WIT Press

Environmental And Hazard Perception: A Case Study Of A Periurban Area Of Central Portugal

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/SPD050271

Volume

84

Pages

10

Published

2005

Size

947 kb

Author(s)

J. Gaspar, A. Tavares & J. Azevedo

Abstract

This paper describes an attempt to understand environmental and risk perception in a periurban area. Based on physical characteristics, an analysis of surface processes and the identification of the development of land use, certain environmental vulnerabilities were isolated. The study area corresponds to a small-scale hydrological basin which enabled an inventory of local affinities and common interests to be produced. A survey was undertaken of a sample of 220 local residents in order to assess concerns about natural resources, hydrological, soil and atmospheric contamination, natural and technological hazards, the general quality of life and community needs. The results show that the major concerns focussed on natural resources, especially ground waters, noise and light pollution. Natural hazards do not appear to be relevant concerns, in spite of a long history of flooding. Conservation laws are identified as being important for the development of the local community, as opposed to planning and remediation measures. Keywords: periurban area, water demands, environmental vulnerabilities, local survey data, local concerns, sustainable management. 1 Introduction Studying the public's perception of quality of life and the general welfare of the community has become an important issue (Marris et al. [1]; Lima and Castro [2]). Vulnerability analysis, consisting of the identification and evaluation of natural and technological hazards, is nowadays both a concern for planners, politicians and residents and an area of interest for the media (Slovic [3]).

Keywords

periurban area, water demands, environmental vulnerabilities, local survey data, local concerns, sustainable management.