The local council of a small coastal town published a tender for the development of an urban plan for the coming 20 to 30 years. Various groups of experts with differing points of view participated in the call, submitting different, and sometimes contradictory, proposals. The proposals received can be grouped into three main categories:
The three options were presented for discussion at public hearings, with the participation of stakeholder representatives.
Discuss the possible conflicts and solutions, as well as the views of the different stakeholders. How do you think this problem can be solved?
Representatives of large companies (construction, tourism, catering) clearly prefer the first option and would like to see the development of intensive tourism. For them, the bigger the development, the greater the profits.
Representatives of local small and medium-sized businesses are less certain. On the one hand, the rapid development of tourism may stimulate their businesses. On the other, it is quite possible that big businesses will monopolise the market, and that local companies will not be able to compete.
Local residents also find it difficult to evaluate the different options. Most would benefit from the creation of new jobs, which would also help to keep local young people in the town. On the other hand, environmental damage and a substantial change in the appearance of the town and its local traditions make many of them sceptical about the business potential. Overall, citizens would like to see greater transparency and more public discussion about all the positive and negative aspects of each of the three options.
Environmentalists are divided. They believe that biodiversity, and the beauty of the environment, must be protected, but they are also tempted by the perspectives and benefits of alternative energy sources. As locals, who grew up in this small town, they would prefer to see the development of agriculture and environmentally friendly tourism.