The Open Port project is the virtual flourishing hub for the dissemination of maritime-port culture in Taranto port-city (southern Italy). It represents an original and innovative concept for the worldwide Port Exhibition Center panorama and its “behind-the-scenes into the making of” approach is conquering, little by little, a captivating allure within the international network of port-cities.
The project is the result of a choral activity merged into the re-building of shared values among public and private players and stakeholders who gave their contribution to jointly collect the qualified knowledge of the privileged witnesses of the past history, vivid present and future perspectives of Taranto port-city. More than 500 people have been involved, among port workers and professionals, institutions, citizens: this is the result of a strategy based on social sustainability and engagement. Photographers, musicians and other creative talents also shared their inspiration by creating a cheerful way to communicate the Open Port to the general public. “PUT PEOPLE FIRST” was the main communication message by the Port Authority highlighting the strong focus on the human factor.
Currently, Open Port is a phygital place where people can experience what port life is about. In this transition stage, which will lead to establishing a physical exhibition center in the Port of Taranto by 2025, the first one in southern Italy, Open Port promotes online available content via its official website, blog and social networks where users become actively engaged as Taranto port-city ambassadors. The Port Authority also promotes live experiences and initiatives (e.g. port-city instawalks, call for artists) designed to create a community bridge between the Port and the City of Taranto, thus enabling the re-thinking of the port-city’s portrait and cultural heritage overwhelmingly influenced by its industrial imprint over the last decades.