Applying quantitative methods to the analysis of coastal risk governance and perception in Catalonia
Tipus de documentProjecte Final de Màster Oficial
Condicions d'accésAccés obert
Risks affecting coasts can be aggravated by climate change. Having adequate response mechanisms requires an integrated, multi-risk planning system, which should include from prevention to emergency phases of risk management, together with a wide range of authorities. This research aims at analyzing the social dimension of coastal risk management at two different levels – analysis of risk governance and of local risk perception -; introducing quantitative methods as the main tool of analysis. The approach of the research combines: (a) network analysis to draw relationships between competent stakeholders and plans, in prevention and in emergency phases, as well as to evaluate the level of integration of climate change into the current planning system; and (b) statistical analysis of a survey applied to key stakeholders to analyze the social perception at the local level. The use of unipartite graph models is introduced as a methodological innovation to visualize and analyze heterogeneous data. Quantitative methods are complemented by qualitative techniques such as planning analysis, secondary-documents review and semi-structured interviews to key stakeholders. Results from network analysis show the complexity of the legal and administrative framework of the Catalan coastal risk planning, which partly reflects the diversity of causes, origins, temporal and spatial scales characterizing hazards and risks. On the other hand, a dissimilar management tradition depending on each type of risk is observed. Flood risk management is coordinated by local and regional administration institutions with a more multi-risk perspective but unfortunately, they are not responsible for coastal erosion, a significant component of the global coastal risk in the Catalan littoral, which is managed from a higher administrative level. In turn, climate change is not present in the emergency phase: it is only explicitly considered in the Spanish Coastal Law and the Strategic Environmental Assessment. Concerning local perception, outcomes from the survey applied in two study areas (Maresme and Alt Empordà) reveal the impact of the geographic context to risk perception and to the priorization of quotidian concerns. The cohabitation for decades with natural hazards in coastal areas (especially in the case of Maresme) has led the population to acquire knowledge about the origin of these problems quite in line with scientific research. In contrast, confidence towards responsible stakeholders and management tools do not present differences according to the area. Scientists arise as the most trustworthy institution, and planning and coordination are the most prioritized management strategy. It is believed that answers from this part respond to ideological criteria more than geographical context, though further research would be required to confirm this assumption. In a few words, we argue that an overall planning system that guarantees integration amongst administrative levels and sectorial policies is required to increase overall coastal safety. In addition, public perception is a core issue in risk decisions, thus its inclusion into the design of risk planning is essential to achieve an integrated strategic coastal risk management.