The southern coast of the North Sea is mainly protected by a single line of defence against flooding. The traditional means for heightening and strengthening the existing coastal barriers are limited due to the increased enormous resource costs, i.e. building materials, funding and space. On the other hand, further interests and needs such as tourism, nature conservation and agriculture demand an integrated planning process according to the principle of a sustainable coastal development. The spatial protection concepts discussed in the book provide new options for sustainable coastal development in line with the integration of several types of land use. Furthermore, the multifunctional coastal protection zones offer new opportunities for the application of different options for coastal protection, i.e. holding the line, accommodation or retreat. This book also provides a sound basis for an integrated planning process in coastal zones combining participatory methods with adapted tools from socio-economic and ecologic evaluation.

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