Integrated coastal mobility and tourism planning (Estonian case)

Integrated coastal mobility and tourism planning (Estonian case)

Lead: Tallinn University

Haljala municipality and Vihula municipality are located in the northwest Estonia (former Lääne-Viru county) and have several small harbours, fishing and recreation activities, and some tourism activities. This coastal area has been selected to demonstrate approaches and methods to address development trade-offs of key coastal economy sectors though spatial planning solutions.

Detailed information

Land-sea interactions most obviously happen at the waterfront. For majority of the people it means sandy beaches and sea bathing. The more intimate engagement with the sea and more broadly maritime culture as a whole was hindered during the so-called iron curtain era in the Baltic States. At present, both old and new modes of connections are evolving within the Blue Growth, most notably tourism, which necessitates integrated coastal mobility and vice versa. Leisure economy with its effects of urbanisation, second-homes and international flows of tourism challenges local and regional coastal landscape stewardship and spatial planning.


The middle section of northern Estonian coast is not very well suited for different branches of Blue Growth, has been determined by the mapping exercises of currently ongoing Maritime Spatial Planning process. Yet, coastal tourism has traditional roots there, Lahemaa National Park as its centre showcasing historic cultural coastal landscapes. The case area from Juminda peninsula to the township of Aseri endures ageing population and marginalisation. The area covers 39 settlement units in 15 hoods of four municipalities and two counties. The nodes for development are small harbours as pointed out by previous project in the area, yet their management, construction, restoration is a source for tensions within the local communities involving also economic, military and nature protection concerns. Small harbours are the foci of land-sea interactions in integrated coastal mobility as different modes of transportation and tourism converge there with their demands on services and hinterland making it simultaneously an attractive site for leisure-seekers and holiday-makers. The aim of the project is to address these trade-offs and multi-level governance to benefit planners and authorities in advancing Blue Growth in the region.


The phases of the implementation of the study are:

  • Stock-taking in analysing the existing materials;
  • Generation of development scenarios until 2040 based on key-drivers of coastal leisure economy in collaboration with representatives of the main stakeholders;
  • Visualisation of the scenarios by the schools in the case area;
  • Public feedback on scenarios (e.g. workshops and on-line survey);
  • Interviews with Blue Growth experts in Estonia.


The results of the Estonian case study will be compared to other cases in the project contributing towards spatial planning solutions for addressing development trade-offs in coastal areas.

Expected results:

Public assessment of key-drivers and possible trade-offs connecting integrated coastal mobility and tourism planning

Proposals on stewardship of coastal landscapes within leisure economy

Suggestions for planning and multi-level governance of coastal tourism and its mobility issues in the context of sustainability and Blue Growth


coastal tourism, mobility, landscape stewardship, cultural sustainability

Leading partner:

Centre for Landscape and Culture, School of Humanities, Tallinn University

Contacts: Tarmo Pikner (;
Anu Printsmann (; Hannes Palang (