Marija R. Jeftic, Slobodan Bajagic, Ljubinko Rakonjac, Aleksandar Lucic

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Space, as a non-renewable category, is the most valuable resource of Istria including not only landscapes, sea, seabed and the accompanying wildlife but also very sensitive resources such as ground water, seashore and woodlands. The aim of the study was to determine whether it is possible to reduce the negative impact of development activities on space using Geography Information System digital tools (GIS). Digital GIS tools were used in the study of the pressures made by urban infrastructure and services on the environment of the given area to assess the impact of sectoral and other pressures on the selected natural and cultural systems of the coastal region of Istria County. The key concept of the research methodology includes analytical and objective identification of conflicts in the space and provides spatial models for their reduction or complete elimination. The Overlay Method is essentially a type of a spatial model which produces an overlap of different thematic contents, in this case one of the models of the environment content overlaps with a model of pressure of development activities on the selected space element. As a final result, the critical areas are designated and further guidelines and proposals for the redefinition or revision of solutions are offered. A combined digital model and an analytical approach to the study of the impact of development activities on the natural sea system proved to be suitable tools for the assessment of negative effects on the ecological systems of the study area. Ports and aquaculture areas exert the biggest negative impact on the coastal sea which is constantly under direct pressures brought about by activities occurring in the sea itself. In addition to the direct pressure in the sea, the coastline is potentially threatened by human-induced pressures from the mainland.


environment impact, nature, region, coastal sea, spatial models, overlay

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