Coast4Us seeks to develop a holistic and inclusive approach in the planning process. New methods and strategies will be developed and evaluated to visualize different values and interests and to improve local participation to make them more efficient and sustainable.

About the Interreg Central Baltic project

The implementation period for Coast4us project funded by Interreg Central Baltic was 1 January 2018 - 31 December 2020. A consortium consisting of municipalities, three universities, public administrations from Sweden, Finland, Latvia and Estonia - a total of 18 partner organizations and 9 associated partners - was set up for the implementation of the project. The Coast4us project aimed to develop new, innovative, comprehensive and local-needs-based planning strategies for the development of sea and coastal areas in Sweden, Finland, Latvia, and Estonia. Total project costs: € 3,084,924.35 EU funding: € 2,399,828.62

Project overview

Marine and coastal areas face similar environmental and spatial planning challenges in the Baltic Sea Region. The increasing demands of exploiting these areas are creating potential conflicts with other interest such as preservation of natural resources and ecosystem services. It is essential that different values and interests are recognized in the marine and coastal plans to reach long term sustainable development in the Baltic Sea Region.


The Coast4us project added new data and tools to the municipalities’ spatial planning practices. Online GIS planning portals developed in the project make it possible for planning authorities to share and update data for the planning process. This makes it easier to analyse management options and consider important ecosystem services and nature values when constructing plans, making sustainable development possible. The new data and visualization methods developed in Coast4us help communities better understand and evaluate how different development strategies will impact their area. Transfer of knowledge between the project partners of data sources, GIS layers, values, and the use of data and tools has created better understanding of different approaches that can improve sustainable and holistic planning. Examples of new GIS layers and data produced in our pilot areas are cultural historic buildings, flooding areas, infrastructure, socio-economic analysis, local water management plans, underwater vegetation, fish reproduction, water quality, ecosystem services, and how people move through the areas.

The project has discussed sustainable solutions for problems affecting values of coastal area through participatory and planning processes by using a holistic approach and combining technical tools. The main results are eight sustainable development plans by eight municipalities, pilot areas. In these areas, different methods and tools have been tested to map different social, economic, cultural and ecological values, to activate inhabitants and to increase local participation in areas with conflicting interests. This more inclusive method, together with additional knowledge and data provided, made a holistic and proactive planning process possible.

Main results and more information about the project can be found at