Interreg AI SMART in Bari for an Institutional Visit Tour

The Mobility Department of the Puglia Region hosted in Bari, from 23 to 25 May 2023, the representatives of the three Greek partners of the Region of Ionian Islands, the Region of Epirus and the Region of Western Greece of the AI SMART project, for the Institutional Visit Tour aimed at exchanging experiences between the Institutional Authorities of the cross-border area. The initiative, which included a rich agenda of meetings and appointments, was an opportunity to focus attention on the most relevant activities of the project, on the objectives and expected results.

The Institutional Visit Tour started on 23 May, in Mola di Bari, with an on-site visit to the port area, where the partners closely viewed the progress of the infrastructural redevelopment and restoration works that involved the first part of the western pier and the existing former Port Authority building, inside which offices, a conference room, info point and tourist services will be built. The day ended with a Project Meeting during which all project partners presented the status of the activities carried out so far.

The second day of the initiative, May 24, included a guided tour of the port of Otranto where, among the interventions underway, there is the implementation of internal and external accessibility systems, with the consequent removal of architectural barriers and the redevelopment of the spaces of the maritime station and the information and bicycle rental points, as well as the restoration of the buildings of the Financial Police and Port Authority present at the entrance to the Molo San Nicola and the square in front of the maritime station. Returning from Otranto, the tour ended with a visit to the port of Monopoli, an area also involved in the design interventions of AI SMART.

Finally, 25 May was dedicated to the Thematic Workshop on issues related to the Transport and Cross-Border Mobility sector, as well as on the development opportunities of the port and logistics system with particular reference also to the next Interreg Programming period 2021-2027. During the Workshop the general objectives of the AI SMART project were illustrated and, in more detail, some of the European Territorial Cooperation projects which saw the involvement of the main Mediterranean ports. The first part of the event focused on the theme of sustainable mobility and the intermodality of public transport linked to tourist flows, while the second part focused on the concrete results achieved thanks to the Interregional Cooperation Programmes.

With the AI SMART project – said Anna Maurodinoia, Councilor for Transport and Sustainable Mobility of the Puglia Region – the collaboration with Greece has been strengthened, confirming the commitment of the Puglia Region to complete and enhance the Adriatic-Ionian multimodal infrastructural corridor, in order to make it suitable for the future complete inclusion within the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor 5, as already done with the proposal presented in agreement with the Marche, Abruzzo and Molise Regions for the revision of the TEN-T network structure“.