Report on the Port development planning tools, the works of public interest and the signed agreements


Information on the existing Port Management Plan

With the issuing of law 84/94, responsibility for port development planning is given to the Port Authorities.Article 5 provides that each Public Administration prepares the port areas Management Plan (PRP), subject to prior Agreement with the Municipalities involved. The same law, under article 27, paragraph 3, states that, until completion of the authorization process of the new PRP, the existing provisions for the port plans as of the issuing date remain effective.
As of 31 December 2012, as concerns the jurisdiction of the Venice Port Authority, the following Plans are effective:

  • the Management Plan of the port and the industrial and commercial area of Venice-Marghera, on the basis of the project of the Venice Civil Engineering Department for Maritime Works for the I and II Zone and the development plan of the Port and Industrial Zone Mandatory Consortium for the III Zone, both approved by the Ministry of Public Works under decree no. 319 of 15 May 1965.
  • the Management Plan concerning the III Zone, under applicable legislation, only covers the San Leonardo terminal, only partly completed in compliance with the Plan, and Depositing Site A whose use for port purposes is permitted by art. 12 of law 798/84.
  • for the port areas of the Venice City Centre the Plan approved by the Higher Council of Public Works by vote of 15 May 1908 no. 603, under law 14 July 1907 no. 542, is still in force.


Evaluations of the activity of the Port Management Plan and updating requirements

The planning status of the Port of Venice areas

The Venice Port Authority has long started the renewal of applicable planning instruments, both through Management Plans for specific sections, and through the Agreements with the competent Municipalities, as provided for by art. 5 of law 84/94 and by regional law no.11 of 2004.
The planning deeds which, under art. 10 – paragraph 4, letter f) – of law 84/94, are prepared by the Secretary General, shall provide for the edge line and the drawing of the port area and the comprehensive port arrangement, including, as stated by paragraph 1 of art 5 of Law 84/1994, the areas of industrial production, shipyard activity and road and railway infrastructures.
It should be noted that law 84/94 does not provide for a Safeguard regime, unlike as usually provided for by urban development law: until the complete definition of the approval procedure the existing Port Management Plan remains effective (art. 27).

The agreements with the municipality of Venice – the Regional Planning Programme of the municipality of Venice

Pending the review of the Port Management Plan for the City Centre port areas of the Municipality of Venice, some specific protocols have been signed, i.e. such “Agreements” as established by urban development law between Local Agencies and State decentralized bodies, and then between the Municipality of Venice and the Port Authority, in order to implement the provisions of the existing municipal urban development tools.
An early prior Agreement, signed on 17/3/98, outlined a general reference framework for the Venice port areas, integrating the Technical Implementation Rules (NTA) of the City Centre zoning variance. That Agreement was followed by the definition of a Guideline for the “Evaluation of the transport- and urban development- related aspects of a new access network to the Venice City centre for the reorganization of the Tronchetto, Cruise Terminal and Piazzale Roma zones”, and the Agreement on the San Basilio Detailed Plan.
The Guideline on the access network was useful to verify if a functional reorganization of the peripheral areas outside the city centre, such as Tronchetto, Piazzale Roma and the Cruise Terminal was feasible. Thanks to this agreement the Tronchetto – Cruise Terminal - Piazzale Roma (People Mover) quick link was created and it improved accessibility of the entire Cruise Terminal area (for passengers, staff and general users). The final layout of the cable car was approved by the Local Agencies Meeting of the summer of 2003. The cable car works were completed at the end of 2009, and the cable car started operation in April 2010.
As for the road network, a reconfiguration of the roundabout of the Cruise Terminal was planned in order to improve accessibility of both the cruise terminal and the multi-storey garage under construction, and Tronchetto and the fish market, and to secure a heavily mixed road and critical network in terms of car and pedestrian safety. As of 31 December 2012 all the roundabout works were completed.
In order to develop the Motorways of the Sea activities, on 5 June 2003 a Plan Agreement was signed with the Municipality of Venice for the use and expropriation of the former Alumix area in Fusina.
In March 2008 a Local Agencies Meeting was held for the approval of the VPRG concerning the former Alumix area of Fusina, which converted the intended purpose of the PRG into “Port zone”; the Zoning variance was preparatory of the expropriation procedure for the assignment of the area under Maritime State Property, through statement of public interest, to use it to build facilities for the development of a new ferryboat and logistic terminal.
The final design changed the initially approved perimeter, with a southbound expansion of the port area of approximately 24,000 sqm. The project will be implemented through Project Financing with concessionary Venice Ro-Port MoS. The expected time to complete works, including the building of four ro-ro docks, in addition to logistic spaces, is of approximately four years. Currently the final design, after receiving the authorizations by the Venice Water Agency, the Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of Veneto and the Superintendence for the Landscape and Architectural Heritage of Veneto, has also receive a favourable opinion from the regional Environmental Impact Assessment commission (no. 375 of 24/10/2012).
During these years, the Municipality of Venice has also prepared implementation plans which directly involve port areas, in close relationship with the Venice Port Authority:

