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Development of Cities in the Baltic Sea Region

VASAB has requested to prepare a background report for the publication on development of the cities in the Baltic Sea Region based on ESPON BSR-TeMo project findings.

icon Research report 2016: Development of Cities in the Baltic Sea Region

icon VASAB publication "Development of Cities in the Baltic Sea Region"

North Sea Baltic Connector of Regions

Project's lifetime: May 2016 – April 2019

Total Project's budget: € 3 307 648,45

European Regional Development Fund: € 2 602 097,88

The overall objective of the Project: improve the sustainable accessibility of the Eastern Baltic Sea Region (EBSR) in freight and passenger transport. NSB CoRe contributes to the European Union TEN-T Transport Infrastructure Policy, that connects the continent between East and West, North and South, by taking its implementation to the regional and local level by connecting the TEN-T core network corridor (CNC) of North Sea Baltic to its catchment area and access routes in EBSR. NSB CoRe implements  TEN-T Regulation from a regional development perspective and brings the needs of peripheral regions to the CNC context.

The main project activities include:

• Logistics business requirements and networking needs;
• Nodal point infrastructure analysis;
• ICT solutions for intermodal transport;
• Interconnectivity and interoperability improvements;
• Framework concepts, future scenarios, spatial structure for the development of the Commuting Growth Corridors;
• Benchmarking and implementing smart mobility services along the corridor;
• Joint transnational spatial vision on regional development, logistics and mobility of NSB CoRe corridor;
• Case studies at regional scale on improved connections between NSB CoRe corridor and 2nd level transport systems.


Lead partner:

Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council (FI)

Partner organizations:

Institute of Logistics and Warehousing (PL)
State of Berlin (DE)
VASAB Secretariat
City of Helsinki (FI)
Riga Planning Region (LV)
Port of Hamburg Marketing Registered Association (DE)
Kaunas City Municipal administration (LT)
Self-Government of Mazowieckie Voivodeship (PL)
Investor Center Ostbrandenburg GmbH (DE)
Limowa Association (FI)
City of Hämeenlinna (FI)
Municipality of Kaunas District (LT)
Marshal's Office of the Podlaskie Voivodeship (PL)
City of Tallinn (EE)
Kvarken Council (FI)


Egija Stapkēviča, Project Coordinator
Phone: +371 28377878
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Liene Stikāne, Spatial Planner
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Project website:


Other projects supported by HA Spatial Planning
Land-based spatial planning projects

Live Baltic Campus - Campus Areas as Labs for Participative Urban Design – aims at developing campuses as innovation hubs and integration of them in the overall urban management and transport system, thus creating better urban environment for businesses and residents.


Project's lifetime: October 2015 – March 2018

Budget: € 1 850 000

Financed from: Interreg Central Baltic Programme 2014-2020

Urban Lab    

Baltic Urban lab – Integrated Planning and Partnership Model for Brownfield Regeneration aims at improving urban planning by developing and testing new integrated models for brownfield regeneration. The project tackles an increasing need to build attractive, high-quality and sustainable urban areas and will provide an integrated planning and partnership model for brownfield regeneration.


Project's lifetime: October 2015 – March 2018

Budget: € 2 200 177

Financed from: Interreg Central Baltic Programme 2014-2020


BSR-TeMo – Territorial Monitoring for the Baltic Sea Region promoted territorial development and cohesion in the BSR by developing an indicator based monitoring system. The monitoring system measured the progress in achieving economic, social and territorial cohesion in the BSR by using indicators at different scales, as well as contributed to increased knowledge and understanding of territorial cohesion processes in the BSR.


Project's lifetime: February 2012 – January 2014

Budget: € 340 000

Financed from: ESPON 2013 Programme


MSP projects


PLAN4BLUE logo  

Plan4Blue - Maritime Spatial Planning for Sustainable Blue Economies supports growth of the marine and maritime sectors in a way that emphasizes the need to find a balance between economic, social and environmental goals.


Project’s lifetime: October 2016 - December 2019

Budget: € 1 997 882

Financed from: Interreg Central Baltic Programme 2014-2020





BALTSPACE - Towards sustainable planning of Baltic marine space provides science-based approaches and tools to clarify and improve the capacity of MSP as a policy integrator in the BSR. The project is testing and evaluating individual tools and combinations of tools, resulting in practical guidance for their application in MSP in the future.


Project’s lifetime: April 2015 - March 2018

Budget: € 2 000 000

Financed from: The joint Baltic Sea research and development programme (BONUS) 2010-2017 




 baltcoast logo 1 20161103 1816594181    

BaltCoast - A systems approach framework for coastal research and management in the Baltic tackles complex problems and challenges in the coastal zone integrating the different human activities with the ecosystem capacity and external forcings by using the Systems Approach Framework (SAF). Project will focus on linking existing Baltic Integrated Coastal Management activities into lasting Baltic coastal management competence network.


