Title: The essence of marine and coastal space – an interdisciplinary perspective


Europa XXI 36 (2019)



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Sea space has been undergoing a profound transformation. Although it retains its inspirational function in arts, literature and philosophy, it has been gaining new anthropogenic dimensions in economics and urban planning as a source of satisfying human needs i.e. the provision of harmony, beauty, off-shore energy, and biotech substances. Therefore, in this paper marine space is analyzed from a multidimensional perspective of urban planning, economics, and literature. Maritime space has been a subject of literature from its inception. Without attempting to give an overview of the vast topic, the paper discusses the pronounced presence of sea space in the earliest Western literary sources, such as the Bible and Anglo-Saxon poetry. As a striking case study, Herman Melville’s 1851 novel Moby-Dick is analyzed with its complex, dynamic notion of maritime space. Aditionally, the importance of the shore as locus amoenus in a short story by the contemporary writer Maxim D. Shrayer is examined. This notion of locus amoenus is also present in the research related to urban planning. Maritime space attracts people to locate nearby. Development is created as a response to these demands. Both urban planning and economics underline, however, a need of sustainable development of this space. This is crucial in order to secure its positive influence on human well-being in the long run. The three disciplines also point out that maritime space remains in the process of continuous creation and re-development in course of adding new functional and axiological ties between humans and the seas and oceans. Thus, nowadays maritime space covers both sea and terrestrial gateways servicing the sea and the key constituting factor is provided by human beings (homo maritimus) through their economic, social or emotional bond to the sea.


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