Coherent Linear Infrastructures in Baltic Maritime Spatial Plans
Baltic LINes
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
2 Natural resources
objective
2.4 Blue growth

Baltic LINes

In the Interreg project Baltic LINes, maritime spatial planners in countries around the Baltic Sea found an efficient way to exchange their national plans for developing energy corridors and shipping routes, and in this way to improve the connectivity across the Baltic Sea.
The challenge

Complex spatial planning

Planning the national sea area is a complex task where the different sectoral interests need to be carefully weighed against each other, conflicts have to be solved and planning solutions need to be found. At the Baltic Sea, there has been a growing competition among shipping and energy sectors to use the available scarce space and resources: shipping corridors collide with fixed installations, such as wind farms and pipelines.

Cooperate to plan better

A lack of coordinated maritime spatial planning decreases transnational connectivity and puts the natural Baltic Sea ecosystem at risk. It also leaves blue growth opportunities in the sectors of e.g. maritime transportation and coastal tourism untapped.

Although maritime spatial planning is a national competence, the EU Maritime Spatial Planning Directive from 2014 obliges the Member States to ensure that their national spatial plans are coherent across the sea-basins, which means that shipping routes, energy infrastructure and the ecosystem considerations should be coordinated.

However, there is insufficient cooperation among maritime spatial planners and authorities as well as industry in the countries around the Baltic Sea. There is no pan-Baltic spatial data infrastructure either, which would combine information from the neighbouring countries. Last but not least, there are no common criteria how to plan, which would help align the decisions taken on the energy infrastructure and shipping routes.

Budgets

Baltic LINes
in numbers
  • 3.21
    Million
    Total
  • 2.50
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.00
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.00
    Million
    Norway

Achievements

First database for spatial planners in the region

In order to overcome the challenge of inconsistent maritime spatial planning approaches and procedures in the countries around the Baltic Sea, Baltic LINes set up a system for exchanging maritime spatial plans; compiled requirements for planning and developed scenarios for future developments in the energy and shipping sectors.

The project partners established BASEMAPS, the first in the Baltic Sea region online database, which provides a catalogue of up-to-date transnational Maritime Spatial Planning data. It displays already existing and planned infrastructures from neighbouring countries. In this way, BASEMAPS helps spatial planning authorities as well as the authorities responsible for energy or transport planning in countries around the Baltic Sea to make planning decisions.

Currently BASEMAPS are run by the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – HELCOM. Whereas the procedures on updating the information are subject to the Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Working Group of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) & Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea organisation (VASAB).

The Working Group represents ministries, government agencies, HELCOM and VASAB observers and other organisations from the Baltic Sea region countries. It is forum that the Baltic LINes also addressed with the project’s recommendations on the energy, shipping and horizontal issues, for example on the need to involve the stakeholders from the energy sector such as transmission system operators, offshore wind farm developers or civil servants.

Preparing for future spatial challenges

Baltic LINes compiled spatial requirements for shipping and energy as well as future scenarios for 2030 and 2050, which were integrated into the Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Challenge. It is a virtual simulation game in which the planning authorities from all the Baltic Sea region countries can simulate different scenarios depending on the parametres they select. In this simulation, they develop plans for the future uses of sea space over a period of several decades, and observe the consequences of their decisions for energy, shipping and the marine environment. In this way, the MSP Challenge helps make better planning decisions to improve transnational coherence of shipping routes and energy corridors.

Linear infrastructures more coordinated

The project Baltic LINes used 2.50 EUR million from the European Union to increase the transnational coherence of shipping routes and energy corridors by enabling countries around the Baltic Sea to learn about each other’s plans. Now, the project’s results are in use in the Interreg Baltic Sea Region project platform, Capacity4MSP, which further increases collaboration among stakeholders, decision- and policy makers in maritime spatial planning.

Outputs

BASEMAPS - a map service to access Baltic Sea maritime spatial planning data

BASEMAPS is a web-based tool that collects Baltic maritime spatial planning decentralised data from official data providers in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. It is the useful source of information for maritime spatial planning practitioners, such as national and regional authorities responsible for maritime spatial planning as well as representatives from the energy and transport sector that helps them align maritime spatial plans across the borders. The tool has a user-friendly interface: the users can view and download datasets; view their metadata; click on geographical features to get information and zoom in to get more details of the area. BASEMAPS help better understand and coordinate Maritime Spatial Planning processes across borders and sectors as it easily visualises the impact of particular planning decisions for the sectors of shipping and transport as well as for the ecosystem as such.

Practical guidelines for the designation of energy and transport infrastructure in the Baltic Sea

These two guidelines help maritime spatial planning authorities to designate areas for energy and transport infrastructure at sea. The guidelines consist of practical step-by-step pieces of advice how to allocate transport corridors and energy infrastructures in national sea beds. They are based on the most commonly used planning criteria and scenarios, which additionally take into consideration the existing differences in procedures and criteria in all the countries involved. Maritime spatial planning practitioners such as national and regional authorities can use these guidelines to compare the different approaches, gain a common understanding of the planning processes in other countries, and align their own maritime spatial planning.

Project Stories

  • 15.07.2019

    Coherent planning of shipping and offshore energy across borders with Baltic LINes

    The Baltic Sea experiences an increasing demand for coherent spatial planning in order to bring shipping routes and offshore renewable energy infrastructure together. Project partners from nine countries worked across borders to tackle the challenge of scarce space available and competing economic interests of the different sectors active in and around the Baltic Sea in the Interreg project Baltic LINes.
    Read full story

Partners

Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency

  • Town
    Hamburg
  • Region
    Hamburg
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
684,000.00
53.55034110.000654

Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission - Helsinki Commission (HELCOM)

  • Town
    Helsinki
  • Region
    Helsinki-Uusimaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
392,635.00
60.167488124.9427473

State Regional Development Agency, the Republic of Latvia (representing VASAB secretariat)

  • Town
    Riga
  • Region
    Rīga
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
168,000.00
56.949397724.1051846

Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and Digitalization Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

  • Town
    Schwerin
  • Region
    Schwerin, Kreisfreie Stadt
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
138,706.00
53.628829711.4148038

Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM)

  • Town
    Göteborg
  • Region
    Västra Götalands län
  • Country
    Sweden
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
200,000.15
57.707232611.9670171

Maritime Office in Gdynia (MOG)

  • Town
    Gdynia
  • Region
    Trójmiejski
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
12,400.00
53.255277819.3958333

Maritime Institute in Gdansk (MIG)

  • Town
    Gdańsk
  • Region
    Gdański
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
157,179.28
54.3611928518.62860883362069

Coastal Research and Planning Institute (CORPI)

  • Town
    Klaipeda
  • Region
    Klaipėdos apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
166,586.39
54.292469222.8131913

Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development

  • Town
    Riga
  • Region
    Rīga
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
245,500.00
56.949397724.1051846

University of Tartu (UTARTU)

  • Town
    Tartu
  • Region
    Lõuna-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
210,000.00
57.850866127.0009964

Aalborg University

  • Town
    Copenhagen
  • Region
    Byen København
  • Country
    Denmark
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
279,450.00
55.686724312.5700724

Finnish Environment Institute

  • Town
    Helsinki
  • Region
    Helsinki-Uusimaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
222,413.50
60.167488124.9427473

Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency

  • Town
    Helsinki
  • Region
    Helsinki-Uusimaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
85,000.00
60.167488124.9427473

Breda University of Applied Sciences

  • Town
    Breda
  • Region
    West-Noord-Brabant
  • Country
    Netherlands
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
244,800.00
51.58878454.7760237

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