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Inhabitants of Coastal Municipalities Facing Coastal Risks: Understanding the Desire to Stay

By Elisabeth Michel-Guillou, Nathalie Krien and Catherine Meur-Ferec

Abstract

International audienceThis study focuses on the representation of coastal risks (marine erosion and submersion), in a highly topical context relating to global environmental changes, and more specifically on the consequences of the increasing attraction of coastal areas. Through a psycho-socio-environmental approach, we sought to identify how inhabitants of coastal municipalities in a so-called "at risk" area represent the coastal risk of their surroundings. A survey by questionnaire was carried out to compare inhabitants of the risk zone defined in the Risk Prevention Plan – RPP [Plan de Prévention des Risques] with those living outside this zone. The main results reveal that inhabitants are very attached to their living environment, which appears to them to have more advantages than constraints. When asked to describe risks to their town, inhabitants mention coastal risk the most often. A social representation of coastal risks then appears, objectified through marine submersion. This makes it possible to understand the ambivalence of a discourse in which the sea is both a danger and a source of pleasure. These results are discussed in the light of cognitive polyphasia

Topics: sea ambivalence, survey, place attachment, coastal risks, erosion, sea flooding, representations, [SCCO.PSYC]Cognitive science/Psychology, [SHS.GEO]Humanities and Social Sciences/Geography
Publisher: London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:hal-01521636v1
Provided by: HAL-Univ-Nantes
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