1 mins

No shipping without land, no beach fun without the sea

Holger Janßen

With regard to my self-image as a planner, spatial planning is the comprehensive, supralocal and superordinate planning for the structure and development of space.

In this context, supralocal means that regional planning goes not only beyond the boundaries of a single place, town or village, but also beyond the boundaries of the mainland and the seas.

It is no longer a secret that humans have consciously influenced the sea and have created permanent structurest here. For this reason, the European Commission not only encourages the EU Member States to draw up maritime spatial plans but has also formulated binding regulations for doing so.

All this, however, does not happen in isolation from human activity on land; on the contrary, shipping and ports, energy production and consumption, and fishing and fish consumption are mutually dependent, i.e. sea and land are interrelated.

Without the Baltic Sea, and also without large cities such as Berlin in the hinterland of my planning region, there would not have been any coastal tourism activity, with more than 7.7 million overnight stays taking place in 2019.

Again, without the Baltic Sea, and also without our neighbouring states on the other side of the sea(s), there would be no port industry, in which there are about 16,000 jobs in my planning region.

Land-sea interactions can be tied to several things, one of which is value chains. These value chains are obviously important for the development of a region and thus for the work of a spatial planner. The results of the ESPON maritime spatial planning and land?sea interactions (MSP-LSI) project are therefore of great interest to me as a planner.

This also applies to the recommendation of the ESPON MSP-LSI project to follow a ?one space? approach. Although Germany is one of the (few) countries in which spatial planning both on land and at sea is at least partially carried out by the same authority, the recommendation to follow a ?one space? territorial planning view is a valuable reminder to me not to forget the supralocal aspects in the small details of my daily planning life.

This article appears in the A regional geography of COVID-19 Issue of TerritoriALL

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This article appears in the A regional geography of COVID-19 Issue of TerritoriALL