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. However, the challenges that set Alexandria apart is not so much the conflict among contemporary resource-users but conflicts between the city of Alexandria today and the city, or cities, that Alexandria has been in the past.
The present volume was first meant to be a regular study on coastal erosion. However, a breakwater built in an inconvenient location triggered passionate debates opposing 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?
Twenty-seven contributions from a wide range of relevant disciplines and fields are brought together in this volume. Seemingly disparate and unrelated, these complementary contributions open the way to a solution that allow Alexandria to harmonize its past with its present and thus weave these multiple strands into a unified vision of its future.