The Urban Planning Scheme for the Catalan coastal system can be included in a recent generation of coastal area maps in several Spanish regions looking for a more sustainable territorial development model.
The regulation enacted in 2005 (since challenged in court) has a special incidence for tourism activities, as a use that has contributed in a large measure to the transformation dynamics of the Catalan coastal zone (one of the most important in the Iberian peninsula), as well in a direct way (hotels) as in an indirect one (harbors and seaside promenades). The Plan’s regulations, covering the whole of the Catalan coast, are binding in varying degrees for the municipal plans.
The plan defines a model for landscape and environmental quality, access strategies for beaches, harbors and tourism resources, and sometimes questions the precedent plans when they are in conflict with current criteria for those issues.
Similar plans for other regions, each with specific problems: