Coastline / Islands

Living Spaces/ Urban Strategies and Theory of the Landscape I
IOA Fall 2015/ Univ -Lect. Andrea Börner

1. 1864 U.S. Coast Survey Map or trianguation Chart of New England- Geographicus - NewEnglanduscs- 1864

    On the land, there is a specific boundary which we call the border. People are constantly passing through this imaginary but existing line. This border separates nation from nation.
The coastline separates two different elements (sea and land), it has been precisely defined but it still allows freedom of migration.

Coastline introduction

    Migration (circulation) from the sea to the land is not limited everywhere, there is a coastline of the state but no border control. From the history, there have been huge waves of migration from Africa towards Europe since the 19th century. These Africans moved mostly to the south of Europe – Spain, Portugal, Italy, but later during the 20th century, the movement of migration was the most, also towards
The Netherlands, France (from their overseas colonies). Colonization is the term which derived from the Latin word colere, which means “to inhabit”. Also, colonization refers strictly to migration, for example, to settler colonies in America or Australia, trading posts, and plantations,
while colonialism deals with this, along with ruling the existing indigenous peoples of styled “new territories”.

    When European settlers started to settle land such as Australia, they regarded such landmasses as terra nullius. Terra nullius means “empty land” in Latin. In other words, the settlers treated the land as uninhabited and a “clean slate” for colonization and colonial rule. However, these ideas were not true, as such landmasses were often inhabited by indigenous populations. For example, it was estimated that there were 350,000 native people in Australia during the time when Europeans tried to conquer Australia. A similar process of appropriating land by colonizers can be observed in the late nineteenth century during the colonization of West Africa by Europe. The accepted practice among cartographers at the time was to display unexplored landscapes as “blank spaces”.

2. Philippe Rekacewicz:
The forbidden world, 2013,

    Cartographic coastlines are highly related to marine navigation from the history. There are two main water lines; the high-water line and the low-water line. The first one is much older and it is a necessary feature on any sailing chart to national defense. This shoreline was added later to a low-water line that reflects the hazards of coastal waters to larger cargo vessels as well as advances in tide prediction
and hydrographic surveying related to the environmental changes. Coastal change is persistent, increasingly visible climate problem as land development destroyed coastal wetlands and other natural buffer zones, which in turn magnifies the impact of coastal weather conditions such storms, floods.


    Islands have outlines (coastline), which means that we are tempted to read them as bodies or at least as objects with the specific material, landscape, a key to nature’s intent forming them in immaterial substance as a water around them.

Overpopulated island - Lampedusa (case study 1)

3.Migration flows to Lampedusa
from Africa and Middle East

    There is no regulation, no control along the whole coastline of the island. The islands in the Mediterranean sea are occupied by different migrants as Lampedusa.
This land is a part of the Sicilian province, Italy’s southernmost island. Tunisia, which is about 113 kilometers (70 miles) away, is actually much closer as motherland Italy about 205 kilometers (127 miles). Because of this fact, Lampedusa was a landing place and a maritime a base for the ancient Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, and Amazighs. Since the early 2000s, Lampedusa, the European territory closest to Libya has become the main transit point for immigrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia wanting to enter Europe. Lampedusa, the not-quite eight square miles of Italian territory in the Mediterranean that has become known to the world not for hope, but for tragedy.These landings of boats full of immigrants have been going on for about 20 years. But the last disasters have upset the balance. Most of the (migrants) tell they moved on to improve their living conditions and they don’t believe that if they stay in Italy this will happen. They say the (Italian) protection and reception system is not appropriate for their needs. They believe that other EU countries, for example, Sweden, can instead guarantee the right to study, the right to work, the right to have an appropriate house. If the boat passengers are unsure about Italy before they arrived in Lampedusa, the facilities on the island are not, at the moment, likely to change their minds. Surrounded by sloping shrubland outside the town, the reception center to which the migrants are taken is currently hugely overcrowded. The center is in a critical condition. Many people are sleeping rough because in the center there are not enough places. Sicilian regional authorities have declared a state of emergency on the island, a move that should free up funds for aid workers.

Remote island - Bouvet Island (case study 2)

    Bouvet Island is the most remote island on the planet, located in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is totally uninhabited, belongs to Norway. The nearest land is the uninhabited Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, over 1,600 km (994 mi) away to the south. The nearest inhabited lands are Tristan da Cunha, 2,260 km (1,404 mi) away and South Africa, 2,580 km (1,603 mi) away. This uninhabited, volcanic Antarctic island is almost entirely covered by glaciers making it difficult to approach. As the most isolated spot in the whole world – a fact which anyone who cares to spend an instructive five minutes with a pair of dividers and a good globe can easily verify. Around Bouvet Island, it is possible
to draw a circle of one thousand miles radius (having an area of 3,146,000 square miles, or very nearly that of Europe) which contains no other land whatever. No other point of land on the earth’s surface has this peculiarity.

