The Baltic Region

2021 Vol. 13 №4

Coastal Studies7

The coasts we live in: can there be a single definition for a coastal zone?

Abstract

Throughout the history of humankind, people have settled along seashores. The gradual accumulation of population and industrial activity in coastal areas has created preconditions for coastalisation — the movement of people and socio-economic activity to marine coasts. To date, coastal areas have a higher rate of economic development, fostering migration and an influx of capital across the globe. Scholars and policymakers voice concerns about the asymmetry of regional development and the increasing anthropogenic impact on the coastal ecosystem. It reinforces the importance of coastal zone management. In this study, we use an example of the Baltic region to identify the coastalisation patterns in the Baltic region and answer the question, whether there can be a single definition of the coastal zone of the Baltic region. According to a broad definition, the Baltic macro-region is nearly all coastal and, consequently, all settlements are influenced by the coastalisation effect. We have studied urban population dynamics in 128 cities of 45 coastal regions through the lens of various characteristics of a coastal city — the distance from the sea (10, 50, 100, and 150 km), location in a coastal region (NUTS 2), availability of a port and its primary maritime activity (tankers, cargo, fishing, passenger, recreational vessels and others). The research results suggest that despite the strong coherence of the Baltic region countries, there should not be a single delimitation approach to defining the coastal zone. Overall, the most active marine economic processes occur in the zone up to 10 km from the seacoast and 30 km from ports and port infrastructure. However, in the case of Sweden, Poland, and Latvia, the coastal zone can be extended to 50 km, and in Germany — up to 150 km inland.

Download the article

Migration attractiveness of the coastal zone of Russia’s North-West: local gradients

Abstract

A well-acknowledged driver of change, population movement intensifies the development of coastal territories. The Russian North-West holds a vast coastal zone. Granting access to the Baltic, the White, and the Barents Seas, it is an area of geostrategic importance where much of the country’s coastal economy — one of the national priorities — is located. Push and pull factors are enormously diverse in the area, as are migration flows forming attraction poles for migrants. There is little research on the issue despite its social and practical significance. Thus, research is required to examine how the coastal factor can benefit the migration attractiveness and human resources of Russian coastal territories of geostrategic importance. This study aims to delineate coastal territories and investigate local migration flows compared to those recorded in inland regions. The research draws on the concept of coastalisation, employing universal, geographical, and statistical research methods. It uses documentary sources and official 2011—2020 statistics. The findings show that the coastal position and maritime economic activity are relevant factors for migration attractiveness. Saint Petersburg and the coastal municipalities of the Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions are more attractive to migrants than more northerly territories. However, there are attraction poles farther north too, and the coastal zone of the Arkhangelsk region attracts more migrants than its inland part. The study demonstrates the growing polarisation of migration space in the coastal areas and especially agglomerations. Changes in the age structure of immigration flows have caused social factors in attractiveness to migrants to replace employment-related factors.

Download the article