Coastal
Resources
Management
SMART:  Sustainable Management of Scarce Resources
in the Mediterranean Coastal Zone
Project Summary Project Objectives Policy Contributions Work Plan Deliverables

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION

Integrated management of the coastal zone requires a balanced consideration of numerous aspects including both the socio-economic and physical, environmental domain. While this principle is well understood and published, it is rarely implemented in practice.

The scientific literature in the domain is voluminous; while classical texts have often stressed the engineering aspects of the problem, the importance of the socio-economic Participatory policy and decision making processes need informed participants, actors or stake holders - this empowerment through information and the role of information for policy and decision making are important topics addressed in the Agenda 21, and related European policy documents and directives.

For the SMART project this means the smooth integration of advanced quantitative tools based on applied systems analysis and information technology such as state-of-the art simulation and optimisation models and expert systems technology into the socio-political and economic framework of regional development planning and public policy with its uncertainties, qualitative criteria, and conflicting objectives.

The main innovative elements of the project include:

  • Integration of advanced spatially distributed and dynamic numerical simulation and optimisation tools with socio-economic elements through rule-based expert system technology for qualitative analysis;
  • Explicit consideration of multiple criteria and conflicting objectives, uncertainty, and the necessary political trade-offs and adaptive strategies;
  • Direct involvement of end users including the concerned public through the use, inter alia, of the Internet and the support of remote clients;
  • Smooth integration of existing information resources and data through a distributed client-server architecture and a common framework of indicators for sustainable development;
  • Integration of technical analysis with educational, awareness-building elements for a broad target audience, aiming at the empowerment of a broad range of actors and local stake holders;
  • Long-term sustainability of the project results through direct integration in existing institutional structures including governmental, NGO, and academic institutions as well as the concerned citizen at large.

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