What is the DPSS

The recent amendment of the 84/94 Port Reform Law  introduced a systemic reorganization of ports that has overcome the inefficient fragmentation of the past: from Port Authorities to Port Network Authorities.
Port Planning has also undergone radical innovation through a new generation of port planning tools: the most important is the Port Network Master Plan (PNMP).

The PNMP is developed on two levels::

  • Strategic level: the DPSS implements and details at network level the policy framework by providing guidance to specific Port Masterplans on strategies, actions and port network policies in the medium to long term
  • Operational level: the specific Port Masterplans are more streamlined than before, drawing on the knowledge framework and strategies of the DPSS, and geared to being operational, obviously in continuity with the higher network guidelines

At regulatory level, Legislative Decree 232/2017 with the amendment of Art. 5 of Law 84/94, requires the DPSS to:

  • define specific port authorities’ development targets and their network planning tools,
  • identify and delimit: the areas destined to strictly port and retro-port operations,  port-city interface areas, ‘last mile’ road and rail infrastructure connections with specific network ports, urban centre interfaces
  • describe, in the explanatory report, the: objectives, choices made, criteria followed in identifying the systemic planning contents, systemic spatial planning (graphics at appropriate scales)
  • ensure a clear and unequivocal identification of policies, rules and procedures for the drafting of Port Masterplans

The DPSS approval process is complex and shared among competent authorities: it shall be adopted by the Management Board after consulting all the municipalities concerned.
After that phase, the DPSS can be approved by the competent Regional Administration, (after consultation with the Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure, which expresses itself after hearing the National Conference’s opinion)


Introduction to DPSS “Brave New Port”

A new language
Among the main innovations introduced by the reform in terms of port planning we find new strategic language, which can be summed up with the objectives-strategies-actions chain. This was previously mostly the prerogative at national level, but now it is increasingly used for regional planning (Urban Planning Schemes, Metropolitan Strategic Plans, Inter-municipal Plans, etc.) and sectoral planning (Sustainable Mobility Urban Planning, River Basin Management Plans, Tourism Development Plans, etc.).

The 5 strategic macro-themes
The preparation of the strategic plan begins with the identification of macro themes to be addressed in the plan. This is done through comparing existing plans and planning tools with specific themes for developing the port network strategy

The Planning Office has identified the following macro-themes:

  • Worldwide Sustainable Ports – Economic, social, environmental and technological development framework;
  • Quay,Plug & Play – Operating port
  • Overcoming Network Impedance – Infrastructural and “Last mile” set up (service to end-user costumers).
  • City-port agreements – Interaction between port and city
  • Glocal Governance Re-focusing – Port planning: critical issues and future opportunities

These macro-themes delimit the scope of the plan, mark its development and guide its contents, providing a logical reading of the processes and trends underway and lastly facilitating the development of the plan indications and guidelines.
We have chosen English titles for the macro-themes after having studied and analyzed international port strategic planning.

Each of these is, however, associated with an Italian subtitle to make it easier to understand.

Taking a slogan as a guide: “Brave new Port”

The introduction of the strategic component at network level requires capacity: courage and innovation.

The reference to the title of Aldous Huxley’s most famous book, “Brave New World”, as a slogan for this Plan is deliberate: a clear reference to the need to innovate.

Fortunately, the North Tyrrhenian Port Network Authority’s DPSS is based on consolidated studies and outcomes of the recent Livorno and Piombino Port Masterplans, which, in many areas, anticipate the reform. The two Port Masterplans have been developed through specialized engineering and environmental studies on existing ports and their possible expansions. These studies investigate both infrastructure and last mile issues as well as the interaction between the port and the city and their relationship; the real novelties of the reform.

Gruppo di Lavoro