Baltic LINes: Coherent Linear Infrastructures in Baltic Maritime Spatial Plans


The project aims to increase transnational coherence of linear infrastructure, e.g. shipping routes and energy corridors, in Maritime Spatial Plans in the Baltic Sea Region. This prevents cross-border mismatches and secures transnational connectivity as well as efficient use of Baltic Sea space.

About the project

Countries of the Baltic Sea region have started-up a new cooperation initiative in maritime spatial planning to aim at coherent future layout of shipping routes, submarine cables, pipelines, wind farm connections and other offshore linear infrastructures. As the result pan-Baltic solutions and recommendations for the national maritime spatial plans will be developed to harmonise the different uses of the Baltic Sea space. It is foreseen to involve in the process not only spatial planners, authorities and decision makers, but also representatives from the shipping and energy sectors, in order to coordinate the spatial needs of the industries and integrate their input in the process.

With the growing amount of the human activities in the Baltic Sea a demand for space is also growing. A spatial coordination of future development for different economical activities may timely solve potential conflicts, ensure efficient use of the sea space and promote sustainability in the future. Not only trans-sectoral, but also trans-national coordination of the process is needed to preclude cross-border mismatches and secure transnational connectivity.

To stimulate this process, the European Union has recently adopted legislation requiring all coastal EU countries to plan their maritime activities. These national Maritime Spatial Plans have to be coherent and coordinated within the sea basin, and finalised by 2021 (EU MSP Directive 2014). The Baltic LINes project comes at a crucial moment when the countries of the region are on the way with their national maritime spatial plans.

In frames of Baltic LINes project 15 project partner organisations form 9 Baltic Sea region countries will work together on suggestions of transnationally coherent planning solutions for linear infrastructures, outline the future scenarios and elaborate conditions for maritime spatial planning regarding the shipping and energy sectors. For more successful coordination of the process regional data access should be provided, therefore the project will be piloting first ever maritime spatial planning data infrastructure in the region.

Main outputs

  • Identify future conditions for shipping and energy in relation to Maritime Spatial Planning
  • Prototype of pan-Baltic Maritime Spatial Planning spatial data infrastructure for shipping and energy
  • Offer suggestions of transnationally coherent planning solutions for linear infrastructures
  • Recommendations for a formalised Baltic Sea Region agreement on transboundary consultations on linear infrastructure within the Maritime Spatial Planning process

Expected project results

  • Maritime spatial planners equipped with sufficient knowledge to make long term decisions
  • Sectors started working and cooperating at pan-Baltic scale
  • Lasting deliverables: data infrastructures, pan-Baltic coordination agreement

Maritime Spatial Planning

It is a public process of analysing and allocating the spatial temporal distribution of human activities in maritime areas to achieve ecological, economic, and social objectives that usually have been specified through a political process. Maritime spatial planning is a tool to balance demands for development with the need to protect the environment.

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