While the site-wide conservation campaign aims to tackle the problems of decay in a comprehensive manner by improving conservation conditions and establishing a sustainable programme of continuous care, there are some situations that cannot be dealt with in this way. These situations require specific studies and focused injections of both financial and technical resources. This has been the case for unusual archaeological elements or for particular conservation challenges.
The Herculaneum Conservation Project has addressed particular problems and tested their solutions within the urban block known as the Insula Orientalis I, using it as a case study for the rest of the site. This area has, in fact, been dedicated to better understanding the dynamics of decay and the effects of conservation work, and the results that have been gained so far have served to inform conservation decision-making across the entire site.
Over time the attention of the Herculaneum Conservation Project has turned towards the edges of the site, where long-term conservation and interpretation problems are the most sensitive (stabilising the escarpments, conservation and display of partially-excavated areas, humidity in structures standing up against unexcavated material, environmental interaction with the modern city, etc.).
Since 2008 the ancient shoreline has been a particular focus of activity, initially as part of works to drain groundwater and rainwater, and later as part of a more ambitious programme to enhance the extraordinary archaeological value of this area and increase access to it. In fact, one of the aims of this special project is to include the ancient shoreline as part of the visitor route around the ancient city, as well as connecting it through a tunnel to the nearby archaeological area containing the Villa of the Papyri.