This article is an essay of theoretical synthesis on the state of the art of research concerning port cities and city-port relations. Beyond a conceptual approach, the article deals with an analysis of the historical evolution of relations between ports and their cities through modeling work developed by economic and geographic researchers.

Research on city-port relations is more and more abundant, but it is generally focused on the phenomenon of dissociation between the port and its city and the morphological analysis of the mutations of the city-port interface: revitalization of waterfront. While the other forms of interaction between the port and its hinterland are little covered (port and urban dynamics, firms linked to the port, port and transport systems, etc.).

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