- Towards Sustainable Urbanization and Planning in the Coastal Zone of the Mediterranean Basin    click here to open paper content1628 kb
by    Beriatos, Elias & Papageorgiou, Marilena | beriatos@otenet.gr   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The Mediterranean coastal zone suffers from uncontrolled urbanization. The paper investigates the effectiveness of existing planning instruments and the possibilities of a new strategy for a sustainable urban development of Mediterranean coasts.

Coastal zone plays an important role in the development of many human activities and have a substantial influence on the economy of the corresponding hiterland. Coasts are one of the most complex, vulnerable and sensitive natural ecosystems, the management of which presents various problems and difficulties especially in the era of climate change where serious dangers appear for coastal cities and populations (e.g. sea level rise). Therefore, there is a particularity in these areas, imposing that the issues of their urban development and management should be dealt accordingly.

In Mediterranean, the coastal zone is suffering from serious negative changes and in some cases irreversible alterations due to the anarchic and uncontrolled urbanization by second homes (legal or illegal) and tourism installations. The comparative advantages and the fragile equilibrium of some coastal zones have been seriously undermined and the most important natural elements are threatened with extinction because of disastrous and mistaken human interventions. On the other hand the experience from EU and UN programs and projects as well from other international organizations proved that implementing sustainable urban and spatial development on the coastal zone is a quite difficult task. Therefore, there is a great need for a coordinated action and co-operation at transnational and international level.

The aim of this work is to investigate the effectiveness of planning instruments and policies for coastal zones which are adopted by the competent public agencies and bodies in countries situated either in the developed or the developing parts of Mediterranean and on the other hand to asses how EU and UN spatial policies implemented in the North can be adapted or replicable in the South. More particularly the paper, in the light of the conclusions of an Interreg project (UrbaCost /MEDOC) in Greece and other Mediterranean countries, investigates the possibilities to elaborate a typology of coastal territories according to land use and urbanization patterns and argues for the substantial implementation of the policy documents concerning the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) within the framework of the United Nations and European Union Strategy for sustainable spatial and urban development.
urbanisation, sustainability, coastal zone, spatial planning
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