In March 2015, the Tuscan Region approved the New Regulatory Plan of the port of Livorno, a strategic plan that combines the reorganization of the existing functions of the port with the implementation of new valuable works. These projects were the main theme of the first Tuscan Regional Public Debate, called the “Port Debate”, concerning the development and the upgrading of the port of Livorno.The Public Debate is mandatory in Tuscany, since 2013, and it is required for public works of a certain cost, involving the environment and the landscape, as well as social, cultural and economic wellbeing. The two subjects on the agenda for the Public Debate held in Livorno were:
- the feasibility study for the first construction of the European Platform, an expansion at sea of the port of Livorno to be built in stages, which when complete, will virtually double the size of the operative area;
- the Master Plan for the area of the Maritime Station, a fundamental focus for cruise and ferry traffic that is closely linked to Livorno’s historical centre.
The Livorno Public Debate took place between April and June 2016 and was co-funded by the Tuscan Regional Government through the Regional Authority for the Guarantee and Promotion of Participation and the Port Network Authority of the North Tyrrhenian Sea. It has been organized and coordinated by a manager chosen by the Regional Authority through a public recruitment procedure, who chaired the Steering Committee composed by Tuscan Region, Provincial Government, Municipality, Port Network Authority of North Tyrrhenian Sea and Regional Authority for the Guarantee and Promotion of Participation.
The public phase was focused on the setting up of meetings, round tables, working groups run at the Livorno Port Center and information points in Tuscany. A widespread dissemination of the information material and a communication strategy was also launched through daily newspapers, radio, television, and a dedicated website (www.dibattitoinporto.it) and Facebook page. Guided tours of the port area were engaged in tandem with the round tables, enabling the public to achieve an increased awareness of the areas and functions of the port. Two stakeholder workshops (local and regional level) were also arranged. The Debate process ended with the closing meeting presenting the final report and setting an annual monitoring meeting. The first follow-up monitoring meeting took place on October 2017.