MSP-LSI - Maritime spatial planning and land-sea interactions

Theme: Maritime spatial planning; land-sea interactions


Europe’s seas have become important in terms of policy making on both European and national level. The exploitation of seas and coastal areas for economic purposes is becoming increasingly important, but there are also growing concerns on environmental issues.

Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is an increasingly important field of policy aiming at reconciling different demands on the marine space. Under the EU Directive on MSP, Member States both need to develop their own MSP policies and cooperate on these issues. In addition, they will use their plans to contribute to promoting the sustainable development and growth of maritime and coastal economies and the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources. MSP is identified by the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy as a cross-cutting policy tool enabling public authorities and stakeholders to apply a coordinated, integrated and trans-boundary approach to marine development. 

To ensure that maritime activities can deliver growth and avoid sea-use conflicts, integrated planning of human activities both on land and at sea is needed. MSP can increase coordination between administrations, while enhancing cross-border cooperation and investments by identifying the possible impacts of and opportunities for multiple uses of space. For this purpose, MSP needs territorial evidence.

Most development and use, which takes place in the marine environment also has an onshore component or impact. Alignment between maritime and terrestrial spatial planning is important and should be achieved through consistency of policies, plans and decisions. Land-sea interaction (LSI) is also highly related to the economic benefits of MSP and the importance of given maritime uses covered by the MSP for the economic development of the region in question.

The stakeholders involved in this targeted analysis have identified a potential opportunity to improve their planning processes through the coordinated, comparable and systematic acquisition and analysis of both marine and terrestrial data and information at regional level (NUTS 2 or NUTS 3, for the marine realm possibly also in alternative systems, e.g. grid based statistical classes). Such an approach would not only bring significant efficiencies in collecting, collating and analysing relevant social, economic and environmental data, but would also improve the understanding of wider regional level interactions.

The territorial evidence that will be produced within this targeted analysis will be useful for all Member States dealing with the implementation of the above-mentioned EU Directive and with MSP itself. The benefits of having useful data for MSP can help increase cross-border cooperation between EU countries (on cables, pipelines, shipping lanes, wind installations) and also increase coordination between administrations in each country through the use of a single instrument to balance the development of a range of maritime activities.

Read also about the spin offs of the project:

MSP-LSI on demand service for Luxembourg

MSP-LSI in Estonia

MSP-LSI on demand service for Cyprus

Policy questions

  • How could land-sea interactions be defined and operationalised for the purposes of MSP? What does a “coastal area” mean in different geographical and policy contexts (such as Barcelona Convention)?
  • What are the main impacts on land of maritime activities and how can terrestrial planning consider them? What would be potential territorial consequences of MSP on development in the areas of energy, transport, fisheries, environment, tourism and urban development?
  • What can we learn from the existing practices and approaches of Member States in managing LSI in MSP? Which are cases and practices of cross-border reconciliation of maritime uses and activities?
  • How to best manage LSI in MSP according to the MSP Directive (a) while having regard to the particularities of the marine and coastal regions (e.g. differences in administrative structure, policy ambitions, stakeholder structure, value chains etc.), and (b) to further improve sustainable blue and green growth?
  • How can a proper consultation of the relevant stakeholders, authorities, and the public concerned by land-sea interactions be ensured?


  • Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and Digitalisation of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, DE (lead stakeholder)
  • Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Division G 31 European Spatial Development Policy and Territorial Cohesion, DE
  • Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, Department for Maritime Economy, PL
  • Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Directorate Spatial Planning, Construction and Housing, SI
  • Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning, HR
  • Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, NL


  • University of Liverpool, UK (lead contractor)
  • Ecorys, BE
  • University of Malaga, ES
  • Ecologic Institute, DE

Budget: € 274.703

Lifetime: May 2018 – May 2019


  • Inception delivery, 16 July 2018
  • Interim delivery, 15 October 2018
  • Draft Final delivery, 15 February 2019
  • Final delivery, 15 May 2019

Contact :

Michaela Gensheimer (Senior Project Expert), [email protected], Marta Roca (Financial Expert) [email protected]


MSP-LSI Executive Summary.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 3.08MB

MSP-LSI Final Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 6.82MB

MSP-LSI Final Synthesis Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 4.05MB

Scientific Annex- Methodology.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 19.50MB

Scientific Annex- Netherlands Case Study Final Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 3.27MB

Scientific Annex- Pomeranian Bight Case Study Final Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 4.53MB

Scientific Annex- Slovenia Case Study Final Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 2.31MB

Scientific Annex-Croatia Case Study Final Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 2.61MB