In 2018, the City of Antwerp drew up a vision of Innovative City Harbor in response to the rethinking of the relationship between city and port. The Innovative City Port comprises part of the Eilandje and Steenborgerweert, an area in the north of Antwerp between the city center and the port area. The area consisting of Kempeneiland, Mexico-island, Asiadok-Oostkaai and Steenborgerweert was selected to provide space for production in the city again. The Kempeneiland and the southern part of Asiadok-Oostkaai come to the fore in this vision as a catalyst to initiate the transition of the area.
The Innovative City Port thus occupies a complementary place between 2 other zones for future-oriented activities: both the NextGen district (in the north of the port) and Blue Gate Antwerp (south of the city, including the Maritime Campus) depart from the growing demand for making the economy of the port of Antwerp more sustainable - including (petro) chemicals and logistics. Due to its unique center and urban location, the Innovative City Port places itself between these 2 innovative poles as the innovation driver from the urban environment.
The purpose of the study was to inspire and steer the concrete transition of the area to a hotspot of innovative manufacturing activity. The process must provide insight into which role Antwerp should play as an investor and where a role as a facilitator by creating a good investment climate is sufficient. This requires a picture of the important area-wide infrastructure investments, but also a clear development framework with inviting futures to attract companies and investors.