize their logistics process and make it sustainable.

    Workshop ‘How open data can help you plan a better and cleaner journey’
    In the workshop ‘How open data can help you plan a better and cleaner journey’ we talk about the accessible techniques we use to reach our goals. We want to build a Nationwide system and perhaps work together with neighboring countries.

    Also, we are very curious as to which data you need in order to:

    - get the ports and the city more aligned with each other
    - to distribute the goods as efficiently and clean as possible

    Which parties are interested in using our data?
    Please join us in this discussion!

    13th of April 2018 from 10.45 am – 11.45 am Lilian Froitzheim-Leijs and Martijn van Hengstum.

    Register now!

  • Unique (electric) boat trip

    We have organised a boat trip on the Waal River where you will have a beautiful view over the city of Nijmegen, its bridges, the nature reserve ‘the Ooijpolder’ and the new island and its secondary channel in the Waal.

    Between the cities of Nijmegen and Lent, the Waal river makes a sharp bend. The winter bed is very narrow at this point in the river. During extreme high water levels the location acts as a bottleneck, making it difficult for water to drain away. The Room for the Waal project has solved this problem by moving the dyke at Lent 350 metres inland. An ancillary channel is dredged in the flood plain to help drain the river when the water level is extremely high. This in turn creates better flood protection for the area behind the dyke.

    The 'Z8' might well be the most beautiful partyboat in the Netherlands. It looks like a yacht, and because it's electric it's sustainable and silent!


  • Mayor Hubert Bruls welcomes you to Nijmegen

    On behalf of the Green Capital City of Nijmegen the Mayor personally invites you to visit the Ports and the City conference.

    It is with great pleasure that I invite you to participate in the ‘Ports and the City – smart & healthy ‘ conference, which is being held on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 April 2018, in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

    Technological innovation, a dynamically changing urban context and urgent climate targets are putting the sustainable development of the complete inland shipping sector and inland ports high on the agenda. The formal and informal programme of the conference offers you an excellent opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise, exchange best practises and, last but not least, to meet and to connect. The conference will inform and inspire you on how inland port areas and inland shipping can be made healthy, liveable, sustainable and smart.

    The main topics will be ‘Healthy and sustainable urban design’, with Duisburg, Ghent and Antwerp as good examples; ‘European and international cooperation’, with a focus on developments in the EU to create clean waterways, clean fuels and urban development; and ‘Sustainable fuels and sustainable energy’, with a focus on technological innovation. During the boat trip on the Waal, along the port areas and the riverbanks of Nijmegen, you will have the opportunity to see the city’s prestigious water management project and experience how my city has been tackling a variety of other challenges.

    The conference is being organised by Nijmegen European Green Capital 2018, EU-LIFE Program CLean INland SHipping (CLINSH), the Dutch Federation of Inland Ports (NVB) and the EU Urban Air Quality Partnership program, in collaboration with the ‘Smart and Healthy City’ programme of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. 

    See you in Nijmegen
    Registration is free. You can subscribe to participate here. And feel free to forward this invitation to colleagues or professionals from your network who might be interested as well.

    I am looking forward to meeting you and to exchanging ideas and expertise on sustainable ports and inland shipping. 

    With kind regards,

    Hubert Bruls                                                                               
    Mayor of the city of Nijmegen, European Green Capital 2018     

  • CLINSH project monitoring phase begins

    Antwerp – On 27 October 2017, the ‘Start to measure’ event of the project CLean INland SHipping (CLINSH) project attracted around 90 participants in the Port House of Antwerp. CLINSH partners, stakeholders and the selected skippers, as well as Mr. Bruno Georges, the Secretary General of the CCNR in Strasbourg, participated in this networking event with the press and the inland navigation sector.

    The host of Antwerp, the regional minister of Zuid-Holland, Rik Janssen, the director of CITBO Alan Devos and Guido de Wilt of the European Commission spoke at this event. After the speeches the selected skippers were presented. Many participants visited the ‘Essex’ barge of Jofra Scheepvaart VOF, which is equipped with emission-reducing technology and an emission-monitoring device.

