Blue Growth was revealed at the Study on the Future of the Atlantic cities as a central axis for its member cities. It was highlighted as a transversal issue for Atlantic Arc growth and prosperity. Whereas not all member cities are coastal cities, hinterland connectivity to sea is crucial in the new EU green growth context, as it plays a key role in terms of environment and energy transitions.
To this regard, some action lines were proposed at this study such as the reinforcement of the Atlantic corridor network visibility; the development of marine energy sector or the Atlantic Cities connection by creating a sea route following the footsteps of the Saint James Way.
For instance, the ACA presidency, Viana do Castelo is highly involved in the promotion of renewable energies in the sea by creating the world’s first semi-submersible floating wind farm and the first floating wind farm in continental Europe through the Wind Float project.
Moreover, it is worth to highlight that Atlantic Cities are part of the European maritime community and four of them were selected by the European Commission to hold the Annual Maritime Forum called as “the European Maritime Day”. The main aim is to forge a joint action in the maritime field at EU level. Selected Atlantic Cities by now were Gijon (2010), Lisbon (2019), Cork (2020) and Brest (2023).
This reveals the key role the Atlantic Maritime Strategy plays for Atlantic Cities aimed at implementing the ecosystem approach, reducing Europe’s footprint, encouraging a sustainable exploration of the natural resources on the sea floor, responding to the threats and emergencies and towards a socially inclusive growth by bringing together all Atlantic Arc key agents, at territorial and European level.
The Atlantic Cities were working on this Strategy since the beginning. Therefore, several position papers were published all along the last decade on the Atlantic Maritime Strategy. Notably, Atlantic ports cities plays a key role in the Atlantic Arc sustainable development as it is also linked to environment patterns. A reflection to which Atlantic Cities has contributed with the article Atlantic Port Cities: look back to the sea.
Atlantic Cities Association is also leading the campaign She4Sea to promote the role of women in maritime affairs and their right to have better access to this sector. Likewise its city members’ are working on it. For instance, Cork and Brest Métropole are working on the promotion of sustainable port city regeneration through Ensure project, La Rochelle and Cork are working on the recovery and enhancement of maritime biodiversity of the Atlantic Area Coast through the MMIAH project, and Las Palmas de Gran Canarias, Gijón, Cork and Lisbon are working on blue port services towards less polluted ones through the Blue Ports project.
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