Inland ports are becoming more important in enhancing hinterland accessibility of deep-sea ports. Their increasing size and number can however also pose a threat to quality of life in adjacent urban regions, for spatial conflicts between port and urban functions may arise. Therefore, inland port governance strategies are needed. The aim of this paper is to reflect on the findings of an international comparison of municipal governance strategies for inland port development in four different countries along the Rhine–Alpine Corridor. Our findings reflect the difficult position of inland ports relative to urban functions within a densely populated corridor. Sufficient capacity is needed to prevent the occurrence of bottlenecks on links and in nodes, which could limit flows on other parts of the corridor. Increasing inland port capacity should however also be aligned with policy measures in urban regions, to avoid the overlapping of inland port and urban functions which could lead to mutually exclusive land-uses. This poses challenges in terms of inland port governance. We observe that cases in which the port and urban administrations open up the policy process to relevant private stakeholders and the civil society, integrated governance strategies for inland port development are more likely to emerge.
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