Journal: Ocean and Coastal Management, vol. 142, p. 61–70, 2017
International Standard Numbers:
Open Access: green
Coastal zone planning raises issues that transcend municipal borders, in particular those related to designation of areas for aquaculture. The most recent trend in further integration in Norway is intermunicipal coastal zone planning. Nine planning processes in six counties, involving 65 municipalities, have been conducted in recent years. This study investigates how or to what degree inter-municipal cooperation enhances coastal zone planning in general and planning for aquaculture production in particular. By identifying what forms of cooperation are taking place in the nine processes we found that the inter-municipal coastal zone planning processes in Norway have resulted in full inter-territorial coordinated planning of the coastal zone in several cases. All processes have to a high degree, resulted in the coordination of the process and the development of common tools and standards, but also to a certain degree of coordination of content. This study therefore supports the assumption that intermunicipal coastal zone planning only will remedy some of the challenges of piece-by-piece planning of the coastal zone, particularly related to planning for aquaculture production. We contend that intermunicipal coastal zone planning contributes to a broader and more holistic perspective on the use of the coastal zone than the municipalities would otherwise have, and that this first generation of intermunicipal coastal zone plans may be a first step towards a more integrated approach to coastal zone planning.