INTERFASE (Research Group on Inclusive Governance and Territorial and Coastal-Marine Sustainability)

  • Postal address

    Edifici B, Campus UAB

    08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès)


Organization profile

Organisation profile

INTERFASE, a research group of the Geography Department at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), was started in 1992 by Dr. Françoise Breton. The group has a long established reputation for delivering excellent research, particularly with regard to studies on coastal management and environmental issues. The group has closely collaborated with institutions such as the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the UNEP/MAP. One of its main achievements has been the coordination of the FP7 PEGASO project (, which designed integrated policies for the coastal, marine and maritime realms of the Mediterranean and Black Sea Basins. INTERFASE has also been the coordinator of several European Topic Centers (ETC) that have supported the work of the European Environment Agency: ETC on Terrestrial Environment, the ETC on Land Use and Spatial Information, the ETC on Spatial Information and Analysis, and the ETC on Urban Land and Soil Systems. As a consequence, today, INTERFASE researchers are present in relevant international networks and consultation bodies on international environmental management (EU Expert Group on ICZM or the Steering Committee of the International Geographic Union- Commission on Coastal Systems (IGU-CCS) or United Nations Environment Program – Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP).

In the last decade, and linked to the research developed by the group, together with the awareness of new developments in science and society internationally, the group has identified new challenges, which demand better integration of research and policy, in true interdisciplinary groups to produce salient, credible and legitimate knowledge. The shifting global economy has witnessed recurrent crisis, increasing social and economic inequality and poverty, growing environmental crisis despite dominant narratives on sustainability, and growing disposition of vulnerable groups (with special emphasis on the Mediterranean – in which the group has a long and consolidated research experience), together with a lack of real integration of research in the natural and social sciences, inform the scientific challenges of the INTERFASE group.

The group develops and expands its scope in order to elaborate a more holistic understanding of the interface between: 1) coastal areas and the socio-economic dynamics of their hinterlands; 2) governance decision-making processes and economic development strategies; 3) epistemic and methodological approaches of the natural and social sciences


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