SECOA will consider the effects of human mobility on urban settlements’ growth and restructuring in fragile environments, such as coastal areas by :

• identifying the ongoing and possible contrasts

• analyzing their quantitative and qualitative effects on the environment

• creating models to synthesize the complexity of the different social, economic and environmental systems

• comparing the priority of each typology through the tool of taxonomy

Whatever happens at the settlement level has consequences on natural and cultural resources. Those consequences are, often, not properly considered, even if they are irreversible processes. In coastal settlements where environment and natural resources are more fragile, every phenomenon is more concentrated and effects are more acute. The problems are also multiplied since climate change is affecting the environmental parameters such as see levels in the vicinity of urban settlements, augmenting the risk of flooding which leads to damage and destruction of settlements, propagation of pollutants and dislocation of a great number of settlers Of course, this mobility may also contribute positively to the development of coastal areas, for regeneration of post-industrial land (e.g. maritime, docks).

The need for controlling and reducing unwanted consequences is contributing to the creation of contrasts among stakeholders belonging to different economic sectors and social spheres. Frequency and intensity of conflicts and contradictions in the society are likely to grow in the near future, as densification and intensification of space and resources deepens.

An integrated ecosystem approach incorporating social, economic and natural disciplines is essential in understanding and dealing with the complex and dynamic problems facing the coastal city environments.