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Waterfront and Transformation in Contexts of Conflict


This chapter defines in what way the seaside and the waterfront can be place of conflicts among infrastructures, production, unplanned urbanisation, bathing tourism and many other activities. The last section of the chapter describes synthetically the study case of Saint-Nazare Submarine base and the terms of regeneration of a typically place of conflict, like a military area connected with the waterfront. The transformations underway in the waterfront areas present a variety of complex settlement dynamics that are ascribable to the infrastructural and productive nature of many activities, such as unplanned urbanisation, the pressures of bathing tourism and mass tourism, and the system of second homes. Waterfronts highlight the need to deal with the issues of conflict, a conflict generated by the separation of the authority, roles, actions and sectors of the various actors involved in the process of management and transformation of these areas. It is a conflict that only seems surmountable through the creation of a common vision of transformation that is able to bring together the tensions in play into a shared future vision, starting from an understanding of specifics and differences. At a national level, the wide fragmentation of the institutional bodies responsible for governing the coast has been determined by the definition of management roles related to maritime public property and the definition of jurisdictional limits. The concept of jurisdiction that identifies the sphere of competence and consists of the application of the objective right of the body to exercise its own administrative functions recalls the themes of management, definition of uses and modification. The areas of jurisdiction that affect waterfront areas are the main elements which define the responsibilities of the bodies which manage the territory and call on different planning regulations, whose drawing up and carrying out bring about that “separateness” of vision and of objectives that is at the heart of the fragmentation in the current national system for governing the transformation of the waterfront areas in which the bodies whose responsibilities and needs often conflict (port authorities, investors and manufacturers, communities etc.).