Maritime Spatial Planning for Sustainable Blue Economies

Basic project information

The project supports growth of the marine and maritime sectors in a way that emphasizes the need to find a balance between economic, social and environmental goals.

The project activities focus on Gulf of Finland and Archipelago Sea areas covering sea areas of Estonia and Finland. Planning and management of these sea areas requires cross-border collaboration between stakeholders and authorities, because many of the economic activities in the area cross borders and have cross-border impacts. For this purpose, the project develops cross-border capacity in maritime spatial planning.

Plan4Blue brings together the key blue growth and maritime spatial planning actors from Estonia and Finland to identify pathways to sustainable use of the sea areas and resources. The collaborative process analyses economic potential of the scenarios and identifies environmental risks and management options.

Total budget of Plan4Blue is about 2 million euro, receiving funding from the EU Interreg Central Baltic Programme. The budget of the University of Turku is in total 489 799 euros.


Spatial analysis of socioeconomic-environmental interactions (Work package 3)

Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku

The maritime spatial planning (MSP) process requires diverse information about marine areas. Most of this information can be stored and analyzed as spatial data. The natural way of communicating spatial planning processes is with spatial data visualized on maps.

Work Package 3 of Plan4Blue supports cross-border MSP by increasing the capacity of officials, planners and stakeholders to assess the interaction of socioeconomic marine activities and environmental values across space. Work Package 3 focuses on the effective visualization of current activities and planning options on maps, which requires optimal utilization of existing data. This aims to provide cost-efficient background information for decision-making and targeted production of new data.

To support the official MSP processes and project activities, Work Package 3 will follow two parallel thematic lines:

  • Thematic line 1 produces guidelines for spatial data management and analysis in the cross-border MSP process. They consist of directions for data sharing, management, harmonization, analysis, modelling and visualization.
  • Thematic line 2 produces spatial data and maps for the project at different stages. The process includes an inventory of data needs and availability in the Gulf of Finland, harmonization of this data and mapping the current environment, activities and interests. Spatial analysis identifies conflict-of-interest areas and areas of blue growth potential. Work Package 3 visualizes maritime spatial planning options and future scenarios for the Gulf of Finland on maps.



  • Finnish Environment Institute (Environmental Policy Centre, Marine Research Centre and Communications Unit)
  • University of Tartu (Estonian Marine Institute and School of Economics and Business Administration)
  • University of Turku (Centre for Maritime Studies, Turku School of Economics, Department of Geography and Geology)
  • Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council
  • Regional Council of Southwest Finland
  • Baltic Environment Forum Estonia

 Content Editor


Official project web page

Contact information at the Department of Geography and Geology:

Harri Tolvanen
+358 29 4503495
harri.tolvanen [at]

Tua Nylén
+358 29 4503571
tua.nylen [at]

EU_logo.jpgEuropean regional development fund ERDF



20014 Turun yliopisto, Finland
Tel. +358 29 450 5000

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