Abstract for: Participatory system modeling for improving synergies between coastal and rural areas: the COASTAL project

Coastal and hinterland zones follow quite often independent development paths despite the interdependencies between these territories. The rationale of the EU funded Horizon 2020 research and innovation program COASTAL (Collaborative Land-Sea Integration Platform) project (2018-2022) is to improve land-sea synergy by identifying the economic, social and physical interactions and feedback structures governing the dynamics of the land-sea system at different spatial and temporal scales. The project uses a participatory modelling approach. The iterative approach followed consists of different work packages: a multi actor analysis with mind mapping, the system modelling, the defining of scenarios and transition pathways, a business and policy support, and finally the defining of business road maps for policy solutions, focusing on economic growth, marine spatial planning, and environmental protection. The major variables playing a potential role in the creation of the dynamics in concern are water resource, agricultural systems (crops and practices), shellfish production, tourist capacity and trade ports infrastructure. Our modelling purpose is to consider scenarios with regard to a sustainable future of the economic sectors to deal in particular with the issues of water quality and quantity seeking the requisite synergies.