Cultural Landscapes Preservation at the Interface of Urban Planning and Sprawl

Laouar Imene

From ancient times, the sea has played a key role in shaping and generating settlements and cities. The history of civilizations has been marked by the cultural development of human societies along coastlines. Accordingly, these territories are harbor of an important coastal heritage; that plays a pivotal role in maintaining the link between the past and the future. In fact, while cities grow and their populations increase, their planning becomes a challenge for sustainable development. Through different forms and mechanisms, coastal sprawl is materialized, by the massive occupation of populations and industrial activities along coastlines. In this vein, coastlines endure many conflicts, which lead to the degradation of cultural and natural resources and may result in loss of cultural identity associated with the presence of cultural landscapes. The paper aims, to discuss planning approaches and challenges related to managing cultural and coastal landscapes, facing the impact of coastal sprawl. The paper is based on a landscape analysis; it interviews the urban, social, juridical and morphological frame. An understanding of urban sprawl through the lens of Annaba’s coastline is required for its implication as a social support of the identity and the history of the city. The paper also examines how the coastalization affects the cultural heritage based on the monograph of one of the valuable French colonial constructions in Algeria. Lastly, the study demonstrates, some key opportunities for advancing future adjustments, and coastal management approaches. For instance, new tools and more appropriate methodologies that combine the preservation of the coastline and the preservation of the cultural heritage.


Urban planning; Cultural landscapes; Coastalization; sprawl; Heritage
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