Bridging the land & sea divide through closer spatial planning integration. A case study of the Shetland Islands, Scotland

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Integration has become an integral element of the contemporary planning paradigm. Against this theoretical background, this contribution of qualitative research aims to understand how integration occurs in practice and its application in remediating the land and sea divide by examining the links between coastal and marine spatial planning. This research invokes discourse analysis, in order to transition from a hypothetic treatment of integration so as to suggest pragmatic solutions by focusing on explanatory variables and causal mechanisms that impact integration. Using the Shetland Islands as a case study, documentary analysis complemented by a series of interviews, granted access to both the public rationale and opinions of key actors on the subject. This research contends that integration is best understood by examining how it is framed and dissecting it into its dual conceptions (internal/external) and associated dimensions (coordination, cooperation and compatibility). The results indicate that all three dimensions are influential in shaping the concept, but there exist divergences in the framing of spatial planning integration. The effect of the explanatory variables, is contingent upon the causal mechanisms. Accordingly, institutional and management factors were perceived as prominent facilitators for closer spatial planning integration, that could help bridge the land and sea divide.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen