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Quaestiones Geographicae

The Journal of Adam Mickiewicz University

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Volume 36, Issue 3

Urban Geomorphology in Coastal Environment: Man-Made Morphological Changes in a Seaside Tourist Resort (Rapallo, Eastern Liguria, Italy)

Pierluigi Brandolini / Francesco Faccini / Guido Paliaga
  • Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection of Turin of the Italian National Research Council, Italy
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Pietro Piana
  • School of Geography, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-09-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/quageo-2017-0027


This research focuses on the reconstruction of the morphological modifications of the coastal floodplain of Rapallo (Eastern Liguria, NW Italy) due to human intervention since the eighteenth century. By the second half of the nineteenth century Rapallo became a popular tourist destination: as a consequence, the urban development of the floodplain started and became very intense after Second World War, strongly modifying former landforms.

The study was carried out using multi-temporal cartographic and photographic comparison, the analysis of geo-thematic cartography and documentation from the Basin Master Plan and the town plan of Rapallo, the interpretation of cores from regional database and field data from direct urban surveys. Man-made landforms were mapped and classified using the new geomorphological legend which is in progress in the framework of the Working Groups on “Cartography” and “Urban Geomorphology” of the Italian Association of Physical Geography and Geomorphology (AIGEO).

The main significant morphological changes were stream diversions and channeling, excavations and filling, quarry activities, embankments along the shoreline and overurbanization. Human interventions, in addition to local geomorphological and climate features, increased flood hazard and risk, which historically affected the city of Rapallo.

Keywords: Urban Geomorphology; Man-made landforms; Tourism impact; Flood risk; Rapallo


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About the article

Received: 2017-05-08

Revised: 2017-06-26

Published Online: 2017-09-29

Published in Print: 2017-09-01

Citation Information: Quaestiones Geographicae, Volume 36, Issue 3, Pages 97–110, ISSN (Online) 2081-6383, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/quageo-2017-0027.

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© 2017 Pierluigi Brandolini et al., published by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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