Civitanova Marche, the new life

A new marina to fight against decay and relaunch tourism, occupation, and the rebirth of a city. The boating of the future is even in the infrastructures

by Niccolò Volpati

THE BOATING INDUSTRY IS SAILING FULL SPEED AHEAD. Orders for new boats will keep shipyards busy for at least the next two years, used boats are being sold on the docks before a week has gone by, and charter is a sector in full growth. Because of all this, it is logical that the last piece of the puzzle is now being added on, i.e. tourist ports. Among the existing ones, the value of berths is on the rise. And since the demand for boats is increasing, it is only natural that the need for moorings increases as well. Is there going to be an actual boom? It is probably too soon to tell, but one can hope that it will be sustainable growth and that certain mistakes of the past can be avoided.

700 berths, 900 moorings, services and hotel area, all this and much more is included in the new projectfor Civitanova Marche’s tourist port.

One of the new projects that seems quite rational to us is the one for the new harbour in Civitanova Marche. Why do we say that this seems to be a rational development? The project, which was created by engineer Paolo Viola, has a ‘geographic’ reason. Civitanova is located in the middle of the Adriatic coast, equally distant from the Venetian Lagoon and Salento. In fact, tourist ports are not plentiful in that area; furthermore, a motorway connecting the region of Lazio precisely with Civitanova was recently inaugurated, which means that there may be some pleasure boaters interested in leaving the Tyrrhenian to land on the Adriatic.

But the new marina in Civitanova is not intended exclusively for pleasure boating. One of its areas is dedicated to fishing boats and even to the city’s municipal fish market. Moreover, pleasure boating is not synonymous only with tourism, but it also means refitting and maintenance. This is why plans for the harbour also include a large area with a travel lift for hauling and launching vessels of up to seventy metres in length. In short, the new harbour represents a work opportunity both for tourism and for shipyards. A growing trend among many shipyards is that of completing the assembly of a new boat in the harbour where it will be launched. It is more practical and makes it easier to transport the boat on land. This is why the harbour needs sufficiently large and specialised shipyard areas to be able to guarantee this type of service, but, fortunately, qualified workers are not hard to come by in Civitanova.

However, it’s not only about tourism, because the structure also features a large shipyard area with a travel lift for 70-metre boats and a dry marina.

Then there is a classic saying which refers to the relationship with the city. How did you handle that? «The project was highly focused on this aspect because the new facilities seek to favour the pedestrian connection between the city’s northern and southern coast, and the area behind the docks will be a sort of square in the sea», as Paolo Viola explains. The goal was in fact to connect the Town Hall square to the harbour, in a natural extension. In addition, there will be services like the commercial area, the hotel area, and a public park with a playground. The new marina, therefore, is not only intended to recover an area that could be defined as decaying today but seeks to do so with clear benefits for the entire city, not only for those who will use the docks of the marina.

The area overlooking the docks has been designed like an actual green village, with commercial spaces and public green areas.

All this was designed thanks to the will of an entrepreneur who promoted the design operations. Engineer Viola’s team collaborates with a large number of professionals, from geologists to urbanists, experts in economy and finance, and hydrological, seismic, and environmental specialists. Every aspect was taken into consideration, but the problem, as is often the case, lies in the production times. «We chose the procedure under Presidential Decree no. 509 from 1997 which usually guarantees rather short times. I, therefore, trust that in seven years at most, with permits to be obtained and the construction itself, the harbour will see the light», engineer Viola asserts. The administrative order no. 509 forces the mayor to publish the project and collect any observations within three months, after which he is obliged to convene the service conference. It is the service conference that needs to go more into detail and issue the necessary permits. This decree may be the most transparent procedure you could imagine, and it is also the one that safeguards the parties involved from obstacles triggered by personal interests.

It is almost inevitable that someone will remain unsatisfied when you plan the construction of a new harbour. For instance, there may be state concessions that obstacle the construction, as has often been the case in the past.Sometimes the obstacles were so many that the marina was never built. The great thing about the administrative order no. 509, however, is that it attributes a collective responsibility to those who authorise the operations because it sets specific timeframes. It is not only up to the mayor to give or deny his authorisation. Here we have all the premises for public interest to prevail because the project does not favour only pleasure boaters, but also those who work in shipyards, as well as fishermen, salespeople in the city’s fish market, and citizens as a whole who will be able to enjoy an area saved from decay and transformed into a space that could constitute the natural link between the city and the sea.

(Civitanova Marche, the new life – –  November 2021)