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Perceptions on Floods by the Population Residing in the Watershed of Ribeir?o Garcia, Brazil

DOI: 10.4236/acs.2019.91012, PP. 172-189

Keywords: Flooding, Environmental Perception, Land Use, Occupation

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Abstract:

Any anthropic action transforms the environment. However, the Urbanization is a human achievement, not the “villain” or “protagonist” of passive actors and experienced environmental degradations, but the model of urban occupation, construction and densification, interconnected with the ineffectiveness of the current drainage system. When evaluating programs to minimize flood impacts, the social component is a necessary but often neglected dimension. This component can be evaluated through the articulation between the actors (population and public power) and the resident community’s perception in relation to the needs and interventions. The present work seeks to analyze the perception of the community resident in the watershed of Ribeir?o Garcia regarding the problems arising from urban floods. The repeated flood events occurring in the Ribeirao Garcia watershed in the city of Blumenau-SC, Brazil, make this place a potential area for an investigative process, which can subsidize future decision-making processes aimed at the adequacy of a sustainable system in medium and long term. For the accomplishment of this work, a qualitative research was adopted. Fieldwork and semi-structured interviews with residents in the sample areas have been carried out to analyse land use and occupation. The procedures that supported this sample survey were divided into four steps: definition of the total population and the sample size; preparation of a questionnaire; application of the questionnaire and tabulation of results. It can be seen that, despite the problems of floods and landslides to residents of all sample areas, the locals have different perceptions regarding the proposed issues and that these different perceptions are linked to the sample geographic location. The analysed space is full of contrasts in physical, social and economic aspects, which favours one part of the population and disfavours the other. The process of densification and overcrowding of inadequate areas has been one of the negative effects of a disorganized housing sector in a speculative real estate market, and different levels of infrastructure among the districts, consolidating, in many ways, a process of social exclusion and spatial segregation. The analysis of the resident community’s perception in the Ribeirao Garcia watershed shows that the most susceptible communities to this type of events are those of low income, located in risk areas. It also demonstrates that, despite these

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