Erosão costeira: perceções, impactes e estratégias de proteção: Os casos históricos de Espinho e do Furadouro (Portugal)

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In the second half of the nineteenth century, Espinho and Furadouro, located in the northwest coast of Portugal, began to have serious problems of coastal
erosion. This phenomenon continues until today. Causes are well known: the diminishing of sediments arriving to the coast; the building of hard engineering structures updrift and the increasing occupation of coastal zones. There are many studies about the causes of the erosion and the coastline retreat rates. But there are no papers about coastal erosion impact in local communities. Using
as methodological tools the concepts of emergency, recovery and reconstruction, the purposes of this study are to examine population perceptions about coastline
retreat, its social and economic impacts and the adopted strategies concerning disaster management and maintenance of the urban areas. Also it is analyzed if
there was “learning and adaptation” based in the experience gained over more than a century of coastal erosion.Espinho and Furadouro histories are very similar.
Both were fishing villages transformed into seaside resorts. Both were influenced by the arrival of newcomers, significant urban growth and new economic activities. Coastline retreat destroyed assets and properties, created solidarity movements and forced authorities to look for solutions. However, there are clear
differences between the two cases. Espinho, seaside resort of the elites, had a significant economic development and because of that received full attention from the press and the authorities. In Espinho were tested the first structures
for coastal protection. In Furadouro, on the other hand, the problem was ignored. As a small fishing village, used as a bathing place for local people, Furadouro only had its own protection structures much later. Historical data also show that there was a distinction concerning the protection of different social groups. Besides, the adopted solutions – hard engineering structures – gave a false
sense of security that favored the growth of these villages, increasing the settlement in risk areas and people’s vulnerability.
Original languagePortuguese
Title of host publicationO Homem e as Zonas Costeiras
Subtitle of host publicationTomo IV da Rede BrasPor
EditorsSílvia Pereira, Maria Rodrigues, Sérgio Bergamaschi, Joana Freitas
Place of PublicationRio de Janeiro
Number of pages214
ISBN (Electronic)9788588769984
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Portugal
  • Environmental History
  • Coastal Erosion
  • Risks
  • Anthropicoasts

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