Integrated water landscape planning and management

Matthias Buchecker, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL,

Anu Printsmann, Centre for Landscape and Culture, School of Humanities, Tallinn University,

Petteri Vihervaara, Natural Environment Centre, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE),


The importance of water in the landscape has been underpinned foremost by the European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2000). Later on, legislation concerned with specific riverine (Integrated River Basin Management – IRBM), coastal (Integrated Coastal Zone Management – ICZM plans) and maritime (Maritime Spatial Plans – MSP) areas have followed, allowing interpretation and some overlapping across time and space. This symposium will reflect upon state-of-the-art, lessons learnt and new approaches to integrated water landscape planning and management.


Until recently, natural resources in general and water landscapes specifically have been managed in a sectoral way considering ecological and human well-being aspects separately belonging to the domain of engineers and decision-makers. Latest decades in Europe have witnessed new policies and integrated approaches toward water landscape planning and management (IRBM, ICZM, MSP) requiring new participatory methodologies to ensure balanced and sustainable development in ecological, economic, social and also cultural arrays.

However, the loosely defined legislative framework enables interpretation and variation but also favours cooperation across national borders to common advancement in management of freshwaters and sea coasts as impacts of one country influence others, e.g. water quality, revitalisation, restoration and flooding prevention bring about a major landscape change, implicating also renewable energy production and climate change adaptation. Researchers of different disciplines as well as practitioners have learnt from implementations in highly uncertain and ambiguous complex fields.

This symposium will act as a forum for sharing principles, methodologies, best practices, experiences and evaluations on integrated planning and management of water landscapes that can serve as a stepping stone for envisioning an even more complex comprehensive integrated landscape management.

We welcome interdisciplinary presentations on implementing WFD, IRBM, ICZM and MSP on:

  • theoretical contemplations (e.g. ecosystem services or landscape approach, landscape quality objectives, nature-based solutions, heritage-led regeneration),
  • methodological insights (e.g. participatory approaches, cultural and social capital, brokerage, designating culturally significant areas, trade-off analysis, access to fieldwork in marine areas, range of the planned areas) as well as
  • empirical considerations (benefits of integrated management, relevant quality criteria to be evaluated, relevant process criteria), practical success and, more importantly, analytical failure stories.

What can participants expect to learn?

An updated overview of the WFD implementation, and/or IRBM, ICZM and MSP participatory interdisciplinary practices, evaluations and challenges throughout Europe will be gained, providing a basis for discussing new steps towards an integrated water landscape planning and management. Linkages between concrete case studies and European environmental policies will be illustrated. The symposium topics will feed into wider understanding and therefore enhancement of ecosystems and the management of the coupled human-environment systems. 


A publication of relevant contributions from different disciplines including landscape ecology, landscape planning and social sciences, preferably in a water-related journal, is foreseen.

The relevant outcomes of the symposium will be taken into consideration in the ICZM planning at the Baltic Sea region through the Interreg Central Baltic project SustainBaltic ( 


Oral presentations
Role of place-based knowledge in supporting integrated coastal and marine spatial planning in Zanzibar, Tanzania
Käyhkö Niina (1) Khamis Zakaria (1), Eilola...
Water governance systems: conceptual framework, principles and criteria
Belmans Els, Kerselaers Eva, Messely Lies,...
Biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Nordic coastal regions
Petteri Vihervaara*, Andrea Belgrano, Jørund Braa...
Developing prospects for wet arable land in Switzerland
Erich Szerencsits, Gregory Churko, Anja Gramlich...
The Aniene river: challenges for a new concept of connection between Rome and Tivoli.
Romina D'Ascanio, Roma Tre University, Rome...
Web-based Public Participation GIS platforms to support rehabilitation processes of urban riparian landscapes
Xavier Garcia (1), Marta Benages-Albert (1),...
Which river management alternatives does the local populations prefer, and what influences their preferences? Findings from an empirical case study in the Swiss midlands.
Matthias Buchecker and Stefanie Müller Swiss...
Participatory planning for ecosystems services of urban lakes
Cristian Ioja1, Diana Onose1, Alina Hossu1,...
Spatial Modelling of Cultural Ecosystem Services in River Landscapes
Julia Thiele1, Christian Albert2, Christina von...
Semi-Natural drainage systems for storm water management and flood risk reduction for a watershed in Lombardy region, Italy.
Paola Sturla, Italy, Politecnico di Milano,...
Poster presentations
Towards Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) – A case on the ICZM preparation process by CB354 SustainBaltic project
Hietala, Reija*1, Käyhkö Niina1, Liuska-...
Green versus grey solution for flood control of Leuven city (Belgium)
Francis Turkelboom, Rolinde Demeyer (INBO),...
Empirical assessment of the relationship between flood events, and land use change
Karen Gabriels (Department of Earth and...
Strategies to monitor hydrologic ecosystem services in the heterogeneous landscape of the Guapi-Macacu Basin, Atlantic Forest, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Santiago Julien Penedo1, Annika Künne1, Rachel...