Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
colbartn.gif (4535 octets)

Focus on Alexandria

Coastal management sourcebooks 2

Contents Front cover

Edited by 
Mostafa Hassan Mostafa,
Nicolas Grimal and 
Douglas Nakashima

Cover photo credits: Stéphane Compoint
                                CORBIS SYGMA
Claude Vacheret
Cover design: Jean Francis Chériez

The greatest emporium in the inhabited world
Mostafa El-Abbadi
Underwater archaeological investigations of the ancient Pharos
Jean-Yves Empereur
Legal principles for protecting underwater cultural heritage
Lyndel V. Prott
Human impacts on Alexandria’s marine environment
Youssef Halim and Fatma Abou Shouk
Wave propagation and sedimentation at the Pharos site
Denis Aelbrecht, J.-M. Menon and Eric Peltier

To order a copy

Like many coastal cities, Alexandria must deal with the problems that arise from competition and conflict over limited resources. Urban expansion or wetlands conservation, tourism development or industrial waste disposal, artisanal fisheries or port development – these everyday challenges characterize coastal regions the world over. However, that which sets Alexandria apart is not so much conflicts among contemporary resource-users but conflicts between the city of Alexandria today and the city – or more precisely cities – that Alexandria has been in the past. As it struggles to renew its urban core, to resolve problems of traffic and to house its burgeoning population, Alexandria is everywhere confronted and confounded by the archaeological remains of its remarkable past.

 At the origins of the present volume is a banal attempt to check coastal erosion. A breakwater in an inconvenient location has triggered passionate debates that oppose the underwater archaeological site of the Pharos with the onshore Qait Bey fortress, confronting cultural-heritage managers with the harsh realities of urban expansion and industrial development. What can be done? Must one monument be sacrificed to conserve the other? Must antiquities conservation give way to urban renewal? Or is there a middle road integrating both priorities?

 In this second Coastal Management Sourcebook, twenty-seven contributions are brought together, uniting expertise from a wide range of relevant disciplines and fields. Seemingly disparate and unrelated, these complementary contributions open the way to a solution that allows Alexandria to harmonize its past with its present. Today, Alexandria has begun to weave these multiple stands into a unified vision of its future.

Alexandria from space

The city of Alexandria and surrounding area as seen from the NASA Space Shuttle in March 1990. The Eastern and Western Harbours are clearly visible in the centre of the image, as well as the dark surface of Lake Mariout immediately to the south. With respect to the pollution of coastal waters, a plume of suspended matter from the Mex pump station is clearly visible arcing eastward from El Mex Bay towards the Qait Bey area. Also worthy of note is the impact of the El Tabya pump station on the waters of Abu Qir Bay on the right side of the image (cf. article by Y. Halim and F. Abou Shouk).

Photo: NASA

ISBN 92-3-103730-7
Published in 2000 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP
© UNESCO 2000
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