Case Study F: Monte di Procida-Miseno

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Area Monte di Procida-Miseno
Place Monte di Procida, Naples
Country Italy
Topics please enter the main coast-related topics here
Author(s) Alexandru Moldovan, Annely Jürimets, Daniele Petagna, Elena Pop, Narges Doosti, (Gheorghe Madalina - part A)


Monte di Procida-Miseno is located near Napoli in Campi Flegrei, a large volcanic region declared Regional Park in 2003.

The beautiful and dynamic landscape is filled with an impressive heritage and rich biodiversity.

This territorial peculiarity is contrasted with various problems arising from low-quality management which lead to an uncontrolled and unplanned urbanization. As a result, the cliffs are the only components that keep and maintain the wilderness but are threatened by erosion.

Our priority is to improve the environment, through an efficient, cost-effective and implementable planning.

Location and scope

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A Landscape System Analysis

A.1 Landscape layers and their system context

Geomorphology, landscape units and coastal typology

The territory of Monte di Procida-Miseno represents the most extreme part of the Phlegraean peninsula and its territorial characteristics are substantially linked to the evolutionary history of the Campi Flegrei area.

The area originated from two serious eruptions, the first occurred 39000 years ago (eruption of the Ignimbrite campana) and the second 12000 years ago (eruption of the Tufo giallo napoletano). The eruptions probably caused the collapse of the caldera, a semicircular depression, in which then developed a complex volcanic system.

Every event of volcanic deposition and erosion occurred over the centuries has contributed to the definition and formation of the coastal landscape as it appears today. Observing the coastal morphology characterized by layers of rocky sediments, it is possible to recognize an older section, corresponding to the lower part, composed of ash and lapilli, and a relatively younger section, the highest part, made of pumice and tuff.

The volcanic nature of the place has contributed to the formation of natural beauties such as the islet of San Martino. At the beginning the island, composed mainly of pozzolana, was connected to Monte di Procida but, in 1488, due to a tsunami, it broke off from the coast.

The area of Miseno is characterized by six volcanoes in a state of quiescence that have influenced the morphology of the territory characterized by an alternation of high and low topography. The orography of the area is mainly hilly, exception of a flat area near Lake Miseno. From a geological point of view, Capo Miseno is formed by yellow tufa rock, only at the top it is covered by the typical ash of Campi Flegrei, the white pozzolana.

Land use

In the past, at the Monte di Procida area, agriculture and fishing were more dominant than nowadays. Monte di Procida area has been a lot more natural, than Miseno, because Miseno was a military area. Residential area has been grown through times in both areas. Nowadays there exist a lot of illegal buildings near the coast. Cliffs are making boundaries between land and water. Sandy beach area give the access to the water.

In the area, there are two ports: Porto di Acquamorta (in Monte di Procida) and Porto di Miseno (in Miseno). Main roads - Via Torregaveta, Corso Garibaldi and Via Panoramica – are dividing the Monte di Procida. Viale Olimpico is connected to the rest of Via Panoramica, Via Lungolago and Via Risorgimento are connected to the rest of Bacoli. Only buses that are driving through the area are using only these streets.

The territory is famous for agriculture, but above all, for the vineyards. In this territory a particular wine is produced, exported also to the United States, that is the Falanghina wine. One of the most ancient vine in Campania.

Residential areas, that are located near the ports and the sea, are the most visited by tourists, because also many important landmarks and heritage objects are in these areas (see more in sacred spaces and heritage chapter). In the future more likely port and residential areas with tourists will be predominate and develop, because local population is decreasing and there are more and more foreigners. Because residential areas will be developing, agricultural areas will be decreasing. There would be a need for recreational spaces in the Miseno part, more connected green infrastructure and better transport connections to all over the area. Natural areas can be linked to each other by developing the greenery and natural sites in order to control the sprawl of illegal settlements.

Green/blue infrastructure

Green and blue infrastructure consist of combining green spaces alongside good water management, creating a healthy and sustainable living environment for everyone.

In our studied area the green-blue infrastructure is in equal proportion with the constructed area. The main problem is the danger of pollution which affect the infrastructure.

A very helpful aspect is that 3 major areas: San Martino island, Lake Miseno and Miseno are part of the European conservation project (Natura 2000), which means at least these sites will be protected from future threats.

Actors and stakeholders

The Municipality of Monte di Procida holds the most power in our study zone, it settles plans and projects for further urban development but taking into account the conservation or if necessary the rehabilitation of the landscape. The study zone is part of the Province of Naples and included in Campania Region, so it is an integrated part of more laborious programms for social and economical development on sustainable principals and for a proper managemnt of natural heritage.

