With EU Member States working to complete their marine spatial plans by March 2021, as required by EU directive, it is currently a time of intensive activity concerning spatial planning at sea. At a broad policy level, multiple interests and priorities from wind energy and the ‘blue economy’ to shipping and oil and gas pipelines, marine biodiversity and climate change adaptation are weighed against each other and sustainable solutions are sought after. Although often perceived as far away and removed from the daily lives of most people, there is much at stake in MSP!
For some, the marine constitutes a ‘new frontier’, an almost empty space with an, as yet unrealised, economic potential. Yet activities at sea are intimately connected with those on land and the sea and coast are also places of cultural identity, meaning and value to local communities, visitors and recreational users. Against this background, my research and consultancy work focusses on the following topical issues:
– analysing the current disconnect between spatial planning on land and at sea
– Assessing the potential for integrative approaches to strategic spatial planning across the land-sea interface, drawing on good practice examples
– Fostering dialogue between the land-based and MSP research and practitioner communities