Alves, F.L., Sousa, L.P., Esteves, T.C., Oliveira, E.R., Antunes, I.C., Fernandes, M.L., Carvalho, L., Barroso, S., Pereira, M., 2014. Trend Change(s) in Coastal Management Plans: the integration of short and medium term perspectives in the spatial planning process. In: Green, A.N. and Cooper, J.A.G. (eds.), Proceedings 13th International Coastal Symposium (Durban, South Africa), Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 70, pp. 437–442, ISSN 0749-0208.
Spatial planning can be seen as an interdisciplinary science that ensures sustainable development and land use, since it integrates policy, social, cultural, economic and environmental management issues. Marine and coastal spatial planning is particularly challenging due to their vulnerable, dynamic and complex nature and to the problems associated with sea level rise, erosion processes and land-use pressures in the coastal zone. Coastal erosion, flooding and shoreline retreat are serious problems along the coast of mainland Portugal. By using an innovative approach of coastal zone spatial planning, this study developed an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan for the Portuguese central region (stretch Ovar - Marinha Grande), where alternative planning policies to the previous ones were suggested. The study revealed that socio-economic analysis and the identification and valuation of ecosystems services and land use need to be incorporated in spatial planning to support decision-making favouring sustainable development. According to these approaches the Coastal Plan was developed considering three environmental scenarios to respond to the coastal erosion trends, based on a development model for the coastal region. In addition, the scenarios consider the public investments constraints (national budget) expected in the next decade and the short and medium term of the Plan. This Plan is differentiated from the previous by attempting to lessen further coastal erosion through the integration of different jurisdictions, legislations and directive measures and applying them to the terrain. This strategy shows itself as relevant to promote further forward-thinking Plans for other Portuguese coastal areas.