The SPICOSA Project (Science and Policy Integration for Coastal Systems Assessment) is an EU funded 4 year project which aims to test whether a systems approach framework can be developed and applied to 18 study sites across Europe.

The systems approach used within the SPICOSA project involves developing an assessment framework that is multidisciplinary and includes balanced representation of the ecological, social and economic characteristics of coastal systems. This framework may then be used to explore the dynamics of coastal-zone systems and potential consequences of alternative policy scenarios.

Outputs from the project will include:

  • Systems Approach Framework User’s Manual
  • An information base for 18 study sites across Europe
  • A library of computer models representing elements of coastal systems
  • Decision support tools

These outputs will generate new opportunities for academic and professional training in Integrated Coastal Zone Management.

To follow:
How the SPICOSA project is applying the systems theory (due 2010).

Examples of how systems thinking has helped resolve coastal issues across Europe (due 2010).

For more information about the SPICOSA project, go to