CO-LAND Inclusive coastal landscapes: activating green and blue infrastructure for sustainable development of the urban-land interface

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Submission Summary
Background: The coastal landscapes of Europe are some of the most important and yet vulnerable areas of human settlement. Characterized by overlapping and competing land uses, coastal landscapes are focus areas for urban growth and infrastructure, road and rail networks, industrial and commercial development. Seasides are significant vacation destinations with tourism along coastlines a considerable driving force with particular development dynamics and spatial patterns. The urban-water interface is also an essential zone for unique and diverse flora and fauna habitat. Coastal landscapes have attracted human settlement since early times and are often extremely rich in cultural heritage. All of these economic, social and environmental potentials have attracted people to settle on the coast. This ongoing urbanization process has led to unsustainable development patterns such as urban sprawl and the irreversible consumption of soil and natural resources. Urban growth in coastal areas brings demands on ecosystems and places them at risk from damage and degradation, the impacts of which are often trans-boundary. The effects of climate change increase the vulnerability of coastal landscapes. The sustainable and integrated planning, design and management of coastal areas is crucial for the mental, social, physical and economic well-being of European citizens. Methodology: Nine partner institutions* participating in CO-LAND have developed a blended learning environment in which international students from various planning disciplines address the specific challenges of coastal landscapes in Europe. The learning environment combines an open online platform training course with four intensive study programmes (IPs) in partnership with coastal communities in Romania, Estonia, Italy and Belgium. Students are equipped with relevant knowledge, methods and tools, and encouraged in building visionary and democratic mindsets. The emphasis is to derive planning and design decisions from a grounded understanding of local needs, values and goals. In addition to envisioning alternative futures, emerging professionals are encouraged to empower community members to take an active role. The course utilizes a shared online platform during which learners collaborate in interactive virtual teams on local case studies accompanied by online lectures and open educational resources. The IPs involve the student teams, tutors and reviewers meeting for ten days at the coastal sites for the experience of hands-on investigation and planning in an intensive workshop laboratory setting. The goal of the on-site program is for the student teams to apply a holistic landscape assessment framework, identifying key issues and potential solutions. Site visits, lectures from local experts, interviews with local citizens and stakeholders augment the program culminating with the final workshop results presented to the local community. The results of the CO-LAND program (implemented 2017 – 2020) and case studies will be documented in reports and a guidance document disseminated to the European academic community and coastal municipalities. Take-away: This presentation case-study will share the CO-LAND program background, methodology, resources and relevance to today’s urban and regional planners. The topic of the sustainable development of coastal landscapes is of universal interest beyond Europe. The implementation of an online shared learning platform complemented by on-site workshops and interaction with the local community is of increasing importance in a Post-Covid-19 planning world. *CO-LAND Partners: • Universitatea de Arhitectură și Urbanism ”Ion Mincu” (UAUIM) • Ovidius University of Constanța • Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMU) • Hochschule Fuer Wirtschaft und Umwelt Nuertingen-Geislingen (HFWU) • Hochschule Weihenstephan-Triesdorf (HSWT) • Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) • Universita degli studi di Napoli Federico II • LE:NOTRE Institute • International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) Note: Presentation may also fit a Special Session on Planning or Planning Research
Submission ID :
Submission Type
Submission Track
4: Safeguarding the Urban Resilience
Principal Urban Planner
Echlin Planning Advisory
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