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Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) as a challenge to spatial planning: on vision-building and decision-making : an empirical evaluation of applied planning in Germany

[working paper]

Osthorst, Winfried; Lange, Hellmuth

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Corporate Editor Universität Bremen, Forschungszentrum Nachhaltigkeit (artec)
Abstract "Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) as a means of enhancing sustainability has been the topic of a model project promoted by the EU during the late 1990s. Meanwhile, all member states are urged by an EU recommendation to develop national ICZM strategies, based on a set of criteria derived from this model project. The most prominent rationale of the criteria is a request to reassess existing spatial planning procedures and routines, in order to make them more participative and to strengthen and diversify the role of civil society actors. However, before ICZM was promoted, many European countries had already developed more or less complex features to include a growing number of actors in various stages of spatial planning processes: In concept building, decision making, and implementation. As a consequence, the EU recommendations have not been unanimously appreciated. One of the main arguments against them claimed that already existing schemes and procedures (i) provide a wide array of participative elements, and that (ii) participation has thus been a core element of spatial planning, even before ICZM appeared on the scene. Against this background, our study evaluated the performance of the German spatial planning system, in terms of integrating and co-ordinating different stakes into planning procedures of large scale infrastructure projects in the German coastal zone. The mechanisms for ensuring participation were assessed as well. The research was part of the development of a German National Strategy for Integrated Coastal Zone Management, a reaction to the EU recommendation. Based on the assumption that the established German spatial planning and approval system fulfils a decisive role in environmental regulation, regional economic development and the co-ordination of sectoral policies, the connection between ICZM and spatial planning will be discussed, with reference to the theoretical discussion about sustainable governance. The study thus helps to understand the prerequisites for participative management, and the relation between formal and informal administrative, as well as political, processes in countries with highly developed administrations and tightly applied regulations for decision-making. To introduce sustainability-oriented governance concepts, such as ICZM, in countries like Germany requires the government to combine instruments of spatial planning with participatory forms of vision building, in order to create new governance arrangements." (author's abstract)
Keywords spatial planning; Federal Republic of Germany; coastal region; sustainability; EU; environmental protection; environmental policy; participation; evaluation; decision making; empirical research; management; costs; Europe
Classification Area Development Planning, Regional Research; Ecology, Environment
Method applied research; evaluation; planning procedure; empirical
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
City Bremen
Page/Pages 26 p.
Series artec-paper, 147
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne