The Baltic Region

2022 Vol. 14 №1

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Sustainable development of coastal regions: geographical and geopolitical factors and limitations



Having formed at the end of the 20th century, the concept of spatial development retains its relevance today. Yet, it is associated with a range of problems with its practical implementation and theoretical vindication, especially at a regional level. Attaining sustainable regional development, understood as a steady progress balanced across the economy, social industries and environmental protection, has been deemed impossible without identifying and considering regional development factors, such as geographical and economic-geographical position, environmental conditions and their geographical diversity, natural resource and their location, spatial features of the economy and the settlement structure. Coastal regions are affected by sundry other factors, such as the presence of a seacoast, viewed as a special resource, access to maritime transport and the availability of marine resources, including renewable ones, which are essential for sustainable development. The geopolitical situation of a region and the components of this situation are considered as geopolitical factors. Other limitations include extreme natural processes and events (large waves, tsunamis, typhoons etc.) The article aims to show that an integral geographical system or a combination thereof covering a region should be considered as the most appropriate object for assessment, planning and management of sustainable development, which is based on regional nature management including water and land resources. It is proposed that sustainable development criteria include economic, social and environmental metrics of regional development. Strategic marine and spatial planning and the monitoring of regional environmental management and development are identified as principal tools for attaining and maintaining sustainable development.


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