Pre-Organised Special Sessions

To be competed with more special sessions soon...

Prof. Stella Kyvelou-Chiotini

Title: Culture, Cohesion and Planning in diverse terrestrial and marine environments



Prof. Stella Kyvelou-Chiotini

Department of Economic and Regional development

Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences



Heritage, architecture, and expressions of creativity in all their diversity constitute drivers of economic and social development, guiding multiple regional strategies of smart specialization, adopted both in cities, urban peripheries, low-density territories and sparsely populated areas. More specifically coastal and marine regions are gateways connecting land and sea, with unique landscapes and seascapes and related tangible and intangible CH, such as underwater and coastal antiquities, coastal archaeological sites, traditional material cultures such as fishing, maritime communities, and traditional gear and instruments. This panel discussions will be  structured around the following axes :

  1. first of all, the link between Culture and territorial/urban development, by aiming at exploiting culture's power to foster community gathering, empowerment, local identity and the sense of belonging, while valuing local heritages, memories, and traditions.
  2. special focus will be given to European coastal and maritime regions that have - over several millennia - developed a rich, multi-layered and varied cultural heritage. At the crossroads of different types of contacts of European peoples with each other and with other regions of the world (from commerce to conquest, from cultural exchanges to mass tourism) they represent an extremely rich tangible heritage (coastal towns and villages, submerged landscapes and underwater artefacts, harbours, dams, light houses, arsenals, buildings of the fishing and marine industry, boat builders, etc.). All the above provide sense of place and strengthen cultural identity. Their preservation and valorisation can also bring economic benefits specifically in relation to sustainable tourism development. As a result of a combination of natural landscapes and human ingeniousness, including distinctive types of transcultural communication and ethnic diversity, specific coastal cultural landscapes emerged on the shores and sea beds of
  3. Today, coastal cultural landscapes are very much exposed to environmental challenges such as climate change and are at risk from various pressures such as the loss of traditional fisheries, pollution, or urbanisation.With several coastal zones being among the densest populated areas, mixed metropolitan coastal landscapes have emerged around historic port cities posing new challenges for conservation, management and transmission of existing tangible and intangible values. Many regional and local actors are joining efforts in addressing these challenges and illustrations of relevant positive experiences will be welcome, for demonstrating the potential and opportunities of Europe’s diverse maritime cultural heritage, while protecting and preserving it for future generations.
  4. Furthermore, the endeavour of incorporating MCH/UCH in maritime spatial planning (MSP) can give birth to a new form of cultural tourism i.e., sustainable underwater tourism, as one of the modern tourism industry’s most dynamic and developing branches in today’s global tourism market. The concept of underwater cultural tourism could take hold throughout all coastal areas, whose seas host ancient, submerged resources of different kinds, such as structures or individual objects. The exploitation of UCH in combination with nature conservation (e.g., close or within MPAs) is also expected to increase the number of tourists visiting an area for its natural and cultural heritage, thus enriching the locally offered tourism product with a heritage dimension. In this way, the efficient assemblage of MCH/UCH-driven “multi-use” can confirm an emerging trend that views heritage on the one hand and tourism on the other as two reciprocally supported social phenomena that are co-produced (Gravari-Barbas, 2020). Heritage tourism is particularly important for tourism-dependent local communities, especially now that the pandemic has seriously impacted tourism which will never be the same in the future. 
  5. Finally, insights on diverse spatial planning traditions and transitions on land and at sea will be presented and discussed.





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