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Dinâmicas sociais para a Sustentabilidade em zonas costeiras vulneráveis à erosão: Os casos de Paramos e da Costa da Caparica
Isabel Duarte de Almeida (Duarte de Almeida, I.);
Título Revista/Livro/Outro
Tese de Doutoramento em: "Sociologia e Sustentabilidade Urbana, do Território e do Ambiente", Univ. Nova de Lisboa
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Coastal erosion (CE) is a phenomenom that has undergone a conceptual evolution. Nowadays, it is considered a physical and social process, scientifically studied, quantified, technically mitigated, which may also be approached by following the individual/collective perceptions of coastal communities. The risk and vulnerability associated to CE may also be addressed by taking into account different aspects and contrasts that require a differentiated and transdisciplinary analysis. A gap regarding the CE social perception in Portuguese coastal communities was detected in the literature review. Therefore, the initial questions and study purpose are, as follows: to research the CE social perceptions and to understand how do they impact public decisions/participation aiming at CE mitigation. This research pursued an exploratory purpose supported on a hypothetical-deductive-approach and it followed a multiple-case study strategy. Moreover, the Historical Ecology Theory was chosen as the initial theoretical framework to position the study that was conducted after a mixed methodological paradigm (qualitative and quantitative). The cases of Paramos and Costada-Caparica were selected. They differ environmentally, geographically and socioeconomically. Propositions were inferred from the formulated hypotheses, and then, empirically tested, i.e. rejected or confirmed, according to the results obtained. A theory proposal was done. Social and environmental vulnerability indicators were determined through the Analytical Hierarchy Process, since social CE perception research is highly dependent on the social vulnerability to this risk. These indicators were, then, used to structure/draft the exploratory interviews, a questionnaire and the focus group script that were applied to three stakeholders categories: politicians/decision-makers, recreational associations presidents and fishermen/inhabitants, chosen by convenience sampling. The interviews identified both the historical and current perception of CE, as well as the publicinstitutional interaction within the scope of the planned/executed interventions targeting this problem mitigation. The questionnaire also revealed memories of damaging events, the recognition of EC causes and sea encroachment, risk perception identification and the understanding of the feedback about the developed strategies for mitigating erosion. The focus group sessions and data collected by observation also enriched this essay by enabling complementary information. The results showed that CE perception was coming from constructed experience and social memory. To the participants, the erosion «issue» is a serious daily problem. They identified risks and mentioned natural causes that are magnified by both climate change and human causes. Disengagement of the state through the inefficient decision/construction/maintenance of defense structures and through their laxness towards new building construction was pointed out as a significant illustration of human causes. The participants also highlighted the lack of sensitivity of the authorities towards traditional knowledge and their lack of will to welcome/integrate the contribution of the participants’ experience. Therefore, they argued for the need of community direct action over the previously built protection structures. This dissertation’s main contribution consists on the empirical based development of two models for the CE social perception. The first one conceptualized it, by including relevant aspects of the results, as concerns perceptions of the local, erosion, risk, Coastal Engineering interventions, governance, public participation and popular intervention. The second model explored the CE social perception, by positioning the vulnerability in the context of CE. It was considered that the perceived vulnerability/risk resulted not only from CE, but also from a variable and dynamic context-specific framework, and from internal/external factors that were identified. Finally, it is argued that this dissertation contributed to overcome the gap on the Portuguese social perception of CE, through the development of conceptual models aiming at studying those perceptions, in a supported, innovative way.
Sustentabilidade, erosão costeira, percepções sociais e risco, participação pública