  • as for the City Centre, the Detailed Plan (P.P. 6.2) for the San Basilio area areas was approved by C.C. resolution no. 98 of 28/7/2000. The transformations in this area had their very beginning with the restructuring of port building no. 7, which houses the seat of the new CLAST master's degree – Theatre sciences and techniques, and, during 2008, with the restructuring of the former neighbouring port stores the use of which is granted to IUAV and Ca’ Foscari. In San Basilio APV will build an exhibition and cultural centre, restructuring the last of the buildings of the “marine stores”;
  • near the end of 2004 the procedure for the definition of the Detailed Plan of the Cruise Terminal area was launched; it will include works in the area defined as “former locomotive warehouse” behind the Cruise Terminal and the admission system to the passenger port, and will result in the implementation of the preliminary design of a parking lot serving the port areas of the Cruise Terminal, and, partly, of the City Centre residents. In October 2004 the Local Agencies Meeting was launched to define and approve the Detailed Plan of the area. In addition to the layout of the People Mover, the area will house the above-mentioned parking lot and other functional activities to the cruise traffic, but which may also be used by the City Centre residents. The documents were examined during the course of various meetings by the Municipal Administration, the Superintendence of Cultural and Architectural Heritage, and the Port Committee. In addition to the building of the parking lot for residents and cruise passengers, the plan provides for spaces designed for institutional bodies (Italian Finance Police and others), office spaces and other intended uses. The Zoning variance was published on 4.11.2008 under the Official Bulletin of the Region no. 91, while the Final Design was prepared and delivered.

In 2009 the Municipality of Venice completed the procedures for the preparation of the Regional Planning Programme provided for by regional law 11/2004, after the adoption of the Preliminary Document by the Council (resolution no.533 of 5/10/07). The Preliminary Document o the Regional Planning Programme was adopted by the Council on 11 December 2008 and submitted on 30 January 2009; the Port Authority sent the Municipality of Venice its remarks on the document, also in the light of the meeting held with the members of the Port Committee on 12 February 2009.
On 23 December 2010 the Municipality of Venice issued a new version of the Regional Planning Programme documents, which on 30/31 January 2012 were submitted to the Municipal Council. On the basis of the amendments approved during the Council session, the Plan document will be published for 30 days on an ad-hoc website and in the following 30 days remarks may be submitted, also on-line, by whoever would like to.
The Venice Port Authority, on the basis of its jurisdiction on urban development matters as defined by law 84/94, submitted 43 remarks requesting, according to articles 15 and 24 of Regional Law 11/2004, the necessary agreement on state property-port locations and in general on the entire territory that is part of the Port.
At present, the Municipal Council has only accepted part of the remarks. After the resolution of the Municipal Council, according to the provisions laid down under Regional Law 11/2004, the Municipality shall call the Local Agencies Meeting with the Province of Venice for the approval of the Regional Planning Programme and reach specific agreements with the authorities involved.
Currently, there are no sure elements as to how the authorization process of the Regional Planning Programme will end.
The Municipality of Venice also developed the Urban Mobility Plan on which the Authority expressed its remarks, also on the basis of a meeting with the members of the Port Committee, for the issues and solutions which concern the port areas, in particular those located in the Venice City Centre, with the possibility of having the street-car line entering San Basilio. For this purpose at the end of 2012, the Municipality asked the Venice Port Authority to sign a specific Plan Agreement, which was then signed by the Municipality of Venice, the Province of Venice and the Venice Port Authority on 31 January 2014.

