Coastal Cities 2019

3rd International Conference on Coastal Cities and their Sustainable Future


11 – 13 September 2019
Rome, Italy


Coastal Cities 2019]

The 3rd International Conference on Coastal Cities and their Sustainable Future took place in Rome, Italy. The Conference was organised by the Wessex Institute, UK, represented by Professor Giorgio Passerini, and the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Italy, represented by Professor Stefano Ricci.

The conference, which started in the New Forest, UK in 2015, is well-established and attracts a wide international spread of delegates. The variety of topics covered by the conference reflects the complex interaction of a coastal city while considering pollution and the effects on the community.

Opening of the Conference

The conference was opened by Giorgio Passerini who welcomed the delegates to the conference, before paying tribute to the founder of the Wessex Institute, the late Prof Carlos A Brebbia.

Professor Giorgio Passerini then mentioned that the main object of WIT is the dissemination of knowledge, with particular emphasis on science and engineering. Another way in which this is achieved is by the publication of papers from conferences and Journals, through its publishing arm, WIT Press.

Stefano Ricci of the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ gave a presentation welcoming the delegates to the University.

Invited Presentations

There were a series of invited lectures on advanced topics of research and applications, as follows:

  • “Growth and trade of food, spices and medicines in an African coastal city: Accra, Ghana”, by Isabel Madaleno, University of Lisbon, Portugal.
  • “A preliminary assessment of mineral dust outbreaks in Italian coastal cities”, by Giorgio Passerini, Wessex Institute, UK.
  • “Risk assessment of nearshore hazard and vulnerability using the entropy method”, by Lien Kwei Chien, National Taiwan Ocean University, Taiwan.
  • “Ports structural and operational benchmark: methodology and application to Mediterranean basin” by Stefano Ricci, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, Italy
  • “A framework for the evaluation of the quality of pedestrian routes for the sustainability of port-city shared areas” by Matteo Ignaccolo, University of Catania, Italy

Technical Excursion

The delegates visited Ostia Antica, which is the ancient port of Rome which is located west of Rome on the River Tiber which was once home to around 100,000 people. Today, Ostia Antica is well-preserved archaeological site.

Ostia was founded around 620 BC. During the period of ancient Rome, Ostia Antica was one of the most thriving cities in Italy due to its status as Rome’s harbour city. It became Rome’s main seaport during the Roman Republic (509 BC—27 BC) and was largely improved during the Roman Empire by Julius Caesar and Tiberius.

During the 4th century AD, the port fell into decay as the commercial activity shifted from Ostia to other ports. At the same time, Malaria hit the population and many fled, fearing for their lives. The city was finally abandoned during the 9th century AD, following repeated invasions from pirates.

Nowadays, the site still houses the remains of the majority of the city’s buildings from before it was abandoned. The delegates walked down the cobbled streets and explored the ruins of shops, inns, public baths and houses. There were also numerous mosaics, which were remarkably well preserved, and a reconstructed theatre. The city is home to various religious houses including a synagogue, 18 temples and a Christian Basilica which demonstrate the very cosmopolitan population that once lived within the city.

Conference Publication

Papers presented at this conference will appear in Vol. 188 of the WIT Transactions on The Built Environment (ISSN 1743-3509). Papers presented at the meeting will be available Open Access in the eLibrary of the Wessex Institute ( from where they can be freely downloaded by any interested parties.

A few papers were selected for publication in the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning. This Journal covers the subjects of environmental design and planning, environmental management, spatial planning, environmental planning, environmental management and sustainable development in an integrated way as well as in accordance with the principles of sustainability.

Conference Dinner

The Conference dinner took place at Al Boschetto Restaurant, where the participants could enjoy local dishes, including a fresh pasta, a selection of Roman meats and Tiramisu. The evening was particularly appreciated by the participants.

Closing of the Conference

The conference was closed by Professor Giorgio Passerini, who thanked the delegates for attending and hoped that they would consider attending the next conference in the series which is due to be reconvened in 2021.

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