Congruent scales in economics, coastal engineering and coastal morphology


Type: PhD-research


Persons involved: Tatiana Filatova (PhD student)

Prof. Dr Anne van der Veen (promoter), Prof. Dr Suzanne J.M.H. Hulscher, Ir. Lisette van der Burgh, Dr. Kathelijne M. Wijnberg, Dr Jan Mulder


Funding: ALW-NWO


Duration: 15 March 2005 – 15 March 2009


Links to other projects: embedded in project “Congruent scales in economics, coastal engineering and morphology”


Short description:

The processes and interactions between natural and socio-economic systems in coastal areas take place in a variety of temporal, spatial and analytical scales. Different factors and laws operate at each level and the nature of relationships changes across scales. The emphasis in this work is on the learning what are the links and interdependences between different scales and disciplines.


In her research project Tatiana focuses primarily on the micro foundations of aggregated economic phenomena with the application to land use change in the coastal zone area. The increasing tension between rising sea level and growing demand for land along the coast is reflected in a wide range of policy issues. Coastal zone management policy and spatial planning policy are strictly defined and regulated on macro level. However, the demand for land in certain areas along the coast is formed by many individual location choices. These locations choices (decisions where to buy a house or where to locate your business) are influenced by several socio-economic factors such as travel costs, scenic view on the sea, centripetal and centrifugal forces and budget constraint. High demand for land causes the increase of land prices and, consequently potential damage from flooding. In order to understand land use developments in the context of different policy scenarios we need a better understanding of individual behaviour. The main research question is to model individual allocation choices, which cause emergence of urban spatial patterns and land prices in coastal zone area and consequently influence the risk of flooding. In order to answer this question, current developments in the fields of spatial economics/econometrics, the utility theory and agent-based computational economics need to be investigated. Model development is empirically grounded in the processes taking place in the coastal zone area in the north-west of the Netherlands.


There are two main concerns in the current Integrated Coastal Zone Policy: “weak links” and areas situated outside of dikes (buitendijks gebied). The latest one is in the focus of our research. The challenge for coastal towns is that some parts of them are located outside the dikes where no legally safety standards are stipulated. Further development in the area is on the risk of individuals, which may cause ambiguous outcomes for the risk of flood of the entire area, since the perception of risk is quite low in the region (according to the results of the EU project COMRISK).


The research is mainly concerned about the consequences of Comission Poelman decision on the individual location decisions at the municipalities’ level. Tatiana collaborates with the RIKZ specialists who kindly provide consultations about coastal zone management policy issues.