In progress

Project name: Coast4us

The project aims to develop a new, innovative, comprehensive and local needs-based planning approach for the development of marine and coastal areas in Finland, Latvia, Sweden and Estonia.

The project involves municipalities, universities, public authorities from Finland, Latvia, Sweden and Estonia. The leading partner of the project is the Regional Council of Östergötland in Sweden, while partners from Latvia are Carnikava, Saulkrasti and Salacgrīva Municipalities, Riga Technical University (RTU) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (MEPRD).

Within the framework of the project, through practical and educational activities, it is intended to develop a high-quality dialogue and cooperation between the actors involved in the development planning process, in particular focusing on the level of the local community, thereby contributing to a development planning approach based on local needs. The main activities are planned in pilot sites of Carnikava, Saulkrasti and Salacgrīva, where planned solutions will be implemented as well as mapping of existing and potential values preformed will take place. 

Within the framework of this project, a new Geographic Information System (GIS) and Information Technology (IT) tool will be developed and evaluated by RTU. Whereas MEPRD will prepare an educational material for development planning at community level including activities for public involvement and participation based on existing experience and knowledge. Using the educational material, MEPRD will organize a series of interactive workshops on community level development planning involving local communities, various stakeholders, development planners and politicians. As well as MEPRD will gather examples of good practice by assessing the results achieved by local government pilot sites and including them in methodological material on community level development planning, ensuring linkage with local development planning documents and disseminating best practices, including the organization of an international conference to ensure the linkage of community planning with local government development planning documents.

On the basis of the results of the project, proposals will be made for regional policy settings after 2020, for amendments to the regulatory enactments regulating territorial development and for improvement of methodological materials, to improve the involvement of the public in the planning and implementation process of territorial development.


Project implementation period: January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2020

Total project costs: 146 180 EUR (including 122 791.20 ERDF funding, 23 388.80 own funding)

Target groups.

  • Primary target groups are the Latvian coastal municipalities and local communities.
  • Secondary target groups are Latvian state institutions, local government politicians, territorial development planners and other legal and natural persons.

Project results

The Coast4us project added new data and tools to the municipalities’ spatial planning practices. Online GIS planning portals developed in the project make it possible for planning authorities to share and update data for the planning process. This makes it easier to analyse management options and consider important ecosystem services and nature values when constructing plans, making sustainable development possible. The new data and visualization methods developed in Coast4us help communities better understand and evaluate how different development strategies will impact their area. Transfer of knowledge between the project partners of data sources, GIS layers, values, and the use of data and tools has created better understanding of different approaches that can improve sustainable and holistic planning. Examples of new GIS layers and data produced in our pilot areas are cultural historic buildings, flooding areas, infrastructure, socio-economic analysis, local water management plans, underwater vegetation, fish reproduction, water quality, ecosystem services, and how people move through the areas.

The project has discussed sustainable solutions for problems affecting values of coastal area through participatory and planning processes by using a holistic approach and combining technical tools. The main results are eight sustainable development plans by eight municipalities, pilot areas. In these areas, different methods and tools have been tested to map different social, economic, cultural and ecological values, to activate inhabitants and to increase local participation in areas with conflicting interests. This more inclusive method, together with additional knowledge and data provided, made a holistic and proactive planning process possible.

Main results and more information about the project can be found here,

Contact information:

Head of Regional Policy Department Regional Development Planning Division – Deputy Director Jevgēnija Butņicka (, phone +371 67026931)

Regional Policy Departament Regional Development Planning Division Senior Official Krista Krūmiņa (, phone +371 66016752)

Reģional Policy Departament Regional Development Planning Division Senior Consultant Jānis Ilgavižs (, phone +371 66016721)



The first partner meeting of the project Coast4us in Linköping and Arko Island, Sweden (14.03.2018.)