A value-based definition of success in adaptive port planning: a case study of the Port of Isafjordur in Iceland

Abstract

Multiple stakeholders with a wide range of objectives are engaged in a port system. Ports themselves are faced with many uncertainties in this volatile world. To meet stakeholder objectives and deal with uncertainties, adaptive port planning is increasingly being acknowledged. This method offers robust planning, and thereby, a sustainable and flexible port may be developed. The planning process starts with defining success in terms of the specific objectives of stakeholders during the projected lifetime of the port. In the present work, an integrated framework to reach a consensus on the definition of success, involving stakeholders with different influences, stakes and objectives, is presented. The framework synthesises the problem structuring method with stakeholder analysis and combines these with fuzzy logic to support decision-makers in formulating a definition of success in the planning process. Our framework is applied to the Port of Isafjordur, the third busiest port of call for cruise ships in Iceland. Values of stakeholders about port planning were structured around the value-focussed thinking method to identify stakeholder objectives. The highest level of agreement on the objectives, which is viewed here as success in port planning, was revealed by the fuzzy multi-attribute group decision-making method. Success was defined, prioritising an increase in competitiveness among other planning objectives, such as effective and efficient use of land, increasing safety and security, increasing hinterland connectivity, increasing financial performance, better environmental implications, flexibility creation and increasing positive economic and social impacts.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For instance (1) environmental value: balanced port (infra)structures to relieve pressure on the coastal area, positive environmental impacts, respect to the ecosystem, including bird and marine life, (2) social value: positive effect on the quality of life, job creation, safe and secure environment in the port area and quick response to emergencies, (3) Economic value: attraction of international and national port users, enough service and utility for different types of vessels, ability to operate in bad weather conditions and aesthetic port area to attract tourists. The values from these three categories are first examined as sub-objectives, and then the sub-objectives are clustered into different means objectives as discussed in this paper.

  2. 2.

    For instance, in the context of port planning and design, a fundamental objective could be to reduce port congestion. To achieve this objective, different means objectives include increasing cargo distribution to neighbouring ports, improving port connectivity to the hinterland with different types of modalities and upgrading port and terminal facilities.

  3. 3.

    An academic stakeholder group was added as it plays an important role in the port planning by generating new ideas and developing knowledge through their research (Slinger et al. 2017).

  4. 4.

    High in the summer season because of the high number of cruise calls and low in the winter season because of the frequently harsh weather.

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Acknowledgements

The time and expertise contributed by the people listed in Table 1 and other formal and informal groups who were involved in this project are acknowledged. The authors are grateful to anonymous referees for their careful review of this paper, corrections and fruitful remarks. This work was supported in part by the University of Iceland Research Fund (Rannsoknarsjodur Haskola Islands), the Municipality of Isafjardarbaer and the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration Research Fund (Rannsoknarsjodur Vegagerdarinnar).

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Appendix

Appendix

The colour-scaled level of agreement within the interviewees and the list of sub-objectives and means objectives of port planning are presented in Tables 3 and 4.

Table 3 Colour-scaled level of agreement within the interviewees of each stakeholder group
Table 4 List of sub-objectives and means objectives

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Eskafi, M., Fazeli, R., Dastgheib, A. et al. A value-based definition of success in adaptive port planning: a case study of the Port of Isafjordur in Iceland. Marit Econ Logist 22, 403–431 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41278-019-00134-6

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Keywords

  • Decision-making process
  • Adaptive port planning
  • Definition of success
  • Value-focussed thinking
  • Iceland