ESPON in the European Maritime Day 2019

European Maritime Day is always a unique opportunity for the community of people related to Maritime and Blue Growth issues to gather, exchange innovative ideas and network. In Lisbon, one of the most dynamic European capitals, known for its maritime culture and the famous explorers of the sea this community felt like home.

ESPON participated for the first time in a European Maritime Day, with the project on Maritime Spatial Planning – Land Sea Interaction that involves stakeholders from Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, and the Netherlands

Together with the Lead Expert of the project, Kidd Sue, from the University of Liverpool, ESPON organised a stand in the exhibition area and two “speed exchange meetings” around our stand with experts that participated also in the EMD 2019. “Speed exchange meetings” is an innovative and very interactive concept where a number of experts discuss for 30 minutes on a specific topic, exchange ideas and information without any presentations or formalities.

MSP-LSI Netherlands/North Sea LSI reflections and experience in other sea basins.

That was the title of our first session that brought together participants from across European Sea Basins all with close connections with MSP and interest in responding to the requirements to address LSI set out in the 2014 MSP Directive. Following an overview of the approach to exploring LSI developed by the MSP-LSI project, the group had a lively debate of the key findings from the Netherlands case study.

The value chain analysis of Maritime Cargo Transport and Offshore Wind Energy revealed the extensive seaward and landward spatial footprint of these strategically important Blue Economy sectors -that extended well beyond coastal areas- and highlighted the importance of the of ‘One Space’ Territorial Planning which integrates planning for the land and the sea”, said Sue Kidd highlighting the main point of this discussion: "The governance analysis illustrated that at a national level such an approach was already developing in the Netherlands and the Dutch experience demonstrated many good practice features from an LSI perspective”. Participants then discussed other approaches developed in other European Sea Basins to addressing LSI in areas that might merit further development

A key conclusion was that there was no "one size fits all" approach but a range of tools that MSP authorities could draw upon and tailor to different local contexts. All participants also supported the idea of a future exchange between the different European LSI initiatives as a way of moving the agenda forward another step.

MSP-LSI Maritime sector value chain analysis and addressing LSI

During this session, participants with interest in the Blue Economy focused on its opportunities and challenges and the role of MSP. Following a short overview of the spatialized value chain analysis developed by the MSP-LSI project the group then discussed how the approach was operationalised and the type of mapping output it can generate. They also analysed possible connections to the IUCN’s Ecological Footprint tool and the Spatial Economic Benefit Analysis developed by the BALTSPACE project.  

Key conclusions, according to Sue Kidd, were that “the spatialized value chain analysis could provide interesting new perspectives in planning for Blue Economy sectors and there was scope to refine and develop the approach through further applications and by exploring connections with related tools”.

Besides the two meetings during the European Maritime Day, we had the opportunity to meet and discuss with numerous participants that show interest in the work of ESPON, also beyond the field of the Maritime sector.

Next year the European Maritime Day is organised by the city of Cork, in Ireland. It is fortunate that the City Council of Cork is also our lead stakeholder in another project very much related to maritime and blue growth, the ENSURE (EuropeaN Sustainable Urbanisation through port city Regeneration) project. We are already looking forward to EMD 2020.