    The emissions of the selected vessels will be closely monitored during the two-year project, part of the European Union’s LIFE programme. The vessels will test various emission-reducing technologies including the use of alternative fuels. The data gathered will provide valuable information about their environmental performance and the operating costs. The overall purpose of the CLINSH project is to create a fully sustainable inland shipping sector, which entails reducing emissions of hazardous substances such as nitrogen oxides and fine particulates.

    European tender

    The vessels taking part in the project were selected by means of a European tender. They fall into two groups:

    1. Vessels which are to be fitted with an emissions control system for the purposes of the project. The technologies that will be tested include SCR-DPF (Selective Catalytic Reduction in combination with a Diesel Particulate Filter), Fuel Water Emulsion technology and hybrid power installations. Some vessels will be adapted to run on an alternative fuel such as Liquefied Natural Gas or Gas to Liquid Fuel.
    2. Vessels in which such measures have already been applied.


    The practical trials will commence in early 2018 once all the necessary modifications have been made. Data collected during regular operations will provide useful information for the sector itself and for public sector authorities at all levels: local, regional, national and international. The knowledge gained will support new policy intended to reduce harmful emissions. CLINSH will also reveal the economic implications for owners and operators, presenting the business case for sustainability measures. Throughout the project period, news, press releases, regular progress reports and announcements will be published online at www.clinsh.eu.
    Participation in CLINSH will provide owners and operators with new knowledge about the various technologies available and the environmental benefits they offer. Improved environmental performance is likely to increase an operator’s market appeal and help to attract new customers. Several large companies have already decided to award contracts to operators who are able to demonstrate their environmental responsibility. Investment in emissions control systems is therefore an investment in long-term business continuity. Moreover, project participants become eligible for a grant towards the cost of modifications which are likely to become mandatory in future. They are acting as pioneers within the sector.

    Rik Janssen is regional minister of the province of Zuid-Holland and lead partner in the CLINSH project. “To remain competitive, the sector must invest in cleaner vessels,” he states. “We need people to lead the way, and we have found them in the operators taking part in the practical trials. The knowledge they develop will allow us to make an important contribution to a cleaner living environment" 
    Marc Van Peel, President of the Antwerp Port Authority, adds: “The inland shipping sector carries cargo to and from all parts of the European hinterland and is therefore crucial to the maritime ports. Like all other transport modalities, it must reduce harmful emissions. By taking part in this project, Port of Antwerp wishes to accelerate sustainable transition in close cooperation with the inland shipping.”
    Alain Devos, Director of the Flanders Inland Shipping Knowledge Centre (KBV) believes that the strength of the CLINSH project lies in the close collaboration between the partners. “Public sector authorities and research institutes are no longer working in isolation but are actively working together with the sector to achieve long-term sustainability.”

    About CLINSH

    CLINSH (CLean INland SHipping) is a demonstration project which will assess the effectiveness of emissions control technology, alternative fuels and shoreside power systems. It was officially launched on 1 September 2016. Seventeen project partners have committed to investments totalling over €8.5 million, with co-financing provided by the European Union’s LIFE programme. The various project activities are designed to increase the long-term sustainability of the inland shipping sector.

    For further information see: www.clinsh.eu »

  • Serious game ‘bridge control’ in South Holland

    Have you ever wondered about all the things bridge operators need to keep an eye on to make sure they can safely open and close a bridge? Or what if feels like to operate an 85-metre-long inland waterway vessel?

    If you have, join us for the serious game ‘Bridge control in South Holland’. This province decided to have its bridges centrally controlled. This makes it possible to track a vessel’s course and synchronize the operation of the bridges, which is good for traffic flow and substantially reduces CO2 emissions. The bridge control stations, including the one in Alphen aan den Rijn, play a key role in all this. By playing the serious game, you can see for yourself what it is like to be a bridge operator or inland navigator.

  • ‘Transport will be a total different concept in the future’

    The Netherlands’ national energy commissioner Ruud Koornstra makes no bones about it: ‘Holland is an unbelievably smart country. Technology is widely available and business cases are too good to be true. Now we must mobilize and implement so we can start to make serious progress with zero emissions in the transport sector. That’s what this ‘Ports and the City; Smart and Healthy’ conference has to offer.’

