Stephens Shipping
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Stephens Shipping
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Auditorium Aquarium of Genoa
Genova - June 20, 1997

Relationship by Gian Piero Bertoglio


Genoa is moving. This is an extraordinary event for our city, habitually absorbed in an atmosphere a little bit sceptic in which each one is persuaded of "have already given" and anybody grow exclusively those that he believes to be his own good business.

During the State Owned Companies period, that runs the city economy for long years, this town had refrained from expressing any own resources, laying down on situations that today has been proven as incompatible with her territory and extraneous to her culture.

Now Genoa is changing route, and she is looking for something of different that could finally can bring to a city more measured with her inhabitants and with her environment, with a coherent and sustainable economy, but not that's why less rich.

For instance in the Expo' Area, we are observing a bloom of business and a coming of visitors up to few years ago unthinkable for Genoa, such to have imposed the Aquarius like third italian tourist target.

It is a strong success, worth certainly of the good management of the whole Expo Area; but also is an evident sign of the consistence of the own potentiality exiting in Genoa and of the course of their relapse.

Large presence of own potentiality, that consists mainly both in her maritime tradition, which feed the city through the centuries and that have become part of the her own spirit, and consists in her rich environmental patrimony, that is a winning value also economical thinking, if correctly managed, for a city that is discovering nowdays a tourist vocation.

And on both them there is her sea, there are the meaning and the memories of its relationship with Genoa. So recover the own maritime traditions and replay them in modern key is today an extraordinary opportunity, coherent with the culture and the territory of the city; it is a rich resource of economic potentiality compatible with a town man-measured.

Genoa has stayed the maritime city for excellence. She on the sea has written a fascinating history, whose prestigious legacies are still clearly legible around us. In the roads and in the monuments, for the historical part, in the jobs and in the offices for the economical part.

A remarkable economic part, that sees the presence in the town of operators and professionalism of tall level in the maritime field, with solid traditions and competences in the ownership and in the management, in the yardships, in the maritime consulence, in the vessel and insurance brokerage and in so many other shipping activities. This rich activities, daughters of the past of Genoa, develop today in her own present in operational environments of tertiary advanced; they make this town the capital city of the Italian shipping and they shape a substantial part of the possible future of the town.

This productive circle, together to the proper port system, is one of the compatible resources of the city, it creates development and occupation and it contributes to accredit Genoa as Sea City.

The concept of Sea City could be an objective precise for the future; to prepare already today, when we must succeed to imagine us a new dimension for Genoa of the 2000, inserted in a political cultural and economic context of European measure.

If we want to try, for once, to fly tall, we could imagine Genoa European Sea City of the Mediterranean Sea on which she appears, in the middle road between the doors of Suez and of Gibraltar, as the southern city of the Continental Europe. Of that part of Europe, therefore, that soon will learn to look at the Mediterranean Sea with more attention and interest and will feel it more close to her.

In fact most of the hinge intermodals ways of the transports and most of the concepts key of the world of tomorrow, as dialogue north-south, security, cooperation, commerces, will sail above all on the waves of the Mediterranean Sea.

In this picture, for her position, but also for her potentiality and for her competences, Genoa can without uncertainties to propose herself to the role of European interlocutor and capital, as south door of Europe.

As condition to this development of her, the city should define an attitude believable and positive, active in pressing and stimulating the European Comunity, not complaying and craying, but with plans and innovative proposals, able to generate trust and investments.

The harbor is, from some time, in flood resumption. This is already a result, vital for city economy, reached partly also thank to Europe and to her novelty rules.

The dialogue between Genoa and her harbor, that manages large part of her shore, is one of the strategic knots of the future, with the necessity, apparently in contrast, to get the seaside for the city and the necessity to get operational spaces on the same line for the port.

From a correct equilibrium between these two pushes could rise the organic scenery able to put Genoa in a new dimension, with the line of coast enriched of new functions and opportunity.

Opportunity turned to the Genoese citizens, to let them reside in a city more and more pleasant and of their measure. But revolts also to the notable circulation of guests, equal to various million of people/year, that gravitate, for varieties motivate, on the downtown line of coast between the
Sea Fair and the Lantern. It has been deliberate state in beyond 12.0 [mln] of resident in next areas to the city, living in economic conditions superior to the italian average the tourist basin more immediate of Genoa.

To all these people we could force us in offering something more, something of really special that could characterize the city, able to turn definitely her future toward a tourist and recreational offer of large perspective.

So we want to imagine a nonstop connection between the Lantern to west and the Sea Fair to rising, with the same Lantern, the Chiappella, the Old Dock, the Expo and the Historical Center, the yachting landings and the Fair united from an organic, logic, prevalently recreational promenade, able to give birth to an along run - rich container of occasions and of attractions, that would put alla the downtown in an extraordinary dimension.