The agreements with the municipality of Mira – the Regional Planning Programme of the municipality of Mira

The important port section of San Leonardo is part of the territory of the Municipality of Mira, where today almost the entire oil traffic is directed today.
Recently, the partial restructuring of one of the unused wharfs was defined, to be used for the lightening of bulk carriers. The project was shared with the Municipality of Mira, and approved with prescriptions by the Venice Safeguard Commission.
The Municipality of Mira also started the procedures for the preparation of the Regional Planning Programme established by regional law 11/2004.
In April 2009 the Municipal Council adopted the Preliminary Document of the Regional Planning Programme, the Environmental Report. The Council also resolved to authorize the Mayor to sign, together with the legal representatives of the Veneto Region and of the Province of Venice, the planning agreement and to start the Strategic Environmental Assessment process under Directive 42/2001/EC and art.4 of Regional Law 11/2004 as well as the consultative and participatory procedures under articles 5 and 15 of Regional Law 11/2004.
On 13/10/2010 the Council acknowledged the conclusion of the consultation phase and approved the final version of the Plan.

The agreements with the municipality of Cavallino Treporti – the Regional Planning Programme of the municipality of Cavallino Treporti

For the Municipality of Cavallino Treporti the approval procedure of the PALAV-adjusted VPRG ended at the beginning of 2010, during the course of the Local Agencies Meeting.
In the meantime the Municipality started the procedure for the preparation of the Regional Planning Programme established by Regional Law 11/2004, which ended with the adoption of the Plan at the Municipal Council meeting of October 2009. Following the adoption, APV made some remarks on port areas. The next step will be the drawing up of the Agreements with the decentralized authorities, including APV, during a Local Agencies Meeting.

The planning of other Territorial Authorities

In addition to the Agreements provided for by law, the Port Authority necessarily needs to proceed with Agreements with the other territorial Authorities (Region and Province), in order to tackle - at the proper scale and with the appropriate synergies - the port development dynamics. The focus is on the planning documents of these authorities, which for institutional and legislative reasons (new regional urban development law 11/2004) were prepared during that period.
The Regional Development Programme (PRS) of 2005 of the Veneto Region identifies the Port of Venice as the reference hub for goods movement. Two main problems were also identified: the depth of the entrance canals to the port and the road network.

The programme objectives include:

  • the “growth of the port system and logistics with development of the commercial and passengers port”;
  • the opening of the “hinterland of the Port of Venice towards Centre Europe regions”;
  • “a different role played by the port of Venice: from infrastructural hub for the industrial processing of raw materials (……) to a gateway to the foreign markets which manufacture added-value products”.

The PRS identifies three main issues related to the development of the port of Venice:

  • the environmental protection of the lagoon;
  • the depth of the entrance canals to the port area;
  • the critical situation in the Mestre area of the land infrastructures (road and railway network).

The Veneto Region argues that if these critical situations are solved the Port of Venice will be able to develop.
Moreover, the production districts (the Venice Port Authority  is one of the founders of the Pact for the District and the Consortium for the Port, Intermodality and Logistics of Venice - Treviso) and the support of innovation are considered as the reference elements for regional policies.
When describing the local infrastructural structure, the preliminary document of Territorial Regional Plan of Coordination 2004 identifies as a priority the modal shift of freight shares from road to railway.
In line with the PRS, the ports of Chioggia and Venice are recognized as “providers of multi-modal logistic services”, on which the regional logistic system should be developed (Venice – Padua – Verona), with the use of new technologies applied to transports.
In this logistic system, the Port of Venice is recognized as a specific hub because of its location on the seaside, with the development opportunity of the “Motorways of the Sea”. The centrality of Venice (and Marghera) with respect to the Corridor V axis is also identified to refer the development of the different transport methods and as an opportunity to further business relationships to the Eastern-European area.
The regional document provides that where a port or another infrastructural hub exists, its management plan is developed in close connection with the Municipal Management Plans of the surrounding areas and in general the intended purposes of the related industries, so that the port development plans, referring to the physical-territorial dimension of the ports, their economic influence area (a heated topic of the urban development debate of late, especially focused on the ports/cities relationships) consider this.
In addition to the above-mentioned points, the PTRC identifies as essential objectives to be solved for the Venice area: the re-use of industrial areas, an organization by homogeneous districts, the strengthening of the railway, the adjustment of the road network system.
The "Preliminary Document of the Territorial Regional Plan of Coordination" was then adopted by Regional Council Resolution no. 2587 of 7 August 2007. Under note of December 2008 the Venice Port Authority stressed the need to include two elements in the plan:

  •   the port should have, considering the opportunities of business expansion, a reference super-municipal level
  • request for a Strategic Project for the port, under art. 26 of Regional Law 11/04.

