Losing Ground: Mediterranean Shoreline Change from an Environmental Justice Perspective

Author: Portman, Michelle E.

Source: Coastal Management, Volume 40, Number 4, 1 July 2012 , pp. 421-441(21)

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd

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Loss of land due to coastal erosion is a problem in the Mediterranean region and world-wide. Following a review of environmental justice (EJ) issues among different sectors of activity and contexts, this article describes research that examines the sociodemographic characteristics of populations destined to be effected by erosion in the city of Netanya, Israel. It also examines the availability of open space serving as an alternative to that expected to erode. Results provide a basis for which to explore the EJ implications of coastal erosion. The study finds that seashore dwellers in the case study area are generally mixed populations, not particularly strong or weak as defined herein. Also, planners and city managers have increasingly provided residents in close proximity to the shore with alternative open space. This work highlights the complexities of considering coastal erosion from a justice perspective. Although coastal erosion does not fit the typical EJ paradigm, the use of this analytical approach in the future at appropriate temporal and spatial intervals is recommended.

Keywords: beach loss; coastal erosion; environmental justice; recreational open space; sea-level rise; shoreline change

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08920753.2012.692307

Affiliations: Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning,Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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