In good part looked out on the seaside, suitably equipped, far from the directives of the urban car traffic, we think to an itinerary including a bike bench, sites of comfort and points of panoramic, standstill endowed with a strong and suggestive image. We want to think to an enviroment compatible resource of large calling for the city of the 2000, coherent with her natural resources, linked with her sea, integrated in her substainable development.

Inserted in this journey and from it connected, some places key of strong call.

Some still to imagine. Like a large pole for yachting, equipped for the maintenance and the reparation, with attached a permanent floating show, dedicated both to the new and to the used.

Situated to rising, coordinating the landings already existing, could integrate itself reciprocally with Nautical International Show, giving birth to a yachting context of tall level, also economic and occupational talking, strategic for a Sea Town.

Other places are in phase of realization, like the Old Dock or the Chiappella, where we will not miss the services and the motives of call, both for touris and for Genoeses, if the works in course will know how to also look at to the city behind. For instance, we could think to a characteristic sea food and fish market managed direcly by the fishermen that moor in the Dock.

Other places are actually already present, like the Expo, the basic center of this sketch, where the leaving of the commercial activities in the Ancient Harbour and his restitution to the city has originated good occasions for Genoa, above all returning to his downtown a jewel waterfront to the sea.

The first recreational activity connected to the sea, like the mine cruises in harbor and on the coastsides wings, they have already begun to give good person results. And is possible to implement such activities.

From immediately, realizing nautical connections between the diverged births of the Ancient Harbor and of the city covered by the dike, between the Fair and Pegli, in a kind of urban cabotage.

More long terms, departing from another of the environmental available dowries in Genoa. The unusual presence of cetacean in the Ligurian Sea, inclusive a particular kind of native whale, suggests Genoa like point of departure for all the connected activity, on the example of analogous experiences well results elsewhere: from the cruises of sighting, to the biological and ethological search, in connection with the equipments and the facilities available in the Aquarius.

Departing from the Tent of the Sea already existing in Expò area, we can besides think to a permanent Exposure of the Sea, oriented to the numerous presences recall from the Aquarius.

A big organized dedicated container to the history, to the culture and to the economy of the sea, that could be characterized from different events, like driven visits on the specialized ships that, for subsequenting periods, they would moor to a dedicated bench: oceanographic vessels, military, rescue, operational, tugs, etc.

But the more remarkable function that the Expo could generate is turned to the Middle Eve Center of Genoa, to which it has always been stayed tied up from strong cultural social and economical bonds, today come less.

Therefore one of the priorities consists of the reconstruct of an integration between the two zones for gather it in an only circle, where to find both a special urban shore, rich of occasions and of attractions, and a lived and livable urban nucleus, both of tall historical, artistic and monumental level.

It would be an important premise for the Historical Center; an extraordinary place, that get all the possibilities for to presents itself to the large movement of visitors that gravitates so closely to it and carry it to its inside, gathering all the benefits that achieve from a strong tourist influx economy.

The realization and, particularly, the management of the Expo has certainly achieved positive results. It has created a tourist pole of exception, it has realized collisions for different billion, it has given birth to occupation for hundred of people; besides, it is trying to retrieve spaces and social destined services to the Old Town, contributing to his rebirth.

However it seem stay still from develop a part of the historical monumental qualities of the front sea of the Ancient Center and all the memories of an area which could be allowed in telling herself in more adequate to her values and memories meaning way.

Also in this sense, present Genoa like the City of the Sea is what of more coherent and near to his spirit, above all in operation of what it could be the image of the city.

Perhaps what still is absent from this Genoa in movement it is a her own image, a symbol of strong visibility to which behavior reference and with to present around in a convinced and convincing way.

Unfortunately, if we want to try to overcome the diffused stereotyped image of Genoa grey city, grey of slate but also in the humor of the inhabitants, oppressed from the "maccaia" and victims of the "maniman" still today doesn't stay alternative. And this is our ticket for more known visit.

Instead Genoa is not like and is more than that; Genoa is from ever cosmopolitan, she is solar and

bright between the green of her hills, full of colors in the splendid painted palaces of her Old Town, vivacious and many colored in her harbor, with the ships always moving going and coming from the sea, crib of the city and her reason of life. Genoa is a city to visit, to seen even from beware of the sea, like a Genoese musician suggests.

We could depart from these new icons for build a new image, more pleasant and attractive of a city certainly fascinating, but also nice and pleasant, that doesn't anymore look for, jealous of her, but is showing herself with a smile.

Probably it will be a difficult challenge for the Genoeses people. In their old history they have known how to show a lot of extraordinary virtues, but they now must learn to grumble less and to smile more. This will be an awful sacrifice, but they will try certainly to do it, visa that to them is worthwhile: and this, as everybody know, is a matter much felt in city.

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