The International Association Cities & Ports (AIVP) is an NGO whose mission is to improve the port-city relationship by establishing and developing dialogue and cooperation between local authorities, port authorities, citizens, and economic players, and has been doing so for over 35 years. Today, almost 200 port cities around the world are members of the AIVP, with the ambition of making port city dialogue the basis of their urban, port, and economic development projects.

The AIVP is chaired by Édouard Philippe, Mayor of Le Havre (France) and former Prime Minister.

The world's port cities, whether coastal or inland, have always been witnesses of major macroeconomic changes and local development strategies. The development of port and urban activities is a major challenge in an increasingly uncertain environment, political and social contexts. Port cities of all sizes and types have to reinvent themselves systemically, as they are at the forefront of major global and societal changes. In this context, the spatial relationship between the port and city, two distinct entities, at once antagonist and interdependent, constitutes a prosperous breeding ground from which remarkable urban projects have emerged. Indeed, port cities together with port authorities on the five continents, have re-examined the port-city relationship through the prism of unique urban developments and emblematic architectural works.

The AIVP Prize Antoine Rufenacht aims to celebrate these outstanding port city projects and the way they address the port city relationships in the context of sustainable development. Therewith, the Prize also honors the founding chairman of AIVP, Antoine Rufenacht, and his vision of what a port city should be.

The Jury is responsible for evaluating and selecting the applications according to the following criteria:

  • Originality: What is the added value of the project in terms of planning, realization, and uses, to improve port city relations?
  • Relevance of the project: What is the relevance of the project in light of the Agenda 2030 of AIVP?
  • Impact: What are the concrete results obtained by the project regarding specific goals of the Agenda 2030 by AIVP?
  • Model character: How can the project serve as a model?
  • The quality/clarity: Is the proposal clear and well-presented?

There is no money consideration for the AIVP Prize Antoine Rufenacht. The winner will benefit from international recognition and higher visibility thanks to the AIVP’s worldwide profile.

Several compensations are included:

1/ The project meets the prize’s main eligibility criteria:

  • It will enter the official selection and will be promoted through publications on the Prize’s website and social media.
  • The project will be assessed by the Expert panel. Depending on its decision, your project may be listed as a good practice of Agenda 2030 by AIVP (see the FAQ below for more information about the good practices of Agenda 2030 by AIVP).

2/ The project is one of the finalists:

  • Applicants will be interviewed by the Grand jury during an in-person meeting in Le Havre (France).
  • Applicants will benefit from a higher visibility including a special highlighting during the AIVP World Conference.

3/ The project is selected as the winner:

  • An official reward ceremony will be held during the AIVP World Conference in Lisbon.

Representatives of the winning project will receive a special recognition exclusively dedicated to the winner.

The Agenda 2030 by AIVP is the world’s first initiative to adapt the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals for the specific context of Port city relations.

The document published in 2018 sets down 10 goals to be achieved by 2030 and 46 measures for action. Each one of them is connected to several UN SDGs.

The Agenda 2030 of the AIVP was submitted to the UN in 2019 as the contribution of port cities to the 17 SDGs, within the framework of the partnership initiated between the AIVP and this international institution. It aims to inspire port and city actors to act following the Agenda 2030 by AIVP, maximizing investment and resources.

To support its members in implementing these goals in their development plans, the AIVP led to the creation of a self-assessment tool. This one aims to provide our port and city members with a tool to monitor their progress in implementing the 10 objectives of the Agenda 2030 by AIVP in their projects and general operations.

Designing port city development projects without requires sustainable development approaches at a time when port cities, all over the world, face impacts of climate change and need to improve their relation with citizens to remain attractive. The Agenda 2030 by AIVP is a recognized framework to help port cities to achieve sustainable development and to implement related policies.

It will be expected from applicants to demonstrate how their projects can be related to the Agenda 2030’s main goals and spirit, and how it contributes concretely to design sustainable port cities.

Your project needs to focus at least on one of the 10 main goals of the Agenda 2030 by AIVP which are the following:

Goal 1: Climate change adaptation

Goal 2: Energy transition & circular economy

Goal 3: Sustainable mobility

Goal 4: Renewed governance

Goal 5: Investing in human capital

Goal 6: Port culture and identity

Goal 7: Quality food for all

Goal 8: Port city interface

Goal 9: Health & Life quality

Goal 10: Protecting biodiversity

The AIVP World Conference is the international meeting place for port cities to share their knowledge, promote projects implemented, establish international cooperation links, take up the challenges of the sustainable port city, and make their points of view known to international organizations. The conviviality of the AIVP network, maintained since its creation, contributes to the transparency and richness of the debates, creating a unique meeting moment that makes a difference.

Applications for the AIVP Prize Antoine Rufenacht must be submitted in English.

Expert panel works will be carried out in two stages. Firstly, each expert will make an individual evaluation of each entry according to co-defined criteria. Secondly, experts will meet in person to share their results and decide what will be the finalist applications to be voted on by the Grand jury.

The Grand jury meeting will be carried out in three stages. Firstly, Carola Hein will share the expert panel conclusions and explain how the finalist applicants have been chosen. Secondly, the Grand jury, under the responsibility of Geraldine Knatz, will interview each shortlisted applicant during a 60-minute meeting that will include a short presentation of the project and a discussion between the Grand jury and the candidate. Then the Grand jury will deliberate behind closed doors to choose the winner.

Members of the Expert panel will be invited to attend the Grand jury meeting to be part of the finalist’s interviews. Only Carola Hein, as co-chairwoman of the Prize, will take part in the final decision to choose the winner.

The Grand jury meeting will be held in English. Translation facilities could be provided if requested by finalists.

The Grand jury meeting will take place in Le Havre, France, where the headquarters of AIVP are. Le Havre was also the city of Antoine Rufenacht, founding chairman of the AIVP.

Antoine Rufenacht was also the Mayor of Le Havre from 1995 to 2010 and he contributed to transforming and highlighting as a world port city. Bringing the Grand jury meeting of the AIVP Prize Antoine Rufenacht to Le Havre will honor Antoine Rufenacht and his vision of what a port city should be.

There will be no videoconference facilities for the Grand jury meeting. Hearing the finalists in person will contribute to the prestige of the Prize and will guarantee them a quality of listening and exchange not possible via videoconference.

Through this in-person meeting, AIVP wishes to perpetuate the spirit of the meetings between port city stakeholders that have been organized by AIVP for over 30 years. These meetings have always been synonymous with conviviality, work, and cooperation. They are the very foundation of the AIVP’s identity.

The Expert panel won’t interview applicants. Entries assessment will be based only on the information provided on the application form. That’s why it is in the best interest of candidates to provide a clear and comprehensive description of their project according to the information requested.

Candidates will be free to decide what level of representative is better for them to defend their project in front of the Grand jury.

Candidates should consider that Grand jury members could have technical and precise questions and will expect the candidate to be able to answer.

A high level of representation will be requested for the official prize ceremony: the Mayor or his representative for a nomination from a port city, the Port Director or his President for a nomination from a port authority.

Detailed conclusions of the Expert panel will be shared only with concerned applicants.