Lesson from Portuguese local seminar – Peniche, May 13, 2022

We were impressed by the quality of work presented by our students during Portuguese local seminar. This multiplier event was held in Peniche on May 13, 2022. The aim of the local seminar was to present the results of the SPOT study tour to Portugal. The achievements of a students’ work during the intensive learning programme in Peniche were presented to the local community and now – after review and revision – are available on the SPOT project website.

We have learned from our students that the concept of sustainability should be changed. The focus on economic growth must be replaced by the idea of a great experience that every stakeholder should have in terms of development.

We understand that spatial planning is strictly connected to strategic planning. Everything what we plan is somehow embedded in a space and places. On the other hand, timeline for different strategic goals is requested. When planning, resources and tools of main stakeholders influencing solutions should be clearly defined. Consequences of renunciation should be identified as well when planning.

It must be emphasized that any plan won’t be successful without dialogue between stakeholders, at least local community and authorities. This makes participatory spatial planning extremely demanded. Destination Management Organization might become a perfect forum for that kind of dialogue. On the other hand, we have some limits of public participation. Spatial planning of archeological sites or ecological precious areas cannot be negotiated.

When proposing solutions and defining actionable policy recommendations, interests and needs of all stakeholders should be taken into consideration. As an example, most of our students’ groups identified problem of missing or inefficient public transportation system. When developing one it must target problems of both inhabitants and tourists. It is better to be sustainable by using existing potential of the place but not creating big investment projects.

When summarising Portuguese local seminar our students noticed that even small steps undertaken by local communities contribute to global change and allow to solve global threats.

Students’ reports aiming issues of sustainable tourism development in the area of Baleal Beach:

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