Funding programme: BONUS 2010-2017
Lead partner: Södertörn University
Total budget: € 2 M
Total duration: April 2015 – April 2018

Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) has gained increased prominence recently in response to problems of fragmentation in maritime regulation, increasing pressures upon the seas and tensions between interests and environmental damage. MSP has also been identified as the central approach to give effect to the EU Blue Growth Strategy that promotes more intensive utilisation of marine resources to facilitate the growth of maritime economies, while improving ecological conditions in line with the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan.

However, while policy documents on a conceptual level explain Blue Growth as building on the related foundations of sustainable development and the ecosystem approach, it remains to be seen how this can be implemented in practice. A fundamental question linked to this is whether policy approaches and mechanisms can be developed to support win/win outcomes which deliver Blue Growth while at the same time achieve the environmental policy targets.

BaltSpace posits that achieving the ambitions of MSP in the BSR depends on obtaining different forms of integration (e.g. across policies, sectors, stakeholder inputs, knowledge, ecological and (geo)political scales, scientific disciplines). While analysis is needed to identify enablers and constraints related to several MSP integration challenges, science-based approaches and tools prioritising and addressing how this could be achieved need further development.

Thus the overarching aim of the BaltSpace project is to provide science-based approaches and tools to clarify and improve the capacity of MSP as a policy integrator and thereby enhance the capabilities of society to respond to current and future challenges of Baltic Sea governance.

Specifically BaltSpace aims to:

  • Develop an analytical framework for analysing integration in BSR MSP and for diagnosing shortcoming and inefficiencies
  • Identify concrete obstacles to improved effectiveness and efficiency based on detailed studies of strategically selected cases as well as continuous input from extended peer-review groups
  • Develop and evaluate individual as well as combinations of policy approaches and tools targeting improved integration of MSP processes

BaltSpace Presentation (pdf)