Towards a sustainable small port – perspectives of boaters and port actors

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Luoma , E K , Vantola , R J & Lehikoinen , A M 2018 , Towards a sustainable small port – perspectives of boaters and port actors . University of Helsinki , Helsinki .

Title: Towards a sustainable small port – perspectives of boaters and port actors
Author: Luoma, Emilia Karoliina; Vantola, Renne Julius; Lehikoinen, Annukka Maaria
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
University of Helsinki, Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
ISBN: 978-951-51-4302-0
Abstract: Involving stakeholders in the context of both business planning and environmental management is important to ensure joint understanding of prevailing or potential problems and risks, the objectives of different parties, and the best ways to attain them. This report presents a study concerning the sustainable development of small ports in the Eastern Gulf of Finland. Ten stakeholders, involving boaters and port actors, from two countries, Finland and Estonia, were interviewed to analyze how stakeholders communicate and think about the concept of sustainability and its materialization in the planning and development of small ports. The report also compares how the definition of sustainability, or thoughts concerning sustainable development, differ between boaters and port actors. Theoretically speaking, the concept of sustainable development should consist of a balance between three aspects: environment, economic and social. Following an explanation of the three-aspect concept, the interviewed stakeholders accepted the idea of sustainable development being based on these three aspects; however, the weighting of aspects varied between the interviewee groups. Although the environmental perspective was important for both boaters and port actors, boaters valued the environment more socio-ecologically than port actors, who had a more economically-oriented perspective. The interviewed boaters valued safety the highest, acknowledging many things should be improved in small ports. Port actors, instead, seemed quite unaware of the challenges boaters face regarding both safety and maintaining sewage-holding-tank pumpout stations. These differences indicate the potential need for more active communication between the two groups. The analysis concretely shows that practical management actions and investments made in small ports are typically related to more than one of the three elements of sustainability. Consequently, evaluation of various decisions’ cost-effectiveness requires holistic planning. Sustainability as an objective is incompatible with short-term thinking, requiring a longer-time perspective. Observed short contracts of port actors remarkably hindered sustainability. Interviewees mutually agreed on the high potential of small ports to bring added value both economically and socially to their surrounding areas. Thus, one important question is: who should fund the investments to develop the long-term sustainability of ports? This report consists of a description of the interviewing method and a thorough analysis of the results. The results lead from recommendations and ideas for the future development of sustainable small ports.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/238979
Date: 2018-06-01
Subject: 1172 Environmental sciences
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