Project’s lifetime: April 2015 - March 2018

Budget: € 2 900 000

Financed from: The joint Baltic Sea research and development programme (BONUS) 2010-2017 




 plan bothnia logo    

Plan Bothnia – tested trans-boundary MSP in the Baltic Sea. The project used the Bothnian Sea area between Sweden and Finland as a case study of Baltic trans-boundary MSP. The project was a Baltic Sea MSP "preparatory action" funded by the EU Commission under the EU Integrated Maritime Policy.


Project’s lifetime: December 2010 - June 2012

Budget: € 500 000

Financed from: EU DG Mare 




Flagship projects

The actions of the EUSBSR are implemented by means of flagship projects. Flagship projects demonstrate the progress of the EUSBSR, and may serve as pilot examples for desired action. Flagship projects have a macro-regional impact and develop joint initiatives involving partnership from different countries.

Horizontal Action's "Spatial Planning" flagship project status is proposed:
- by the joint HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group for the projects concerning MSP issues;
- by the VASAB CSPD/BSR for the land-based spatial planning projects.

More information on how to become a flagship project is available HERE.
Some project ideas for new Flagship Projects can be found HERE.

Flagship projects of MSP relevance
BalticLines logo NoText   


Baltic LINes - Coherent Linear Infrastructures in Baltic Maritime Spatial Plans is aiming to increase transnational coherence of shipping routes and energy corridors in maritime spatial plans in the BSR in order to prevent cross-border mismatches and secure transnational connectivity as well as efficient use of Baltic Sea space. 




Project's lifetime: March 2016 - March 2019
Budget: € 3 409 458
Financed from: Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020



 BalticSCOPE logo web large  


Baltic SCOPE – Towards coherence and cross-border solutions in Baltic Sea Maritime Spatial Plans develops common solutions of the cross-border MSP leading to greater alignment of national plans, by executing a unique exercise to challenge countries involved, learns from the gained experience and transfers the knowledge beyond the project and region, as well as facilitates the implementation of the EU MSP Directive. Project develops two MSP case studies- Southwest Baltic case (SE, DK, DE, PL) and Central Baltic case (Latvian MSP in cross-border consultation with EE and SE). Both case studies focus on how shipping traffic, wind farming, fishing and other uses function in these areas and how they can compromise.




Project's lifetime: March 2015 - March 2017
Budget: € 2 638 829
Financed from: DG MARE (Call MARE/2014/22)





PartiSEApate - Multi-level Governance in MSP (Maritime Spatial Planning) throughout the Baltic Sea Region. Project developed methodologies for how to carry out multi-level MSP processes across national boundaries via three pilot cases. It brought together stakeholders to foster holistic thinking for sustainable and integrated MSP, as well as suggested a Pan-Baltic MSP governance model.


Project's lifetime: June 2012 - December 2014
Budget: € 1 043 015
Financed from: Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013





Land-based spatial planning flagship projects





BEA-APP - Baltic Energy Areas – A Planning Perspective aims to improve the capacity of regional and renewable energy planning actors by developing, testing and implementing new spatially adjusted spatial planning instruments, innovative stakeholder involvement modes and financing systems, as well as place-based pilot actions assessing local circumstances and conditions, defining the optimal renewable energy mix for strategically selected areas and setting the scene for a number of concrete renewable energy projects in the region.


Project's lifetime: March 2016 – March 2019
Budget: € 2 700 000
Financed from: Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020




Seed money

Seed money is EU funding to prepare projects that contribute to one of the priority areas or horizontal actions of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The Seed money gives an opportunity to draft a project plan that can be further developed into an application to any of the EU or national funding sources e.g. the European Structural & Investment Funds programmes 2014-2020.

The pre-selection of applications for spatial planning related projects is ensured by the coordinators of the Horizontal Action “Spatial Planning”– VASAB and HELCOM.

The project applications concerned maritime spatial planning issues should be submitted to and accordingly pre-selected by the Joint HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working group. Both HELCOM and VASAB Secretariats serve as contact points.

The project application concerned land-based spatial planning issues should be submitted to and accordingly pre-selected by the VASAB Committee on Spatial Planning and Development of the Baltic Sea Region (CSPD/BSR) where the VASAB Secretariat serves as a contact point.

