Busan North Port Redevelopment Project

The North Port of Busan was and is important for the economic growth of the city of Busan and the country itself. This port is explored using a boat from BPA, the Busan Port Authority. A captain, accompanied by an interpreter, presented the port and its development by the use of maps and the view from the vessel, making the excursion interesting for the micro study ‘Gateways’. After the presentation it was possible to move to the upper deck of the vessel and make pictures of the surroundings, such as the elegant Busan Port Bridge.

The port itself established already in 1867 and is the whole city is built around the port. However, a port in the centre of a city is logistically not the most efficient and therefore the Port of Busan is moved from the city centre to the New Port, further to the West, as will be visited in the afternoon. This new spatial allocation resulted in a problem in transhipments. The North Port focusses on vessels from and to China, Japan and South-East Asian countries, while the New Port focusses on shipment from and to European and American countries. When a container has to be transported from a South-East Asian country to for example a European country and is being transhipped in Busan, a truck or feeder vessel is used to move the container from one terminal to the other, decreasing efficiency. The change in location change is currently still visible. Nevertheless, the North Port of Busan still accounts for 30% of the total processed containers in Busan. Moreover, all combined ports in Busan together position themselves on the 10th spot in busiest ports around the globe considering processed containers and even the 2nd largest port considering transhipment.

In the end, the port will be redeveloped for other functions. The container terminals will be replaced by a marina, an opera house, a lighthouse and other nice spaces to enjoy for the local community. The municipality really wants to give the port environment back to the people and the port of Sydney has been of great inspiration for the design of the port redevelopment. This opera house is constructed on an artificial island, which was interesting for the micro study ‘Land Reclamation’ The redevelopment started in 2008 and currently, among others, the large passenger terminal is finished. This terminal facilitates boats to, for example, Jeju Island and the building is made in the shape of a whale. Furthermore, the 7th and 8th terminal are being reserved for the development of the Expo 2030 if it is being awarded to the city of Busan. Also, the other terminals that will be redeveloped in the future will have a cultural function, so it will be very interesting to see how the North Port of Busan will develop in the future.