Seashore and waves

Finnish-Estonian case: Gulf of Finland

Case description

The case study area consists of a maritime corridor in the Finnish Gulf between the cities of Tallinn and Helsinki. More specifically, the Northern end of the area comprises the historical area of Old Helsinki (modern Helsinki and parts of Sipoo and Espoo) and the Southern end is bordered by the Tallinn Bay (administrative borders of Tallinn), Naissaar and Aegna Islands.

Cultural heritage sites in this area include shipwrecks from different periods, historical harbours of Tallinn bay, historical sea routes between Tallinn and Helsinki, the fortresses in Tallinn (Toompea) and Helsinki (Suomenlinna World Heritage Sea Fortress). In the Helsinki Underwater Park with the shipwreck Kronprins Gustav Adolf the Helsinki maritime cultural lanscape is already presented to the public.

The purpose of adding this case to the BalticRIM project is to achieve a more sustainable inclusion of the maritime cultural heritage (MCH) of Tallinn and Helsinki coastal areas to the maritime spatial planning (MSP) of this region. The water area between Tallinn and Helsinki form a unique seascape that has been in intensive use as a water route for many centuries. The combination of historical and natural sites, and a rapid contemporary development of local real estate and infrastructure need deeper analysis from socio-economic perspective to find more relevant planning solutions.

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  • list and analyse relevant legislation concerning MCH in Estonia and Finland;
  • require information from different groups of stakeholders (e.g. fishers, divers, entrepreneurs) to assess socio-economic benefits derived from heritage sites;
  • map with several layers of different types of objects will be compiled: cultural heritage objects, historical travel routes, modern travel routes, and natural formations;
  • address (possible) conflicts and issues that rise with different areas of activity (business, shipping, fishing, waste management, recreation).

Main theoretical approaches:

  • cultural ecosystem services based on Blue Growth;
  • different cultural landscape approaches;
  • ecosystem-based sustainable management.


The outputs of the work are mapping priority areas for MCH and MSP, evaluation of MCH vulnerability and Maritime Cultural Heritage impact assessment strategy for MSP. Moreover, a status report on socio-economic aspects in analysed pilot areas will be provided, as well as status report on pilot cooperation management show cases. The status reports will be spread to regional and municipal planning, MCH agencies and private (touristic) entities.

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