Co-creating evidence-based business roadmaps and policy solutions for enhancing coastal-rural collaboration and synergies

VITO's interview on use of coastal space

On July 3 2020, Jean-Luc gave an interview on a topic concerning the impact of land-use change, modelled with the VITO Ruimtemodel, on coastal campings near the coastal town of Bredene, a tourist resort along the Belgian coast.  These campings have an important social function for less wealthy tourists who cannot afford to buy an apartment or book a hotel room.  Under some scenarios, these campings could disappear due to ongoing urbanization. 

Below you can watch the full interview and read the transcript in English.

Click here for the video

Interviewer: We are standing on a top of a dune in Bredene. On one side a quiet area, while on the other side you find busy buildings, apartments and camping areas. A little further away is the nature reserve called Oudlandpolder.

Jean Luc (VITO): What we see here, is that there is a very little space used very intensively. If we look in high season, we see that a lot of space is needed while limited space is available.

Interviewer: How should the space evolve here and across the entire coastline? This question is being investigated in a European project, which deals with the relationship between activities at land and sea. The project examines the relationship between offshore and onshore activities.

Jean Luc (VITO): It is expected that the pressure on space will only increase in the coming decades and that locations that are now used for camping sites may be re-designated.

Interviewer: Campsites could disappear, but they also play a social role. They are more accessible than expensive apartments. That is why all possible scenarios are drawn up and the relationships between the actors are examined.

Jean Luc (VITO): We can immediately show what the map would look like by 2060. You can deduce very interesting things from this, for example where facilities should be placed, up to including details such as locations for charging points for electric bicycles and more. We notice more and more that it is not just about the economy. There must be support coming from the population as well. You cannot do major interventions just like that, it has to be done gradually.

That is why it is so important that you can see far ahead in the future what could happen and plan accordingly.