The topic of 'Sustainability' addresses the challenge to avoid or reduce the negative externalities of activities through sustainability-focused re-design.
Important directions for research include sustainable supply chains, environment-friendly freight and passenger transport, sustainable port design and supportive government regulations. Negative externalities can be measured in terms of emissions and other direct impacts, but also in terms of living conditions and health.
The topic also addresses the challenge of designing effective governance models for green and accessible ports and the challenge of designing new concepts for the interweaving of port activities and urban environments.
In response to some concerns raised by OECD, an example research challenge would be to specify how new business models improve the trade-offs between economic development and negative environmental and societal impacts of mainport activities.