This paper was written by Marco Gatto, 2 November 2014.
The aim of this article is to contribute to a better understanding of the different types of socio-economic effects produced by reclamation projects, and hence to a more appropriate assessment of the overall value of reclamation based investments.
Port cities have long been struggling to accommodate urban growth, given the difficulties of finding space within geographically constrained and densely populated coastal areas. However, thanks to the innovative dredging techniques introduced over the last few decades, land can nowadays be reclaimed at relatively advantageous economic conditions. Having to cope with pressing urbanization trends, port cities have a lot to gain from more competitive costs of reclamation. Waterfront reclaimed areas can in fact be used to accommodate the demand for new housing, employment, transport and other urban facilities, enabling cities to allay congestion, to enhance urban services, and so to remain attractive locations for both people and businesses.