Given the restructuring of many economic sectors on the coast, such as ports, tourism and military defence, the importance of planning and regeneration has been fundamental to the economic, social and environmental future of coastal communities. Research by Dr Stephen Essex (and students on the MSc Planning programmes) has highlighted some of the challenges of undertaking this regeneration and the often contested nature of redevelopment schemes on the coast. These papers have focused on the challenges of brownfield redevelopment on the coast; the problems of creating 'public good' and mixed communities in coastal regeneration schemes; and the outcomes of different approaches to regeneration along Plymouth's waterfront over 30 years. In addition, environmental challenges presented by urban coastal regeneration schemes have been investigated, such as issues arising from the integration of terrestrial and marine planning and the policy response of coastal planning authorities to climate change.
Professor Sheela Agarwal
led research that examined the underlying drivers of economic performance
across 58 of England’s largest seaside towns, through a multi-tiered approach,
drawing on a unique bespoke 'seaside town' database. It assesses seaside town
economic performance and identifies those that are 'leading' and 'lagging',
along with a set of associated
common socioeconomic characteristics.
The University's Marine Institute is also exploring the development of sustainable policy solutions, including through the blue economy. Plymouth has launched the UK's first National Marine Park (NMP), a novel Government initiative that could become the blueprint for other locations. Supported by scientists, businesses, community groups and policy makers, the NMP aims to engage city dwellers with the sea to maximise Plymouth Sound's value for recreation, industry and well-being.Professor Mel Austen has led research across the multiple and interacting sectors of the blue economy (renewable energy, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, recreation and leisure) and the broader marine natural capital, ecosystem services and their benefits. Aiming to support policy development, regulation and management for sustainable ecosystems in the UK and internationally, Austen's research integrates natural, economic, social and public health sciences to examine and quantify the societal consequences and policy relevance of changes to the marine environment and its ecosystems.