4.Despite being the most remote location upon the planet Earth,completely uninhabited according to the CIA’s World Factbook, this island is home to the top-level internet country domain code. The facts which are recently
uncovered lead us to believe a secret island headquarters of the New
World Order has been discovered in one of the most remote regions on
the planet that is also the home to an ongoing series of internet cyber
warfare attacks being launched across the world as well as a HAARP
control point for the NWO’s nefarious electronic warfare.

Island country Nauru (case study 3)

5.Nauru is the third smallest state
in the world behind Vatican city and Monaco with nearly 10 thousands
inhabitants on the land with the area of 21-square-kilometre.

    Nauru is formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country in Micronesia in the Central Pacific. The closest land is Banaba Island in Kiribati, 300 kilometers (186 mi) to the east. Nauru is divided into fourteen administrative districts which are grouped into eight electoral constituencies and are further divided into various villages.
The most populous district is Denigomodu with a total of 1,804 residents. Nauru supplied Australia with abundant fertilizer for almost a century after vast phosphate deposits were discovered in 1900. Nauru is not the easiest place to visit. Access is subject to the whims of transport, weather, and the immigration department. With the closing of the phosphate mine, associated hospitality services such as
hotels, restaurants and hire cars - where they exist at all - are minimal. Most visitors are politicians, diplomats or development workers - and during the days of Australia’s ‘Pacific Solution’ to the arrival of refugees, extraordinary numbers of security guards and other contractors. The way how to get there is the first, fly to Brisbane, Australia. Then,
get comfortable until the once-weekly (when they feel like it) The Airline flies into Nauru International Airport with a stopover on the way in the Solomon Islands (a sovereign country consisting of a large number of islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu). Finally, hitch a ride, ‘cuz there’s no public
transport and quite possibly only one registered cab.

Hashima - Battleship island (case study 4)

    Hashima is an abandoned island lying about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the city of Nagasaki, in southern Japan. From the distance view, the island reminds a warship. It is a solitary island in East China Sea. In between island’s features are concrete abandoned buildings as the island used to be the symbol of industrialization of Japan.

6.On the islands, there are special features like concrete abondoned buildings as the island used to be the symbol of industrialization of Japan. These building provided enough space to accommodate huge amount of people and still wait for the new arrival of inhabitants.

    The area of the island is 61 thousand square meters. it was once home to a major coal mining operation managed by Mitsubishi, at its peak, housing 5,259 people which resulted in a staggering 83,500 people per square kilometer, making it one of the most densely populated places in world history. The island is also known as “Battleship Island”,named after its external appearance and unique silhouette.
The inhabitants of the island constituted a self-contained community under the control of one company. The island itself formed a complete urban entity, where all kinds of buildings and services necessary for human life, were arranged in the concentrated multi-level complex.

The least densely populated island- Greenland (case study 5)

    The world’s least-densely populated territory is Greenland, population density is 0.0 people per square kilometer as of 2016. As of 1 January 2016, the population of Greenland was estimated to be 56 922 people. This is an increase of 0.05 % (28 people) compared to the population
of 56 894 the year before. The total area of Greenland is 2 166 090 km² according to the United Nations Statistic Division. The country belongs to the Kingdom of Denmark and has been inhabited for over 4500 years by native peoples from Canada and Nordic settlers from Scandinavia. Its coastline has the length of 44,087 km.

7.This is truly catastrophic melting - nothing like it has ever been seen before. Some researchers think that this part of the ice sheet is about to disintegrate catastrophically, leaving a remnant in north Greenland which will be about half the size of the ice sheet of the 1950’s.


    Comparing two extremes of density and the stages in between are providing an overview, how the climate and geographical position within the globe is not the most important factor while occupying the island. Many other important factors to migrate through the sea to reach the islands (mostly temporary ) are to discover the new
possibilities of life and science there. The most developed countries all over the world are densely populated and people of the future would try to escape more and more to those remote islands which are still left untouched and set up new territories. As the outline of the islands is changing according to the environment or spatial influence, the coastline of Lampedusa island is extending towards outside like imaginary line because of the constant arrival of the people there. On the other hand, island such Greenland is
melting and the coastline is shrinking (physical border) which has direct influence on the living areas.
The remote islands are hard to access, we might know their precise position on the planet but it might take us days to arrive there. But once they are digitally connected with the rest of the world (as is connected is a default nowadays), we can be on the island in the second via the internet and there is nothing like “far” existing anymore.

Bibliography / References

1.Gresh, Alain ; Rekacewicz,Philippe. “Le Monde diplomatique’s new
atlas, Beyond the borders” , 2012 , online at: http://mondediplo.

2.European History Online. “Migration from the Colonies to Western
Europe since 1800” , 2012 , online at:


3.Hashima Island.Forgotten world. online at : http://www.hashimaisland.
4.Monmonier, Mark. “ Coastlines. How mapmakers frame the world and
chart environmental change”, The University of Chicago Press, 2008 :

5.The Guardian. “ Why Lampedusa remains an island of hope for
migrants” 2013 , online at :

6.The New York Times. “Greenland Is Melting Away” , 2015, online

greenland-is-melting-away.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncol lection%2Fscience&action=click&contentCollection=science&r