by John Echlin, ISOCARP expert on coastal planning
Image author: Ellen Fetzer
Dynamic vulcanism and rich cultural heritage are the two most prominent forces shaping the coastal landscape of the Phlegraean Fields. This dramatic setting provided the location for the COLAND Inclusive Coastal Landscapes Intensive Study Programme held at Pozzuoli, Italy the 8th - 17th of September 2019.
As the 3rd ISP during the 3-year ERASMUS programme, 40 students and 20 tutors representing the nine partner institutions gathered for ten days to study this complex coastal landscape, discuss important local issues in a real-world situation and visualize recommendations for the area.
The Phlegrean Fields, still an active volcanic caldera, is a large and now urbanized 78 km2 area lying just to the west of Naples. The locale has seen rapid growth during the last century, with a contemporary population of around 400,000 people and seven municipalities now absorbed into the larger Naples metropolitan conurbation. The area has one of the largest concentrations of cultural heritage sites in Italy dating back to the period of Greek colonization (500 bc). It is home to diverse land and sea habitats, many of which are recognized by Natura 2000 for their high-value ecological importance.
For centuries, the population concentrated in compact coastal villages such as Pozzuoli and Baia with a close relationship to the sea. However, in the 20th century, an explosion of human settlement, much of it unplanned and informal, began to overlay this dramatic landscape. The advent of new technical infrastructure, such as a railway linking the coastal villages and later the automobile, provided increased access for settlement and tourism. The Phlegrean Fields have remained highly desirable for residence and seaside recreation despite the underlaying volcanic risks.
Post-WWII coastal industries grew the local economy and provided a basis for increased employment. More recent times saw the factories abandoned and many of the historical sites and natural features have become threatened by the growing urban sprawl. The underlying ecosystem has become increasingly fragmented and degraded.
Over the eight days of the ISP, the students tackled these challenges working in groups with their assigned tutors, within six adjacent coastal geographic areas. The goal of the workshop was for each group to apply a holistic landscape assessment framework, identifying key issues and potentials considering social, economic, environmental and cultural concerns. Then to discuss the needs of the local community and propose green/blue infrastructure strategies to improve connectivity and the multifunctionality of the fragmented landscape.
During the first day, two representatives from the cities of Pozzuoli and Bacoli provided the group with an overview and discussion on the area’s current spatial planning issues and a local coastal geologist presented on aspects of volcanism and coastal erosion in the Phlegrean Fields. These lectures were followed in the afternoon by site visits to the Rione Terra underground museum and the Roman Flavio Amphitheatre. At the close of the day, walking tours of the IP project areas allowed the individual groups to gain their initial firsthand observations and impressions.
Day two, held at the Baia Archeological Museum, began with two lectures presented by professors of architecture from the University Federico II of Naples. One about the cultural heritage of the Phlegrean Fields and the other on the use of emerging digital technologies for enhancing our knowledge and experience of archaeological heritage. A guided tour of the museum and additional visits by the groups in the afternoon to the ISP project areas further advanced the understanding and perceptions of the students.
Following an early morning presentation on the proposed “Campi Flegrei Bike Path” by a representative of the Percorsi Cumani Bicycle Association, day three focused on turning the initial site impressions into analysis with the six groups identifying critical issues and conflicts, assets and opportunities within their assigned geographic areas. Each group began with an overriding topic such as “focus on green-blue infrastructure” or “focus on volcanism and naturalistic tourism”, that they could freely interpret. They were also to be aware of linkages and cross-connections with the other group areas and themes. Students were encouraged to express their ideas and analysis graphically through sketches, images, keywords and phrases.
To augment the third day, representatives from local stakeholder groups circulated to each group table to highlight relevant issues and address questions in a lively round of discussions. These groups included two teachers from a local high school, three members of the Percorsi Cumani Bicycle Association promoting cycle mobility, a member of the Free Bacoli Association promoting sustainable life in Bacoli, a university professor of architectural restoration and citizen of Pozzuoli, a farmer and owner of a large wellness spa close to Averno Lake, and two research experts on coastal development from the CNR National Research Council.
Day four continued with group work and tutor consultation, focused on initial goal-setting ideas and first visioning for each project area. In the late afternoon, the student groups presented their analysis and ideas in short 15 min. slide presentations to the entire COLAND assembly. In-depth discussion followed each presentation with feedback, questions and comments providing further reflection.
Day five and six saw intense teamwork collaboration as each group translated their initial site analysis, goals and visions into spatial concepts and visualizations. A template for the final presentation provided a common framework for each group to advance their analysis, vision, goals and strategies. Groups were also asked to consider their proposed ideas for stakeholder involvement, implementation and phasing.
Two final presentations, one internally to the COLAND group on day seven and the other to the stakeholders and public on day eight, provided a culmination to the workshop. The positive comments and appreciative feedback from these presentations confirmed the importance and value of the COLAND ISP workshop in helping to provide a vision for a more sustainable and inclusive coastal landscape within the Phlegrean Fields.
