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Blue Glue Event Recap - How MKThink’s Work Supports Connection to the Ocean

MKThink, Blue Glue, San Francisco
San Francisco Bay - Photo Courtesy of Roxanne C on Unsplash

Last week MKThink attended, “Blue Glue: Cities, Ports, and People - Writing the Next Chapter” a webinar in support of Capitol Hill’s Ocean Week and World Ocean Day on June 8th. An inspirational discussion organized by Janelle Kellman from the Center of Sea Rise Solutions and Stewart Sarkozy-Bancozy from the World Ocean Council brought minds and thought leaders from across the Ocean and Coastal space to share their organization's actions and efforts toward supporting Blue Glue. This event continued conversations from the topic's first launch at the UN Ocean Decade conference in Barcelona this past April and featured speakers Caya Hein from AIVP and Juliette Lassman from OECD.

MKThink, Blue Glue, Port
Shipping Container Heading to Port - Photo Courtesy of Will Truettner on Unsplash

"Blue glue" is a newly proposed term that captures the idea of ports and harbors serving as connectors among neighboring communities, the maritime industry, and coastal stakeholders. This concept aims to explore new opportunities in workforce development, innovation, and economic growth, all while addressing the climate crisis and promoting equity and inclusion. The expanding collaboration focuses on four key areas: education, infrastructure, economy, and community equity and governance.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Community engagement is essential to Blue Glue. Connecting both the direct port-employed community and the neighboring community to the Port and its activity creates value, encourages conversation about the blue glue and blue economy, and builds mutually beneficial relationships. 

  2. Ports are centers for ocean industries, which provide opportunities to expand ocean literacy and education and develop a skilled workforce to power the blue economy.  

  3. Ports offer opportunities for climate action planning through policy and innovation around mitigation, adaptation, climate-positive infrastructures, and business models.  For instance, Matosinhos, Portugal, hosts the annual BluAct competition, which offers financial aid and capacity-building support to ten innovative blue economy business projects each year. In Lisbon, Portugal, the Sea Hub (Hub do Mar) bridges the gap between businesses, universities, the local scientific community, and researchers. This initiative helps blue economy enterprises expand, concentrate on research and innovation, and conduct prototyping and testing activities.

MKThink, Blue Glue
View of the Pacific Ocean From San Francisco's Ocean Beach

At MKThink, we work at the Edge of land and sea in two port cities, San Francisco and Honolulu. An important aspect of Blue Glue is the physical space for these coastal communities and cities to invest their time and energy and foster a connection to the ocean. Following our mission to create intelligent places, we look at this boundary and design to encourage relationships that support Blue Glue and the Blue Economy

MKThink’s Work at the Edge of Land and Sea:

MKThink, Ocean Plant
Salon Series at Ocean Plant

MKThink's California office, known by the community as the Ocean Plant (OP) coffee shop, is situated on the Great Highway overlooking San Francisco's Ocean Beach. The three-story, community-strength solution strives to create a blue economy, blue community, and blue productivity hub where members of the Richmond district come to foster connections, share thoughts, and find productivity among their neighbors. Additionally, at the monthly salon series, events, including discussions, panels, and gatherings, delve into topics like humanity's relationship with the ocean, architecture, spatial intelligence and tech, and more.

MKThink, SF Zoo
Location of SF Zoo in Relation to San Francisco Bay

The San Francisco Zoo campus is situated right at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. MKThink helped create a plan that would inspire guests of the SF Zoo to become champions for the conservation of ecosystems and connect to the local ecosystem and ocean. MKThink, in collaboration with the San Francisco Zoo and Gardens, Recreation and Park Department, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), and the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), created a viable vision to connect the 200-acre zoo park with Ocean Beach. This vision led to the creation of a 50-acre coastal conservation zone within the joint Zoo and PUC grounds.

Interested in learning how MKThink can help you create an intelligent space? Contact us here.


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