Prof. Sofia Avgerinou-Kolonias
School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Title: Urban Pressure in Coastal and Island Areas: The Challenges in Implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning in Greece
The use of coastal and island areas is increasing and gives rise to potential conflicts and competition for these vulnerable spaces, both between different users, and between maritime and land uses and the preservation of the environment. As over 60% of the world population live within 60 kilometres of the sea, coastal and marine environment is strongly influenced by human activities, via urbanization. This urban pressure increases the demand not only for Terrestrial Spatial Planning but for Maritime Spatial Planning as well. The latter is a tool that will contribute to the sustainable use and the effective management for both the marine and coastal resources, by creating a framework for consistent, transparent, sustainable and evidence-based decision-making. Particularly in Greece, coastal and island urban areas characterized by significant natural resources, sensitive ecosystems, sites, monuments and settlements of great historical and aesthetic value, all of them constitute integral components of Greek landscape. However, in many of them, there is a downgrading of the quality of the above characteristics. This deterioration has been intensified in the last decades by the lack of spatial planning, which has provoked land and maritime use conflicts, illegal interventions, environmental degradation and in many cases economic and social crisis. Moreover, as marine and coastal activities are often closely interrelated and strongly connected with urban development issues, in order to assure the coherence between terrestrial and maritime space with specific terms and the management of their relations with other sectoral policies that affect the sea and the land (such as tourism, maritime transport/ infrastructure, etc.) maritime spatial planning is presented as a key tool in regulating the urban pressure in these areas.
Taking into account these considerations, the special session explores conceptual, theoretical and implementation issues in the maritime spatial planning process with a special focus on issues such as:
- Maritime spatial planning and urbanization of coastal and island areas.
- Maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal zone management.
- Maritime spatial planning and sustainable development of tourism, energy sectors, maritime transport, fisheries and aquaculture sectors etc.
- Economic, social and environmental aspects to support sustainable urban development in the vulnerable space of coastal and island areas.
- Enforcement of the resilience of coastal and island areas by the implementation of spatial policies and plans.
- Legal framework for maritime spatial planning in Europe and Greece: challenges and prospects.
- Involvement of stakeholders in the maritime spatial planning process.
- Selected case studies analysis.