It is a zone were the urbanization was fast so it had a broad development, a lot of possibilities for businesses arised. Along with the prosperity and enlargement of the city came foreign investors too. They contribute to the society but can also manifest their influence on the landscape.

Another important stakeholders are the residents and all that is connected to the tourism and services. In the town they were built many restaurants, villas, places of entertainment and relaxation. It is necessary to emphasize that a big part of tourist activities in this zone are connected to the port and the shore line.

In this zone there are many archaeological sites, monuments and museums that preserve both cultural and natural heritage. All these along with the protected areas, either used to protect species of animals and plants or the unique landscape, are threatened by both natural and anthropic disasters.

Sacred spaces and heritage

The territory of Monte di Procida-Miseno was founded around the 6th century BC and throughout the ages, many monuments and sacred spaces of exceptional historical value have been handed down.

The oldest church, most probably, dates back to 1644 and is dedicated to the Madonna Assunta, since, according to legend, a picture of her was found on the beach. Over time, the church has undergone numerous maintenance work. Today it presents itself with a classical facade characterized by columns and marble decorations. The interior is divided into three naves, where the statue of the Madonna Assunta, maked by the Neapolitan sculptor Francesco Verzella, is safeguard.

Over the past twenty years, remains of the Roman Necropolis have been found in Cappella, a hamlet on the border between Bacoli and Monte di Procida. These are funerary structures dating back to a period between the Late Republican age and the Middle Empire, which welcomed deceased members of the Classis Misenensis and their relatives. Inside there is a monumental mausoleum and four funerary rooms that have small recess on the walls intended to hold the ashes.

Another important Roman archaeological monument, built in the Augustan age, is the Piscina Mirabilis, a huge water cistern, with a capacity of 12,600 mc, that represented the arrival point of the Serino aqueduct. The monument, dug out of the tufo, has a rectangular plan and consists of four rows of twelve pillars that divide the space into five long aisles and thirteen short that support barrel vaults.

The territory is also famous for the beautiful panorama that can be seen from the various paths, including the Sentiero del faro that descends towards Miliscola. A footpath from the sea, is lost among old villas, farms, and numerous ruins including an anti-Saracen tower dating back to medieval times, known as Torre Bassa, which had the function of protecting and monitoring from the phenomenon of banditry.

Visual appearance and landscape narrative

Monte di Procida-Miseno has been depicted and described in many pieces of art since more than twenty centuries before Christ. However, so far, visions have been changed as the societies and landscapes changed. In a famous epic poem by Virgilio which is known by all as Aeneid (19th-29th BC), it had been described that there was trumpeter of 'Enea' named 'Miseno', and his rival 'Tritone' was envious of his skill in playing the instrument. Tritone challenged Miseno and, realizing his talent, killed him by throwing him into the sea. Miseno's body was found by his friends, they buried him at the top of the promontory. This promontory took its name from the trumpeter Miseno. In the eighteenth century, Italian painter and draftsperson named Carlo Bonavia, described a view of the islands of Procida from the Miseno beach. Later in 1819, François Gérard (1770-1837) painted a scene 'Corinne at Cape Miseno' from a novel called 'Corinne ou l'Italie', an 1807 novel by Madame de Staël.

Ultimately, our perception of the scenes of old Miseno is expressed in a way that before the nineteenth century that Miseno was depicted in literature and other forms of art, it had a fearful and uneasy feeling because of the active volcano in the background with the gloomy foggy atmosphere. But today, those specific views are the most popular landmarks, mainly visited for the purpose of tourism, and a safe, peaceful, and spectacular place for the locals to get away from their everyday life. As we are living in a world that social media has a strong role in expressions of the places and feelings by people, we came up with the most ‘hashtag-able’ photos which were taken in those areas shown on the right lower map. Also, high viewpoints seem to be more popular for the visitors in general. This brings the capacity of those beaches to be developed and maintained in future strategies.

A.2 Summary of you landscape system analysis and your development Targets

  • System analyse

The tourism industry damages the biodiversity and that has a direct response on birds, in time getting to lose them. As a measure, it should be controlled tourism.

The interesting and vast heritage attracts more and more visitors. In time the increased number of tourist will have visible effects on archaeological sites by getting damaged and so they will lose their touristic interest. Searching for new methods to protect the archaeological sites could be the answer to the problem.

