Conceptual approaches of Maritime Spatial Planning. Principles and Planning Parameters

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Maritime Spatial Planning is a fairly new process that offers a useful and valuable context for the sustainable development of the seas. Various international organizations and institutions of international cooperation (UNESCO, UNEP, EU, VASAB etc) approach MSP through their scope, define it, implement it. Every organization chooses an approach that fits its purpose. Characteristic of this is even the name of MSP. Should it be called Marine or Maritime Spatial Planning? Could these terms be used interchangeably as if they give the same meaning to the process? Examining various definitions of MSP, approaching those conceptually, highlighting similarities and differences, this paper seeks their link to the discipline of spatial planning that was focusing on coastal areas and was rather ignoring maritime areas up until recently. Sectoral policies were applied extensively, as if they were the unique user of the sea, ignoring or giving little importance to spatial impacts. Spatial planners were constantly choosing not to plan the sea, facing it as a landscape, significant for its aesthetic value and environmental importance. Has this absence of spatial planning discipline at the beginning of the process caused spatial planning discipline background gaps? There are considerations over MSP implementation. There seems that most marine/maritime spatial plans already elaborated don’t have a spatial planning approach but rather a sea use approach. But if the sustainable development of the seas is what is needed, it can be attained through strategic marine/maritime spatial planning instead of sea use plans, a multi-level spatial planning process and various levels of marine/maritime spatial plans. Planning principles and major parameters will be approached in an effort to set the framework of spatial planning process.
Planning for Transition – book of proceedings 31; 2
Maritime/Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), international organizations, spatial planning principles, spatial planning parameters
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