Call 04 | Settlements


Evolving ecologies across the land-sea border

In conclusion of the series dedicated to the study of the phenomena that are affecting the world’s coasts (erosion and sea-level rise, new forms of sustainable tourism and processes of decommissioning and regeneration), the fourth issue of the international journal SEASCAPE selects contributions regarding coastal settlement processes and their possible variations, outcomes and evolutionary dynamics in relation to marine-coastal ecosystems.
The issue aims to emphasize a transdisciplinary approach, in line with the complexity of the proposed theme: the multi-spatiality between land and sea and the emerging interactions between ecologies open up a plurality of knowledge and disciplinary fields, such as archaeology, botany, biology, landscape history and architecture, anthropology, geography, etc., which complement those to which the journal is specifically addressed.
The call is open to professors, researchers, scholars, technicians and professionals. The authors have to send the abstracts according to the indications given below. Each abstract will be subject to a first selection to identify the proposals to be developed in extended articles. The authors of selected abstracts will receive useful indications to proceed with the drafting of the full paper which will subsequently undergo a double blind peer review by the journal’s Scientific Committee and external scholars. The evaluation of the final contributions will focus on: the relevance of the proposal to the topic of the call; the originality of the proposal; the methodology used and innovation produced; the quality of the language and the clarity of the presentation.

How to partecipate

To participate in the Call for abstract it is necessary to send a proposal in Italian or English (one for each applicant and in English – compulsory – for foreigners) within the given time limit and in accordance with the format structured as follows (download here the .docx file):
– Title (maximum 100 characters),
– Subtitle (maximum 150 characters),
– Field of investigation (01/02/03),
– Abstract (maximum 2500 characters),
– Maximum 2 optional images with captions (copyright-free images or including publishing permission by their rightful owner).
The abstract needs to be sent via e-mail to: bearing the subject: “Abstract –Seascape 04-Surname”. Applications sent differently will be excluded from the evaluation process.

The theme

Settlement is conventionally defined as the occupation of territories through physical structures, their spatial articulations, and human relationships aimed at the dwelling and permanence of human beings.
Coasts, as an area of interaction between the terrestrial and marine dimensions, have long been perceived as both hospitable and hostile environments for human communities. As sites of arrival and departure, infrastructured for multiple functional purposes, coastal territories have been affected by littoralization processes over the last century. These processes have exacerbated the anthropic pressures altering ecosystem balances, leading to the emergence of critical conditions and inequalities between different regions and settled communities.
Therefore, overcoming the traditional definition of settlement, it is required to investigate the phenomenon in a broader and integrated vision. Settlements need to be recognized as a dynamic process of inhabiting, as tangible and intangible expressions of cultural mindsets that have evolved over time with regard to the relationship between the natural and man-made environment.
With this in mind, the fourth issue of Seascape invites the sharing of projects, research, and reflections capable of observing and operating on settlement phenomena between land and sea. The theme highlights the innovative and adaptive features of the phenomenon, problematizing existing contrasts in order to establish new ecological balances on environmental and social level. The articulation of three spatially complementary areas of investigation, differentially characterized, entails a shift from the land to the sea dimension, as well as a transdisciplinary approach.

Topic 01 – Abusiveness: from water edge colonization to socio-ecological restoration

The first area of investigation concerns the coastal strip, which is densely populated and difficult to govern due to natural and social factors.
Throughout history, human’s interaction with the coasts and the sea has been characterized by the prevarication of human action on the environment, as demonstrated by the high land use, the greater vulnerability to sea level rise and to increasingly frequent extreme meteorological phenomena, as well as the conditions of abandonment and degradation of the landscape resulting from an invasive “land-based” perspective.
These settlement dynamics have marked – and still mark – the territories with forms of abuse that compromise ecological, environmental and social balances.
The processes related to uncontrolled – spontaneous and/or planned – construction, to the realization of coastal industrial complexes, to surface and deep water regulation, and to the insertion of coastal defense works become the observation lens for the critical analysis of the phenomenon and its consequences.
The required contributions to investigate the topic should focus with particular attention on research and design experiences that, by addressing causal factors, aim to outline strategies and actions for the restoration of abuses, with reflections oriented towards the integrated “One Health” approach (World Health Organization).

Topic 02 – Overlapping: stratigraphy, integration, and ecosystem consequences

The second area of investigation deepens the observation of the settlement phenomenon on the water’s edge, with reference to the theme of “overlaps”.
These are the subject of reflection not only in their material, constructive and contextual connotation, but also in their associated intangible dimension. It is considered in terms of interactions – in harmony or in contrast – that are triggered between human intervention, the coastal ecotone and marine ecosystems.
The concept of “overlapping” alludes to the phenomenon of overwriting natural coastal systems, also assuming the evaluation and definition of new equilibria. This topic maiinly invites to answer with contributions dedicated to the design and planning challenges facing the hybrid nature of the boundary between land and sea, with a critical view of current conditions and future perspectives.
How does the design of human settlements, planning strategies, and governance levels translate, assume and reinterpret the ecological complexity and the commingling of the two ecosystems? How can the sustainability of interventions be “measured”? Is there any need to occupy – still – water?

Topic 03 – Beyond the edge, toward the horizon: socio-economic spaces of coexistence on the water

Many contemporary critical issues related to settlement dynamics in coastal-marine environments stand out for a colonizing approach at their origin, whereby the use of space is not ideologically and politically neutral.
According to this perspective, the concept of planetary urbanization becomes the primary lens for investigating the processes of urbanization of the sea, which have been consolidated mainly in recent years.
The water extension between lands — no longer understood as a spatial void— becomes the subject of regulation with reference to various factors: the human activities that animate it, the plurality and heterogeneity of the subjects involved, the frictions and declinations of the settlement phenomenon taking place there. All these factors, as well as the influences extended to the coasts and inland territories, the implications in terms of accessibility and distribution of benefits, are considered in an interscalar approach, regarding both global and local repercussions.
Therefore, the third topic is open to contributions aimed at exploring the process facing the challenges related to the development of the blue economy, the management of ecological transition processes and the balance between the uses of coastal-marine spaces.
In particular, proposals for new practices, methodologies and policies are invited, which deepen the implications and the impacts on the socio-economic and cultural profiles of the case studies examined, in line with the perspective of spatial justice.



Saturday, August 5th, 2023_ Abstract deadline
Monday, August 7th, 2023_ Communication of the blind review results
Saturday, September 30th, 2023_ Full paper deadline.

For information