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Blue Balance

The general public is often insufficiently aware of and involved in the sustainable transition of the Flemish coastal area. That’s why the BLUE BALANCE project is aimed at creating public support and facilitating a comprehensive dialogue between stakeholders.

The general objective of the BLUE BALANCE project is increasing public involvement and participation in the sustainable transition of the Flemish coastal area and, in so doing, the development of a societal ‘licence to operate’ for sustainable (economic) activities. The project is in particular aimed at residents of and visitors to the Flemish coastal area, and its objective is to initiate a dialogue between them and local industrial stakeholders and policymakers.

To achieve this goal, the project partners have adopted a multidisciplinary approach which encompasses social psychology, marine and maritime sciences, archeology as well as media and communication sciences. The project focuses on the following specific targets:

  • Conduct research into the personal values of people living in or visiting the Flemish coastal area to gain an in-depth insight into the underlying psychological motives, barriers and processes impacting individuals’ support for and involvement in sustainable coastal innovations and processes as well as (their perception of) regional (group) norms and values.
  • Link the long-term development of the coastal landscape and towns that boast cultural and natural heritage with sustainable innovations and topical issues. This in-depth map will be used to determine the optimum framing of messages (e.g. history, health, economy) and how this can be integrated into storytelling with a view to the sustainability agenda.
  •  Assess the stakeholder landscape and identify best practices, on the basis of previous and ongoing projects, to involve stakeholders in participatory processes, and determine for what future sustainability projects and innovations a societal ‘licence to operate’ is the most crucial.

Investigate and test what interventions and communication tools can be used by stakeholders to make citizens aware, inform them and involve them.