The Region has adopted the PTRC in the early months of 2009, mostly considering the remarks submitted by APV. The PTRC however did not end its process in the Regional Council with final approval.
The draft Regional Plan of Transports 20041, when recognizing the special territorial/urban development structure of Veneto, with a high number of companies which are not concentrated within defined territorial fields, states the particularity of Porto Marghera, the only recognizable production hub at a territorial level.
When referring to the regional guidelines, already mentioned and present in the PRS and PTRC, it especially stresses the need to further develop the relationships between ports and manufacturing hinterland, and the importance of the Porto Marghera areas, that the latest developments of the Italian industry open up to “an opportunity of reconversion into maritime logistic platform at the service of Southern-Eastern Europe”, also by virtue of the geographical location that positions them at the crossing between the Adriatic Corridor (and so the Motorways of the East Mediterranean Sea) and Corridor V.
The main choices of the Plan concern the need to give a new organizational and functional structure to the regional territory against the forecasts of a significant increase in medium-term mobility (2010), specifically road mobility.
As concerns the regional infrastructural framework, the Plan expressly mentions the disproportionate level of traffic on the road and motorway network with respect to the physical capacity of existing infrastructures, with a clear impact on the entire transport system, in terms of environment and safety.
In order to avoid this risk for the Venice area and with special reference to the port areas, the following activities are planned:

  • the new Padua – Venice intermodal axis, for which the Veneto Region has recently started an ad-hoc project financing procedure for the building of new infrastructures southward of the commercial port (and the developments of the Motorways of the Sea);
  • the adjustment works of the motorway network system in the Venice area;
  • the adjustment of Provincial Road SP 81 from Marghera sud to the new Borbiago junction, as established by the financial programme of Società Autostradale VeneziaPadova (together with the planting of vegetation of the Mestre bypass), in agreement with the Port Authority, the Province and the municipalities involved.

With respect to the railway network, when recognizing the modernization process under way in the port area (APV and RFI works for the building of the new goods railway park in Porto Marghera) which from 2007will offer greater streamline in goods mobility, in particular the modal shift of shares of goods traffic from the road to the railway, as hoped for and provided for in the planning documents of the Region, the Plan will pursue:

  • the strengthening of inter-modality between road, plane and ship;
  • the development of interventions along the multi-modal axis/corridor 5.

Following the enforcement of the new regional urban development law (regional law 11/2004, in force from 1 March 2005), the province of Venice prepared the Territorial Plan of Provincial Coordination (PTCP), approved by the Veneto Region under Regional Council Resolution no. 3359 of 30.12.2010 and by the Province under Provincial Council Resolution no. 8 of 01.02.2011.

The P.T.C.P. is the development and territorial planning tool through which the Province performs and coordinates its territorial governance action, outlining the objectives and main structural elements. Here is the case to remember some of the objectives which affect the port and the port areas:

  • the solution of infrastructural hubs of the Venice central area; these include the solution of the infrastructural questions to enter Porto Marghera (both road network, and excavation of the port canals), in order to “give a new opportunity to port traffics and mitigate their impact on the city”;
  • the promotion of the economic system, valuing the link between the territory and production;
  • the development of logistics in Marghera.

The PTCP was adopted by the Provincial Council on 5 December 2008. Published on 19 December; the Port Authority, after hearing the members of the Port Committee, has expressed some remarks on the Plan, namely on the following points:

  • need to identify the entire town of Porto Marghera as “port and logistic area”;
  • definition of an adequate railway line for the expansion areas in the chemistry zone of Porto Marghera;
  • possible use of the so-called “crossroads line” for the North - East railway link.

