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Planning for sustainable coastal areas: what role does outdoor recreation and tourism have?

Conference contribution
Authors Andreas Skriver Hansen
Published in PlanNord 2019 - ABSTRACTS The 9th Nordic Planning Research Symposium 21 - 23 August 2019 | NMBU, Norway
Publisher NMBU
Place of publication Ås, Norway
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Unit for Human Geography
Language en
Keywords Coastal-marine planning, outdoor recreation, tourism, development, Blue Growth
Subject categories Human Geography


The bearing principle behind sustainable planning of coastal-marine areas is to have good knowledge not only about environmental but also socio-cultural uses and activities such as tourism and outdoor recreation (Pike et al. 2010). Both tourism and recreation have received scholarly and political attention for decades, mainly due to their role for health, place-marketing and economic development, especially in peripheral coastal regions (Fredman et al. 2013). However, in this presentation I argue that that both topics have not received the attention they deserve in ongoing coastalmarine planning and development processes. For instance, Stenseke and Hansen (2014) have argued that in debates on environmental management, coastal-marine area planning is primarily dominated by economic and ecological interests, whereas tourism and recreation aspects remain notably unarticulated. Furthermore, research on sustainability issues in relation to spatial planning in coastal-marine areas has generally been dominated by systemic natural science approaches (Kidd 2013). Also, even if much attention today is directed towards the coast and the sea when looking for places for tourism and recreation qualities, general scientific knowledge about these factors in coastal-marine areas is limited. A recent international volume on human relations to the sea (Anderson & Peters 2014) and a few Scandinavian studies on coastal-marine tourism and outdoor recreation (Ankre 2007; Hansen 2016) have highlighted this problem. The study findings all point towards a need to examine how tourism and recreation aspects are considered in current coastal-marine planning and development processes, from a national to a local level. This work requires attention as a way to widen the understandings of the structure and cause of coastal and marine planning, and thus provide important prerequisites for more sustainable and inclusive planning and development advancements. The presentation will therefore contribute with a much needed socio-cultural angle on planning and development strategies in coastal-marine areas. This work is not a moment too soon given the current agenda for accommodating EU’s strategies for sustainable use of marine resources (“Blue Growth”) as well as the institutionalisation of coastal zone management and maritime spatial planning, which will determine the future sustainable use of coastal-marine areas.

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