Coastal Landscape Identity


         Coastal Landscape is a section of a coastline that has many features. It is not only a place for natural marine processes and habitats but there are also shoreline activities, inshore and offshore operations and island activities.

In general coasts are where land, sea and atmosphere meet, this combination may seem to be a simple location to study but it’s complicated in reality. Coastal Landscapes include rocky reefs, sandy beaches, sea cliffs, lagoons, harbors and open coast. To learn more about coastal landscape and its identity read the following topics:

  • Sense of Place and Identity in Coastal region

Sense of place is an overarching term for a number of different approaches and terms describing people’s relationship with their environment. There are many approaches for understanding and studying sense of place which reflect different knowledge of human and environmental relationships. There is a concept stating that the sea formed the land, and the land formed the people. Inhabitants of Coastal regions have been living with and struggling against the sea for centuries. With the beginning of the settlement of coastal areas it was the fight against the incoming sea as well as the effort to reclaim arable land from the sea.

As much as the place is known for its natural resource, physical landscape, buildings and transportation systems; people, markets and governments affect its identity. Built environment and the natural places are essential for social interactions, they affect people’s lives directly like air and water quality, and the economic base. Due to ecosystem dynamics such as earthquakes, climate change and other geophysical effects, natural environments change over time.

There is an important role played by Oceans and Coasts for transportation of goods and people, they also provide attractive landscapes and experiences for tourists. How we use oceans for transport purposes and tourism will definitely affect the identity of coastal landscape in the future and how that differs from the present, that will also have an impact on economics, environments and societies. Subsequently, we need to develop our maritime transport on different scales. Nowadays, with threats caused by climate change such as rising sea levels and the increase in the number of storms which are natural disasters; many coastal regions have established a technical approach to coastal protection and dealing with natural hazards.

  • The Concept of landscape health

Contact with nature, in its many forms, promotes human health and there is a large evidence attesting to the role played by landscape in improving human health and treatment recovery. Walking through surrounding landscape might have positive or restorative effect in health. Healthy places improve water, air, and quality of soil which are building rocks of our natural life. People spend most of their waking lives in places such as school, college or work.

There is a growing need to understand how our designed landscape impacts our life, wellbeing and health, so one of the important measures for landscape designers to take into consideration during their work, is the extent of how healthy a landscape is.

  • Management of Coastal Landscapes

While using coastal areas as grounds for garbage, sewage and toxic wastes, 40% of human population live within about 100 kilometers of the shore which affects their habitats, ecosystem, and resources for food, agriculture, and building materials. There are many critical issues that have been caused by the industrial wave and that have affected the ecosystem, marine life, water treatment and management.

There is a massive invasion from businessmen, visitors and tourists to the coastal line, the nature of the landscapes has been redefined, but not necessarily in a positive way. These direct effects  are considered threats for the marine environment  and extend to reach humans as well. How to manage the coastal landscapes and preserve its identity is crucial to consider. Managing and preserving coastal landscapes aims to conserve and protect the landscapes’ ecological, cultural and natural values.

  • The future of Coastal landscape

Over the centuries, changes on landscape structures were local and gradual and they were rarely wiped out completely, and we used to look at some past landscape as being stable and having a distinct identity and character which are forming a basis for homeland inhabitants. Many changes in our modern society are seen as a dangerous threat to values attached to these landscapes which became considered as an endangered heritage.

Due to climate change and sea levels rising, Coastal flooding has become one of the growing global concerns which threaten the floodplain areas. Around the world, There is a big interest on using natural infrastructure to help coastal communities to reduce the risk of coastal flooding and become more resilient.

  • Renewable energy in coastal landscapes

Renewable Energy Sources are constantly changing through the human life cycle  unlike conventional energy sources. They are used for electricity or heat generated from hydro, solar, geothermal, wind and biogas energy. In the near future the organization of rural and urban landscapes will be influenced strongly by the generation of renewable energy. The re-integration of these sustainable energy landscapes into the existing environment in a socially fair and environmentally friendly manner will be one of the critical tasks.

Renewable energy infrastructures like turbines and photovoltaic panels have a huge visual impact on the landscape quality, also people prefer the original landscapes to the simulated landscapes with renewable energy infrastructure. When studying coastal landscapes, it’s important to focus on understanding the flows of energy and materials. Using application of system on studying coastal landscapes is not without difficulties but it helps on identifying flows and understanding how landscapes are created.

Join us in the International Conference on “Preservation of Coastal Environment and Landscape Identity” and get the chance to exchange knowledge and experiences on studying the coastal landscapes. The conference will take place in Gozo, Malta from the 10th to the 12th March 2020.

Gozo is an idyllic Mediterranean island where you can visit magical places like Ramla Bay, Azur Window, Ggantija Temples “A UNESCO World Heritage Site” The Basilica of Ta’ Pinu, Xewkija Rotunda Church and enjoy water sports like swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the Crystal-Clear Water in its peaceful Bays.

For registration and any inquiries please check this link:

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