A decreasing natality creates the pressure of a small number of newborns and this affects the workforce and the economy. As a response, the government should take actions in this way to sustain the local business for people in order to be able to create and maintain a family.

  • Hypothesis

Low rate natality could lead to the loss of the local culture as there will be no young generation to take further the traditions. The pollution and an increased number of tourist will affect biodiversity.

In terms of Sustainable development goals, one big key factor is the decrease in the young population which has a direct risk on goal no. 8, 9, 13, which indirectly affect other goals as well. In other words, with the decrease of the young workforce and educated residents, there might be problems with the economic growth and the innovative infrastructure, and there is not much young generation to be educated for actions needed in order to put them on a sustainable track. Consequently, It leads to a less responsible behavior, because of the increasing tourism, which is increasing the pollution to the sea (no.14 at risk), to the soil (no. 15 at risk). To create a balance between the tourism industry, which can be helpful to the economic growth, investments in infrastructures, and so on, and the pollution brought by the overloading number of visitors, and human in general, other goals can be achieved such as no. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15.

A.3 Theory reflection

Monte di Procida-Miseno is characterized by illegal construction, low-quality land management and also water pollution (sea and Lake Miseno) which penalizes the growth of tourism over time. The New Urban Agenda supports the correlation between good urbanization and sustainable development, showing the importance of collaboration between administrative bodies and citizens, a more intelligent management of the territory to preserve the beauty of the territory. It explains that urbanization can be a powerful tool for sustainable development, if well-planned and well-managed. Guiding Principles for City Climate Action Planning document is also made for offering guidance for cities to develop plans, strategies and actions with their own needs and address their objectives for sustainable urban development and tackling the climate challenge in a comprehensive way. At European level, the European Parliament signed a law in 2014 that approves the spatial planning of maritime space. This law highlights water management while reducing conflicts between different sectors and activities, also encourage investments and development of cooperation between EU countries, while protecting the environment by identifying impacts early and create opportunities for multiple use of space. Based on this, a more collaborative comprehensive development can be achieved in order for the study area to be evolved in a wide variety of aspects. As illegal constructions at the coastal area are also a problem in case study area and this problem puts enormous pressure on coastal ecosystems, also they are the most vulnerable areas to climate change and natural hazards, but at the same time the well-being of local population and the economic viability of many businesses depend on the environmental status of these areas, Integrated Coastal Management document was created in 2013 for being one of a long term management tools. This document aims for the coordinated application of the different policies affecting the coastal zone and related to activities. In Italy, the Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape (2004) describes the landscape as an area that represents the interrelation between a human being and nature. This means that we need to improve the territory by promoting cultural development and protecting the environment, (by promoting green infrastructures to strengthen the value of the landscape) with the collaboration also of administrative bodies and citizens.

A.4 References

New Urban Agenda

Guiding Principles for City Climate Action Planning

Phase B: Landscape Evaluation and Assessment

Based on the conclusion and outcomes of phase A, there came out the need for assessing the reasons behind the decrease in the young population in the area. In order to address this need, we need to analyse the interrelated criteria. As low natality rate has led to loss of local culture, local life is one characteristic that we need to focus on, which through it, transportation system, biking and walking trails, quality of public spaces, the ports and types of agricultural lands will be mapped. As the local life is the core of the area, it’s interlinked with tourism, as a factor in Monte di Procida and Miseno’s economy. Low natality rate also worsens the economy, so developing tourism, specifically the sustainable one, as the biodiversity is also under threats, is another characteristic we will focus on by mapping accommodations, as well as transportation, heritage landmarks, and recreational beaches. As for biodiversity, which its changes can influence on the supply of ecosystem services, green areas, sea water quality will be assessed. Consequently, the characteristics of the Coastal landscapes will be analysed as well. Afterwards, we need to assess all the criteria by analysing each theme separately by their negative/positive aspects on the area. The need for improve, creating, or modifying places might be revealed in this phase.

B.2 Mapping

Local life

Sustainable tourism


B.3 Problem definition and priority setting

  • Give a summary of the major findings of your mapping process, what are the problems/potentials identified?
  • Draw a problems/potentials map
  • Set priorities for the most relevant issues

The risks that needs to be solved and analyzed are:

1) The erosion that is occurring on cliffs.

2) Another problem is the pollution in the port. Based on a study from 2004 Aqua Morta port exceeds 5 dB over the limit. A research was conducted on the population of mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis. About animal health status, mussels show a thinnest epithelial cell of digestive tubules compared to mussels sampled from other sampling sites. Changes in the morphology of digestive tubules represent a non-adaptive response to pollutant exposure and stress. Overall Miseno port was observed to be compatible with respect to environmental quality.

