Towards a sustainable small port – perspectives of boaters and port actors

Emilia Karoliina Luoma, Renne Julius Vantola, Annukka Maaria Lehikoinen

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportProfessional

Abstract

Involving stakeholders in the context of both business planning and environmental management is
important to ensure joint understanding of prevailing or potential problems and risks, the objectives of
different parties, and the best ways to attain them. This report presents a study concerning the sustainable
development of small ports in the Eastern Gulf of Finland. Ten stakeholders, involving boaters and port
actors, from two countries, Finland and Estonia, were interviewed to analyze how stakeholders
communicate and think about the concept of sustainability and its materialization in the planning and
development of small ports. The report also compares how the definition of sustainability, or thoughts
concerning sustainable development, differ between boaters and port actors. Theoretically speaking, the
concept of sustainable development should consist of a balance between three aspects: environment,
economic and social.
Following an explanation of the three-aspect concept, the interviewed stakeholders accepted the idea of
sustainable development being based on these three aspects; however, the weighting of aspects varied
between the interviewee groups. Although the environmental perspective was important for both boaters
and port actors, boaters valued the environment more socio-ecologically than port actors, who had a
more economically-oriented perspective. The interviewed boaters valued safety the highest,
acknowledging many things should be improved in small ports. Port actors, instead, seemed quite
unaware of the challenges boaters face regarding both safety and maintaining sewage-holding-tank pumpout
stations. These differences indicate the potential need for more active communication between the
two groups.
The analysis concretely shows that practical management actions and investments made in small ports
are typically related to more than one of the three elements of sustainability. Consequently, evaluation of
various decisions’ cost-effectiveness requires holistic planning. Sustainability as an objective is
incompatible with short-term thinking, requiring a longer-time perspective. Observed short contracts of
port actors remarkably hindered sustainability. Interviewees mutually agreed on the high potential of
small ports to bring added value both economically and socially to their surrounding areas. Thus, one
important question is: who should fund the investments to develop the long-term sustainability of ports?
This report consists of a description of the interviewing method and a thorough analysis of the results.
The results lead from recommendations and ideas for the future development of sustainable small ports.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHelsinki
PublisherUniversity of Helsinki
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-51-4302-0
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Fields of Science

  • 1172 Environmental sciences

Cite this

Luoma, E. K., Vantola, R. J., & Lehikoinen, A. M. (2018). Towards a sustainable small port – perspectives of boaters and port actors. Helsinki: University of Helsinki.
Luoma, Emilia Karoliina ; Vantola, Renne Julius ; Lehikoinen, Annukka Maaria. / Towards a sustainable small port – perspectives of boaters and port actors. Helsinki : University of Helsinki, 2018. 22 p.
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Luoma, EK, Vantola, RJ & Lehikoinen, AM 2018, Towards a sustainable small port – perspectives of boaters and port actors. University of Helsinki, Helsinki.

Towards a sustainable small port – perspectives of boaters and port actors. / Luoma, Emilia Karoliina; Vantola, Renne Julius; Lehikoinen, Annukka Maaria.

Helsinki : University of Helsinki, 2018. 22 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportProfessional

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AB - Involving stakeholders in the context of both business planning and environmental management isimportant to ensure joint understanding of prevailing or potential problems and risks, the objectives ofdifferent parties, and the best ways to attain them. This report presents a study concerning the sustainabledevelopment of small ports in the Eastern Gulf of Finland. Ten stakeholders, involving boaters and portactors, from two countries, Finland and Estonia, were interviewed to analyze how stakeholderscommunicate and think about the concept of sustainability and its materialization in the planning anddevelopment of small ports. The report also compares how the definition of sustainability, or thoughtsconcerning sustainable development, differ between boaters and port actors. Theoretically speaking, theconcept of sustainable development should consist of a balance between three aspects: environment,economic and social.Following an explanation of the three-aspect concept, the interviewed stakeholders accepted the idea ofsustainable development being based on these three aspects; however, the weighting of aspects variedbetween the interviewee groups. Although the environmental perspective was important for both boatersand port actors, boaters valued the environment more socio-ecologically than port actors, who had amore economically-oriented perspective. The interviewed boaters valued safety the highest,acknowledging many things should be improved in small ports. Port actors, instead, seemed quiteunaware of the challenges boaters face regarding both safety and maintaining sewage-holding-tank pumpoutstations. These differences indicate the potential need for more active communication between thetwo groups.The analysis concretely shows that practical management actions and investments made in small portsare typically related to more than one of the three elements of sustainability. Consequently, evaluation ofvarious decisions’ cost-effectiveness requires holistic planning. Sustainability as an objective isincompatible with short-term thinking, requiring a longer-time perspective. Observed short contracts ofport actors remarkably hindered sustainability. Interviewees mutually agreed on the high potential ofsmall ports to bring added value both economically and socially to their surrounding areas. Thus, oneimportant question is: who should fund the investments to develop the long-term sustainability of ports?This report consists of a description of the interviewing method and a thorough analysis of the results.The results lead from recommendations and ideas for the future development of sustainable small ports.

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Luoma EK, Vantola RJ, Lehikoinen AM. Towards a sustainable small port – perspectives of boaters and port actors. Helsinki: University of Helsinki, 2018. 22 p.