    Indeed, Koornstra believes the Dutch should be more proud of the fact that Nijmegen is the European Green Capital: ‘It’s a question of using the opportunities, working together on new technologies, such as innovations for storing and processing hydrogen. The proof of the pudding is eating it: if experiments and pilot projects lead to the acceptance of innovations, then perhaps inland shipping will provide clean energy storage and factories in the future.’      

    Global challenges and Dutch solutions
    Ruud Koornstra was elected the first national energy commissioner by a variety of people: celebrities, scientists, politicians, professionals but most of all citizens. He knows how to mobilize and inspire stakeholders and decision-makers, and he is a great influencer. As one of the keynote speakers at the ‘Ports and the City: Smart and Healthy’ conference, he will convey the message that the Dutch invent great technology but are slow starters. 

    Finance and accountants
    According to Ruud the inland shipping sector has to start counting and  developing financial solutions because in the long term sustainable energy will turn out to be extremely profitable and provide a wealth of opportunities. ’If you can count, you make the switch to renewables’, said Peter Bakker, chairman WBCCSD Genève, in an interview recently. ‘In the end, it’s the economics of sustainability that will save the world. That is true for the inland shipping sector as well. Only a clean sector will be future-proof, and it would be a huge shame to wait.’     

  • Smart mobility solutions connect city and harbour in Antwerp

    The ‘Smart ways to Antwerp’ programme has proposed 18 new mobility projects that are to be rolled out in the near future with the city of Antwerp’s support. The projects are investing in smart mobility solutions for the Antwerp region. Some of the solutions include tools to simplify planning and ways to avoid congestion, including transport by water.

    Antwerp is facing the challenge of effectively managing urban growth in the city. Linking the city to the port is part of this challenge, and the main priority is to reduce people’s dependence on the car. The new mobility projects in the ‘Smart ways to Antwerp’ programme can help us to achieve this aim. 

    Project proposals
    ‘Smart ways to Antwerp’ issued a call for projects in the autumn of 2017 to help achieve smooth, efficient and reliable passenger and freight traffic. Thirty-seven proposals were submitted, eighteen of which were chosen by a professional jury.

    The projects focus on both passenger mobility and freight traffic. On the business side it involves tools to simplify planning and ways to avoid busy roads and rush hour traffic by expanding commercial establishments on the outskirts and transport by water, for example.

    More sustainable, more efficient
    Seven of the eighteen projects focus on logistics. One example is the Hakka Matching Algorithm, a platform for transport companies to exchange container rides. Transporters can use this online marketplace to optimize their planning by means of a matching algorithm to minimize the number of empty containers driving around.  

    Another project is the one set up by Transport Joosen. It organizes night-time transport from the Port of Antwerp to a ‘connecting hub’ in the Moeskroen region (near the French-Belgium border). This way containers can be delivered on time to their new clients in northern France, and it cuts down on the many daytime rides in the Antwerp region.

    These seven logistics projects should result in four hundred fewer large and small freight shipments a day. These projects can count on the city for financial and/or communication support and professional expertise.

  • Greener and cleaner, together

    "Inland waterway transport is an indispensable asset for the smooth flow of freight between mainports such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Zeeland and Antwerp and the European hinterland. Three out of nine corridors in the Trans European Network for Transport originate or end in the Netherlands. The European Green Capital of 2018, Nijmegen, is located on one of these, on the Rhine-Alpine corridor.

    "Entrepreneurs in inland shipping have asked me to integrate the various policy lines for climate, energy, transport and the environment. They want to get rid of the uncertainties that follow from a separation between the various policy lines. They would prefer to embark on a policy line of radical greening. Consequently, together we have identified a clear point on the horizon: inland waterway transport is to be zero-emission and climate neutral by 2050. We can’t do this by ourselves though. So, I also attach great importance to the role of the European Commission in forging pan-European solutions for pan-European problems.

    The Paris treaty asks for a clear pathway for emission reduction from 1990 to 2050. Before summer 2018, I expect that in the Netherlands we can agree on an intermediate target for CO2 emissions by 2030. I am aiming at a green deal, with many stakeholders in the logistics sector and the communities with connections to waterborne transport, to be concluded towards the end of calendar year 2018. The Ports and the City conference offers an excellent platform for dialogue with stakeholders, not only from the Netherlands, but also from countries that are our neighbours in the catchment areas of the rivers Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt.