The PTCP was approved with the objections raised by the Provincial Council near the end of its term of office; the new council sent the Plan to the Veneto Region, which approved it at the end of 2010.
In PTCP the perimeter of the Port Area was included.

Plan Agreement concerning the so-called “Vallone Moranzani Project”

The Technical Department supervised the development of the Plan Agreement concerning the so-called “Vallone Moranzani Project”, in partnership with the staff of the Commissioner delegate for the Social-Economic-Environmental Emergency related to the sea-worthy port canals of the Venice Lagoon.
The Moranzani Agreement was finally signed at the beginning of 2008 between the Port Authority and the Local and domestic Agencies to solve the problem of mud exceeding C. The construction of treatment and disposal plants for sediments is planned, for a total 3.2 million cubic metres, 1.65 million of which for Venice Port Authority; the adjustment of the Malcontententa / Marghera road network; the repair of the drainage systems of Marghera, the burial of power lines, the shift of San Marco Petroli, the creation of city parks. The direct financing of the Port Authority is around 50 M€ for the works provided for by the Agreement (Molo Sali tank, acquisition and building of infrastructures at the Syndial AS area, treatment plants) to which 50 M€ should be added as financing for dredging and surface bleeding.
Activities and meetings aimed at programming and planning the works established by the agreement lasted throughout 2008 and 2009. During said meetings the Port Authority played an important role, especially for excavation, wharf construction and road construction projects.
In 2011 the signatories of the first agreement signed the “Supplementary Agreement” which included the functional adaptation of Via dell’elettronica; the road connection between Via dell’elettricità with Regional Road SR 11; Ro-Ro terminal and Fusina logistic platform. The three projects are under the responsibility of the Port Authority, which also undertakes to complete the road construction in the 1° parcel – 1° first operational phase of the roundabout between Via dell’elettronica and Via Malcontenta and the connected flyover, already provided for by agreement of 2008 and initially under the responsibility of the Province of Venice.
Since 2011 the Venice Port Authority is also working on a new "offshore port" project.
With the commissioning of MOSE, in case of shutters closing, the maritime traffic going to the Port of Venice will be restrained. That is why the Venice Port Authority proposed, as supplementary work to the building of the gate-structure dam on the port entrances, to build an offshore platform with capability to accommodate oil tankers (as established by the special law for Venice of 1983) and ocean container vessels, which will also act as place of refuge-port in case of temporary port closing. The minimum investment for the commissioning of the system is estimated as two billion euro.
The building of the offshore terminal has already been recognized as a priority work by the state authorities, according to the following authorization process:

  • On 5 May 2011 the Interministerial Economic Planning Committee (CIPE) resolved to start the design of the offshore Terminal also in order to remove the oil tankers from the Venice lagoon.
  • On 19 June 2011 the State/Veneto Region Agreement on the works established by Law 443/2001 was signed; it recognizes the Offshore Terminal and its link to Marghera as a National Strategic Infrastructure.
  • On 21 July 2011 the resolution of the so-called “Comitatone” under law 794/84 of 21/07/2011 identified the Malamocco navigation lock and the Offshore Terminal as combined structures of permanent entrance to the Port of Venice.
  • On 27 October and 24 November 2011 the Technical Committee of the Venice Water Agency approved the preliminary design of the outer breakwaters dam and the offshore oil terminal.
  • On 29 March 2012 the Technical Committee of the Venice Water Agency approved the preliminary design of the multi-modal offshore terminal off the Venice shore including the outer breakwaters dam, the oil terminal and the container terminal.

Currently the preliminary design of the offshore Platform has received favourable opinion by the Ministry of the Environment on the Environmental Impact Assessment (02/08/2013). The call of the Local Agencies Meeting by the Ministry of Infrastructures for the project approval procedure is still pending.
Following the Interministerial Guideline of 2 March 2012, the so-called “Clini-Passera”, forbidding the transit of ships weighing more than 40,000 tonnes through the Saint Mark's basin and the Giudecca canal, the Venice Port Authority on 17/09/2014 submitted the “Adjustment of the entrance canal to the Cruise Terminal of Venice and requalification of the neighbouring areas of the Contorta Sant'Angelo Canal” project to Environmental Impact Assessment procedure.