The Kopli peninsula is on the brink of a fundamental transformation into a new urban extension of Tallinn while keeping its function for a shipyard and respecting ecological values in and around the area, such as the park areas, old forests and the bird directive area of Paljassaare.
The second ISP was held in Tallinn (Estonia) during the week 20-27 of May 2019. Approximately thirty-five students were tutored by twenty teachers from the seven partner universities. After surveys and analyses of the study area, the students envisioned possible transformations of the coastal landscape of North Tallinn-Kopli peninsula. Six teams of students were assigned as many case studies.
On the first day, the local staff of the EMU presented the main challenges to be tackled by students. The main issues were the uses over the time and their impact upon the area; socio-economic dynamics (i.e. gentrification); the architectural and natural values; potential social contrasts between the local community and future of the area as a cultural hub; preservation of the architectural heritage, especially from the Soviet era. A member of the Tallinn Planning Department Office presented the main ongoing activities and projects in the area, such as new developments and green corridors. Two afternoon lectures illustrated the social capital of the area, the approaches to analyse the resources of the local community, and how to create a cooperative governance. Afterwards, the students freely visited the study areas, also to get personal impressions of the Baltic coastal landscape.
The second day focused on the comprehension of different methods to be used for analysing coastal landscapes: interviews of residents; the Blue Health Assessment Tool (BEAT), applying photography to the perception of water landscapes. Students had the chance to test the BEAT tool in the afternoon and discuss the results with tutors.
The third day started with the application of the visitors’ employment survey using a specific app and an all-morning walk in the entire peninsula. The results were processed and discussed in a plenary session on Thursday. In the afternoon, a lecture on the historical development of the area, focusing also on main residential, industrial and shipyard buildings, enabled the students to comprehend the significant changes occurred in the 20th-21st centuries. In addition, there was a guided visit of the area looking for significant landscape characteristics, buildings and sites.
From the fourth day on, the students were asked to work in teams, by drawing synthetic maps and sketches to communicate their perception of the coastal landscape. During the on-line seminar Jekaterina Balicka of EMU presented design strategies used in landscape projects for addressing blue-health issues, such as reconnecting people with the water, introducing water as a playful element. Martin Knuijt of OKRA landscape architects (NL) showed two cutting edge projects along the Dutch Coast (Katwijk aan Zee and Cadzand Bad) that showed how landscape design can create multifunctional values for coastal defences, pushing economic development, opportunities for leisure and nature experience.
There were two internal presentations – of the analysis on May 23 and design proposals on May 26 - plus a presentation on May 27 to experts and staff of the planning service of Tallinn. As in the previous ISPs, the method has integrated traditional analyses with innovative tools, enhancing the importance of site experiences and participation in the process of sustainable coastal landscape design.
The project's fourth Transnational Partner Meeting took place in Naples (Italy) between the 4th and the 6th of April 2019. The project team met to discuss the current status of the second learning activity (on-going online course and Tallinn IP taking place in May 2019).
The project team also did a study trip to Pozzuoli and the Phlegraean Fields, in order to plan the activities and themes for the third Intensive Programme in the Pozzuoli area, which will take place between the 8th and 17th of September 2019.
Registration for the 2019 COLAND Online seminar and Intensive Programme Workshops is now open - more details here.
Registration Online Seminar
Participation in the online seminar is free and open to students at any institution as well as the general public.
Participation is possible in active or passive mode.
Active participation includes:
Passive participation includes:
Registration Tallinn and Naples Workshops
Participation in the Tallinn and Naples Workshop requires personal application. Only students enrolled at the partner universities are eligible for an ERASMUS travel grant.
Applications must include:
Applications will be received until 1st of March 2019.
Online applications here.
The 3rd Transnational Partner Meeting of the CO-LAND project took place between the 23rd and the 25th of November 2018.
During the meeting, the project team reviewed the first learning activity (online course March - June 2018 and the Mangalia Intensive Programme which was organized in September 2018) and did a study visit in Tallinn in order to prepare the next learning activities.
The second learning activity will start on the 22nd of March 2019 with the online course, and will also include the Tallinn Intensive Programme which will take place in May 2019.
Open online course and workshop in Mangalia, Romania
The CO-LAND programme is offered by a 7-University Consortium in cooperation with ISOCARP and the LE:NOTRE Institute.
The goal is to empower future planners and designers through an interdisciplinary, problem-based learning environment that enhances the innovative competencies needed for addressing spatial, social, cultural and environmental challenges in Europe.
Online course 23.03.-15.06.2018, weekly sessions on Fridays from 15 00 – 16 30 pm CET
Mangalia workshop 16.-25.09.2018 hosted by Ovidius University Constanta in cooperation with the municipality of Mangalia