Generally, our priority is to link the local with tourists as well as connecting them to the nature, and it particularly can be accomplished by achieving goals below:

1) Addressing the need for some more social public green parks, or ideally, community gardens, which can not only address the issues of lacking enough public parks, but also will it help to connect the urban life to the nature and the green infrastructure, as well as raising the quality of local life.

2) Maintaining the beaches as well as developing them in a sustainable manner, and also regulating the tourism industry in order to control different types of pollution.

3) Improving the economy of the area by achieving sustainable tourism.

4) Raising the quality of schools in terms of their surrounding environments.

B.4 Theory reflection

The analyzes of the Monte di Procida-Miseno area have contributed to assessing the complexity of the area and through some maps we have tried to describe the current situation in the best way.

In addition to analyzing the attractions and tourist services, the objective of the second map is to promote sustainable tourism, paying particular attention to the relationship between tourism and nature, trying to achieve a fair balance. This is committed to reducing the impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to create future jobs for local populations. This is made possible by a correct management of resources such as: a conscious use of water to avoid waste, and alternatives to private means of transport such as cycling because it doesn't contribute in any way to air and noise pollution and to the relationship that is established with the territory.

The third map (Biodiversity map) evaluates all the green areas including Natura 2000 sites (protected sites due to the biodiversity) and it is also shown the quality of the sea, that has a direct impact to all the living beings. The risk of erosion threatens multiple factors including biodiversity and a solution should be found to solve it. In the process of the design, the subjected areas must be related to PTP.

B.5 References

Phase C – Strategy and Master Plan

C.1 Goal Setting

  • Define strategic planning objectives based on the evaluation findings
  • Link back to your original targets from section one and the Development Goals
  • 150 words text contribution

C.2 Spatial Strategy and Transect

  • translate your strategic goals into a vision
  • develop a spatial translation of your vision

The definition of the project is born with the use of the transect technique, that is a cut or a mapped path that allows to visualize the conformation of the different parts of the territory. In our case, the transect identifies some important anthropic and natural areas, related to each other that today experience a period of degradation and abandonment. The transect examined, starts from the area protected by the SIC (Site of Community Interest, defined by the European Commission as a site that contributes to the conservation of a type of natural habitat), that is from the islet of San Martino which is in a state of neglect and inaccessibility due to the collapse of the pier. The transect follows the shoreline, moving to the port (where there are currently few services and ferries) and continuing along the path of Torrefumo (little known place), the historic center, Miseno lake (polluted and partly degraded) reaching the Faro of Capo Miseno (little frequented place). In addition, the orography of the territory was studied with the transect, through two sections near the port of Acquamorta and Lake Miseno. . We can observe a predominantly rocky area in Monte di Procida and flat zone in the area of Miseno, except for a hilly area present at Capo Miseno. Among these areas identified through this analysis, two projects were developed, near Lake Miseno and the path of Torrefumo.

The first acupuncture focuses on the area around Lake Miseno, where there is currently the Villa Comunale of Bacoli (located in front of the municipality) and an unused and uncultivated green area towards the beach. Initially, around the lake there was a cycle / pedestrian path which unfortunately is now in a state of neglect and degradation. The first intervention is to reclaim the lake and then create a park, in the unused green area, that can be connected to the current Villa Comunale. In this way a huge Green ring is generated which will bring to light the path already present dedicated to cycle tourism and the various services located near Lake Miseno, trying to activate and revive the area and to take advantage of the resources and potential that the territory offers. The design at the base of the planimetry traces the waves generated by the sea present in the examined area (paths) by inserting in them 4 focal points (small squares), where it is possible to place various equipment and activities including the play area for children. Finally, the project involves the construction of two car parks located at the end of the park, given that in this territory there is no area used for this service.

C.3 From Theory of Change to Implementation

  • For implementing your vision: Which partnerships are needed? Which governance model is required?
  • Who needs to act and how? Draw and explain a change/process model/timeline
  • Which resources are needed? On which assets can you build?
  • add 150 words text and visuals

C.4 References

  • give a full list of the references you have used for this section

D. Process Reflection

  • Reflect in your intercultural and interdisciplinary team on the outcomes of your study
  • Which limitations were you facing?
  • What have you learnt from each other?
  • What would you do differently next time?
  • You can also use diagrams/visuals
  • 250 words text