Facilitating ecological enhancement of coastal infrastructure: The role of policy, people and planning

Naylor, L. A. , Coombes, M. A., Venn, O., Roast, S. D. and Thompson, R. C. (2012) Facilitating ecological enhancement of coastal infrastructure: The role of policy, people and planning. Environmental Science and Policy, 22, pp. 36-46. (doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2012.05.002)

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Urbanisation is recognised as a major pressure on coastal biodiversity. Increasing risks of flooding and erosion associated with future climate change indicate that new hard infrastructure will have to continue to be built – and existing structures upgraded – in areas of high social and economic value. Ecological enhancement involves undertaking management interventions at the design stage to improve the ecological potential of these structures, or to improve the ecological value of existing structures. Whilst scientific research into ecological enhancement methods and designs is growing, there has been limited discussion of the non-science drivers and mechanisms by which ecological enhancements can be successfully implemented in coastal infrastructure projects. We explore the science–policy–practice interfaces of the ecological enhancement of hard coastal structures from three perspectives. First, we outline the growing number of European and UK policies and legislative instruments that are increasing the need to consider ecological enhancement in coastal developments. These serve as a facilitative tool for making enhancement projects happen, constituting a significant ‘policy push’ for research and application in this area. Second, we examine the role of people in influencing the uptake of ecological enhancements. The critical role of ‘knowledge brokers’ and the need for effective and sustained collaboration between a range of groups and individuals to get research approved operational trials off the ground is discussed. Third, we examine where in the typical planning, design and build process current enhancement projects have been embedded, serving to illustrate how the science can be used in practice.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Naylor, Dr Larissa
Authors: Naylor, L. A., Coombes, M. A., Venn, O., Roast, S. D., and Thompson, R. C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Environmental Science and Policy
ISSN (Online):1873-6416

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