    For now, I wish the city of Nijmegen and all those involved in the organization of the Ports and the City conference, the best of luck in creating a prominent milestone in the process of forging a green deal."

  • Chair Deirdre Casella enlarges the shared space

    When groups of people come together to address complex social, technical and environmental challenges, my role as facilitator is to foster and enlarge the shared space in which individuals’ ideas and expertise can be expressed, explored and connected for greatest potential impac

    Opening by chair Deirdre Casella

    With nearly 25 years of professional facilitation experience, I have spent the past 18 years in the international water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH) sector working with policy makers, practitioners and end-users to develop approaches and solutions that are inclusive and sustainable. In my work as trainer, facilitator and programme manager I collaborated with colleagues from UN agencies, regional and national development institutions, international philanthropic agencies, civil society organisations and local and national governments in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.

    I currently work as International Liaison Officer of an international social science research infrastructure hosted the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and am completing my doctoral research dissertation on the role of social learning processes in rural water services delivery at Delft University of Technology.

  • Three Inspiring Topics

    During the Ports and the City conference three main topics will be discussed trough plenary sessions and workshops.

    Topic 1. Healthy and sustainable urban design

    Lessons learned
    Duisburg, Ghent and Antwerp are good examples of cities fully engaged in inland ports transitions. How did they do that? And if they could develop the area again, what would they do differently?

    Inland ports of the future
    The Rotterdam urban design group “De Urbanisten” is transforming the inland ports of the cities of Deventer and Arnhem into harbour areas of the future. They will present their design study, focusing on climate-neutral area development, healthy urbanization, clean-tech ports, zero emission mobility, circular economy, and sustainable entrepreneurship.

    Zero emission ships
    Port-Liner is a startup company that will introduce the concept of ‘zero emission’ ships to the inland waterways transport sector. In the course of 2018, Port-Liner will bring into operation the first fully electric ships. It involves 110 metre container barges, for services between the main ports of Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Antwerp, and inland terminals. In the workshop we will address the various elements related to this concept, including the technology involved, the economics and the associated infrastructural requirements such as recharging points. The workshop will, inevitably, touch on the specific dynamics of the inland shipping sector at large and how that impacts the broader uptake of this concept.

    Topic 2. Renewable fuels and sustainable energy supply on the quay
    This afternoon we will discuss supplies at the quay combined with a vision on fuel, public transport and vehicles in the city. Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, will give a keynote speech on working together for a sustainable inland shipping sector for a future-proof logistics and distribution network. In the afternoon participants can choose from a variety of workshops that focus on clean and renewable fuels. For example, Jaco Reijerkerk and Klaas Visser from TU Delft will speak about near term technological options for inland shipping, such as hydrogen and fuel cells as a part of zero emission maritime transport. 

    3. The EU and international cooperation
    Friday we will focus on various issues, such as current and future developments in the EU in the fields of clean waterways, clean fuels and urban development. And how to finance a sustainable and clean inland shipping sector. In cooperation with Nijmegen European Green Capital 2018, EU-LIFE Program CLean INland SHipping (CLINSH) and the EU Urban Air Quality Partnership program.

  • Nijmegen: 2018 European Green Capital

    On Saturday 20 January, Nijmegen officially became the green capital of Europe. During a festive gathering in the Stevenskerk, the deputy mayor of Essen (Germany) transferred the title to his fellow mayor Bruls of Nijmegen. Nijmegen is the first Dutch city to hold the title for a year.

    State secretary Stientje van Veldhoven from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management attended the ceremony. ‘It is special and important that a medium-sized city such as Nijmegen is playing a leading role and serving as an example as a European Green Capital for all the other cities.’

    The state secretary signed the ‘Book of Nijmegen’, where prominent visitors of the city congratulate it with the title of EU Green Capital. 

    Old city, green vibe
    Nijmegen is the first Dutch city to be awarded the title of greenest city of Europe this year. In short, ‘old city, green vibe.’ The EU Green Capital award is a European initiative and falls under the DG Environment of EU commissioner Karmenu Vella. Vella praised Nijmegen and especially its inhabitants profusely: ‘The dedication and efforts of Nijmegen’s inhabitants in the areas of waste, energy transition, circular economy and sustainable mobility have been massive. It is quite unique for a city’s residents to put their city forward for the Green Capital Award and work so hard to make their city greener and more sustainable. The people are the green capital here.’     

