In 2001, Hariri Foundation partnered with UNESCO and the Municipality of Saida to organize the Third International Conference on Small Historic Coastal Cities in Saida. The conference was part of the Social Transformation Management Program for research on city-related issues, particularly sustainable civil development of coastal areas. The ultimate objective of the conference was to advance research on sustainable urban development of coastal areas and to develop partnerships among coastal municipalities to address shared challenges.
The conference brough together international and local stakeholders and experts in civil society, sociology, coastal development, as well as archaeology. Held over the course of a week, the event featured several conference sessions, expert meetings, side activities, as well as exhibitions promoting heritage and sustainable development. The conference released a holistic conference proceeding including scientific publications as well as conference discussions, recommendations, and commitments among participant cities and sectors.