Six lines have been articulated for the development of the research project:
- Town and political and territorial articulation. The cities and towns projected their vigour over their respective regions. In the Mediterranean area, the regions have adjusted to the interests of the urban elites in different ways throughout history. They imposed the specific orientation over the region in different fields (especially economy, social influence, institutional actions and political intervention). We can say that the towns created the regions and that, from this base, the towns have influenced the political organization of their respective countries. A specific international team must be organized in order to study this line, led by Prof. Flocel Sabaté (University of Lleida, Institut d’Estudis Catalans) and Prof. Joseph Patrich (Hebrew University of Jerusalem).
- Urban morphology and social identity. The internal structure of the city is a social and economic reflection of the historical path. The urban morphology is, indeed, a mirror of the social reality that fits in the historical roots. The structure of cities and towns must be studied from the historical perspective to understand their social evolution as well as the evolution of the heritage. A specific international team must be organized in order to study this line, led by Prof. Hermenegildo Fernandes (Universidade de Lisboa) and Hermínia Vilar (Universidade de Evora).
- Mobility and displacement of people. The Mediterranean area has always been a crossroad of moving populations. From prehistoric times to current days, Mediterranean regions have experienced a range of migratory movements from and towards different sides (from far away lands to Mediterranean countries, from South to North, from Mediterranean countries to distant countries; from Eastern Europe, Asia and America to Mediterranean regions). The reason for these movements have been economic but also ideological or cultural. The different sides require a very attentive diachronic analysis to compare the historical paths with the current problems. A specific international team must be organized in order to study this line, led by Maria Euggenia Cadeddu (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Rome).
- Economic dynamics. Mediterranean cities have been characterised by an economic activity that justified their weight, also leading the regions and countries in the social and political fields. Agriculture and livestock, with their cultural and alimentary consequences, imposed a first mark of identity on the Mediterranean; the growth of trade influenced Europe and beyond during Antiquity and the Middle Ages; industrialization imposed new orientations; and now the new forms of economy present great challenges for development. Given that this historical evolution, the economic dynamic should be understood better through a diachronic analysis. A specific international team must be organized in order to study this line, led by Élisabeth Crouzet-Pavan (Université Paris-Sorbonne).
- Cultural, religious and diplomatic relations. One of the permanent features of Mediterranean cities and towns is the contact between different peoples, sharing or fighting for diverse identities. Throughout history, urban societies have developed different models for integration or rejection, always displaying the social values used for cohesion or digression. The diachronic perspective is vitally important for understanding current problems around the co-existence of cultures in the Mediterranean area. A specific international team must be organized in order to study this line, led by Nikolas Jaspert (Universität Heidelberg).
- Energy resources and climate change. Mediterranean cities have historically excelled in the management of energy resources. Economic production and demographic evolution have conditioned energy supplies throughout the Mediterranean region, with notable difficulties and limitations. The diachronic perspective allows current problems to be studied from an adequate perspective. A specific international team must be organized in order to study this line.
These six lines, developed by the respective team, will analyse the different sources, attentive to archives, libraries and archaeology. Transversal meetings will be held to coordinate the work done by different lines