Regione Sicilia, Transports and comunications Department, Italy
BACKGROUNDS project (Improving Productive Clusters Accessibility to Global Market) faces developmental disparities in southern regions of Europe. The main arrival and departure hubs of European maritime traffic axis are based in the large ports of Northern Europe (Rotterdam, Hamburg) and only to a lesser extent in the Mediterranean basin. Two main flows start from these axes: the Europe-America axis and the Europe-Far East axis. The Med area is above all interested and competitive by the Europe-Asia line, characterised by ships coming in through the Suez channel and leaving through Gibraltar (and vice-versa). On the short-term, the present situation may hold down production structures, services, social contexts and development opportunities reducing the competitiveness and increasing production and distribution costs. Thus, the project aims at improving the capacities and intervention strategies of regional authorities in charge of managing maritime transports from an integration point of view so as to improve the local productive systems. In particular, an inter-modal network model is developed, so as to involve local stakeholders and structures in the achievement of a sustainable inter-modality both for the Environmentalonment and local economy. Furthermore, BACKGROUNDS project reduces roads and highways congestion, appreciating the opportunities of local productive systems within the globalized traffic.