The „Porto Vecchio“ (English: Old Port) of Trieste is one of the most important port facilities of the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe. With the relocation of industry to the new port of Trieste in the south, the area lost its economic activities and has fallen derelict. Due to the current decision of the port authority to revitalize the old port, strategies are needed to reactivate the area. Dominated by the beautiful industrial structures of the former Austria-Hungary monarchy smart ideas are needed to transform these structures into a new liveable district, that suits the current working conditions, lifestyles and solves the problems cause by climate change.
Based on the analysis the design proposal „Next Level Trieste“ focuses on the problem, of how to transform a former industrial area, that has to deal with rising sea levels as well as with weather extremes such as heavy rainfall events and heat islands. With the help of the so called „defend strategy“, the port is being developed into a flood protection zone. The deliberate preservation of the existing coastline plays with an image that changes with the tides.
Based on the „Raumbild Theorie“ (English „spatial image theory“) of the sociologist Detlef Ipsen, a new understanding for the area is created in order to achieve its future role. On the basis of these principles, which are adapted to the needs of modern society and their spatial principals, the harbour receives a new image without losing its historic industrial identity.
The work „Next Level Trieste“ sees itself as an exemplary design to think a step into the future and shows methods of how to transform unused harbors into new liveable areas that resists future problems cause by climate change without losing their unique spatial identity.