Sustainability is assumed to be a goal for the planning and design of coastal infrastructure in general, and specifically for marinas. Well established principles define sustainability in terms of environmental, economic, and social criteria. However, only the environmental dimension of sustainability is well developed in the marina industry. The social dimension of sustainability, conversely, is missing from available marina planning guidelines and usually not a goal considered for marina planning. This paper proposes the basis of social sustainability criteria for physical planning of marinas.
One of the main thesis of this approach is that the built environment can either encourage or prevent participation of the local community in a marina project, which has a major influence on social sustainability. Marina planning needs to create spaces within the marina for local community members and businesses to offer goods and services directly to guests, in order to achieve social sustainability and enhance guest experience.