    Busy programme
    Mayor Bruls announced an impressive and busy Green Capital programme for the coming year with many appealing events about topics such as a sustainable and circular procurement policy and sustainable inland ports and inland shipping. State secretary Van Veldhoven also emphasized that ‘the Green Capital is providing many opportunities, if only because of all the attention the city is receiving in Europe, so we really must take full advantage of that this year.’

  • Mayor Bruls of European Green Capital Nijmegen

    “A future-proof inland waterway sector is a sustainable and clean sector and ports can play a significant role in achieving this.” On 12 April 2018 Nijmegen mayor Bruls will open the international two-day congress `Ports and the City; Smart and Healthy’ in his own city, European Green Capital for 2018.

    "Climate targets are opportunity for clean and future-proof inland waterway sector"


    The congress aims to strengthen mutual cooperation between European inland port cities and between the ports and the inland waterway sector. “We should consider the entire chain of transport: Road transport is reaching the limits of further growth as roads are becoming more and more congested. The rivers, however, still offer room for transport. Inland ports can take the lead in facilitating clean fuel, not only for the ships, but for the chain as a whole. They can also play a role in port logistics and in transport from ports and distribution in the cities. All these factors come together in inland ports.”

    European Green Capital Nijmegen is situated along one of the most intensively used shipping routes: over 500 inland vessels are navigating the river Waal on a daily basis. The city distinguishes itself in sustainable mobility. In the past few years it has been stimulating the use of clean fuels such as biogas, as well as the use of electric transport, quayside electricity, and bicycles. Also, the ‘Spiegelwaal’, a spectacular side-channel to the river Waal, was built in order to make space for the river and the water. In this way, the city is able to keep its feet dry, and at the same time splendid new territory was created, where nature and recreation go hand in hand. An interesting feat is that the Spiegelwaal water is so clean, that the area offers plenty of opportunities for swimming and other recreational activities. Also a gorgeous nature reserve is in the making in this side-channel. The project attracts thousands of international visitors each year.

    Electric inland vessels

    “Of course Nijmegen has taken considerable steps towards further sustainability of our inland port. We made substantial investments in quayside electricity and we encourage port-related companies to invest in sustainable fuels. We are proud of companies such as Hyster (fork lifts) and BCTN that are pioneers in this respect. The next step should be to make real progress in working with clean fuels. Therefore, we are a partner in pilots with electric inland vessels using LNG. Engie recently opened an LNG fuelling station especially for the shipping sector. Currently there are several pilots, but things will not change automatically. Substantial investments are needed, which calls for a joint effort from the port cities.”

    The Congress `Ports and the City’ aims to support the transition to clean fuels, together with the cities, the transport sector, the private sector and with European contribution. Agreement between those parties will be sought, alongside the programme with workshops, side events and plenary session, The agreements will likely be documented, while concrete model projects will be launched. The Nijmegen mayor intends to actively work with the EU and the Environment Ministry’s Transport department. ”We still need to do a lot of preparatory work, but I’d like to see agreements turned into projects immediately. That’s exactly my aim for Nijmegen Green Capital.”

    For several years, Nijmegen has been a pilot city in the Environment Ministry’s `Smart & Healthy City’ programme, which focuses on health and air quality. Mayor Bruls: “There is a trend where people want to live closer to the river and the inland ports, which means air quality and health become increasingly important factors. We give priority to a healthy and safe living environment.”

    A transnational alliance between Nijmegen, Arnhem, Duisburg and Dusseldorf also focuses on the air quality issue. “By its very nature, air doesn’t stick to borders,” Bruls says. The CLINSH (Clean Inland Shipping) EU programme records the inland shipping emissions. Measuring means that there will be a better overview of the sources and of the opportunities to diminish these emissions. During the congress CLINSH will organise a meeting, and the countries involved will be present. ECN (Netherlands Energy Research Centre) will provide the sensors and will be responsible for the measurements.