Criteria for the seed money projects:

• The draft application demonstrates potential for a high macro-regional impact;

• The draft application contributes to fulfilling the objectives, indicators and targets of the EUSBSR;

• The draft application is related to the implementation of one or more actions of the policy area/horizontal action concerned;

• The draft application has a clear transnational dimension;

• The draft application demonstrates added value to already implemented activities/initiatives in the region.

Each project has to involve at least three project partners from three different countries of the Interreg BSR Programme area.

More information about the Seed money calls, application process and deadlines is available here.

For more detailed information regards the seed money project application within the competence of HA “Spatial Planning” please contact Ms. Elina Veidemane,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , phone: +371 26103756.


Seed money projects within the Horizontal Action "Spatial Planning":

MSP & MHM project focuses on integration of Maritime Cultural Heritage to MSP processes. It intends to strengthen the understanding of the particular characteristics of the BSR underwater heritage and integrate sustainable management of these assets to regional approaches. The project contributes to pave the way for creative exploitations of these assets, for example in cultural and tourism businesses.
Project's lifetime: April 2016 - March 2017

Smart Coast project focused on coastal zone management by local and regional cooperation in a transboundary context and strengthening interlinkage of a land-based and maritime spatial planning with the emphasis on environmentally sustainable approach. The project aimed promoting good governance concerning the enforcement of the Water Framework and Marine Strategy Directives, resource efficiency and developing innovative and knowledge based strategies for environmental management of marine and coastal areas.
Project's lifetime: November 2014 - November 2015

Baltwise Seed project aimed to provide added value in the field of Maritime Spatial Planning by engaging in further practical studies involving particularly the Russian Federation. It aimed at drawing in-depth conclusions from previous planning at sea but also on land as well as created new innovative Maritime Spatial Planning methodology including also related international governance, law as well as future research. The project area was Gulf of Finland.
Project's lifetime: April 2014 - March 2015

LiveBaltic project aimed to understand how the quality of living indicators were included in municipal and regional planning, and what were the best practices in the most 'liveable' cities. It also looked at practical ways how liveability of cities can be improved by using various citizen participation tools, and assessed available good practices. It strived for the establishment of a network of policy makers and planners focused on liveability issues. The project also aimed at developing a set of policy recommendations for participating cities/regions on improving planning for their liveability.
Project's lifetime: April 2014 - March 2015


Baltic Sea Region MSP Data Expert Sub-Group

Successful implementation of MSP depends on good quality data and information, as this has already widely acknowledged at the Baltic Sea Region policy and project level. Data quality, accessibility and availability are crucial when considering transboundary context where consistent use of data is an important prerequisite for creating a coherent network of maritime spatial plans.

In order to achieve the goal of the Regional Baltic MSP Roadmap (to draw up and apply maritime spatial plans throughout the Baltic Sea Region by 2020 which are coherent across borders and apply the ecosystem approach), VASAB and HELCOM has established the Baltic Sea Region MSP Data Expert Sub-group (MSP Data Expert sub-group) as a sub-group to the joint HELCOM-VASAB MSP Working Group.

The aim of BSR MSP Data Expert sub-group is to support data, information and evidence availability for MSP processes with regard to cross-border / trans-boundary planning issues to ensure comparability of maritime spatial plans in the Baltic Sea Region. The BSR MSP Data Expert sub-group facilitates the work of the HELCOM-VASAB MSP WG, as well as helps with implementation of the Regional Baltic MSP Roadmap 2013-2020.

The Chair of the BSR MSP Data Expert sub-group: Ms. Kristīne Kedo, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (Latvia).

Documents of the Baltic Sea Region MSP Data Expert Sub-group meetings are available HERE

icon Terms of Reference for a Baltic Sea Region MSP Data Expert Sub-group (BSR MSP Data ESG)


The MSP Data group has been working since autumn 2015 and has been supported by Interreg BSR technical assistance project ”Horizontal Action ”Spatial Planning” Support 2” (HASPS 2). In order to document the progress, MSP Dara group has prepared a First Report of its work.

The document defines the general structure of MSP data, provides information about currently available data sets which are agreed as most relevant in transboundary cooperation and consultations, identifies the list of data and information gaps and challenges, as well as indicates the further steps and vision of MSP data management in the Baltic Sea Region.

In case you have any comment or suggestion on the MSP Data Expert group outcomes, please, send your feedback to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

icon MSP Data Group First Report

icon Annexes to the First Report


In order to provide a general overview of the MSP process in the Baltic Sea Region countries, the BSR MSP Data group has accomplished its first attempt to visualize the status of the maritime spatial plans in the BSR. The visualization is publicly available on the HELCOM Map and Data Service: HERE

Confederation_M RT @VASAB_org: New #BalticLINes report provides an insight into Latvia's experience on the stakeholder involvement in long-term maritime sp…
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