IJG  Vol.4 No.6 B , August 2013
Territorial Planning for Coastal Zones in Chile: The Need for Geographical-Environmental and Natural Risk Indicators for Spatial Decision Support Systems

Coastal zones are very dynamic and fragile environments, constituting a landscape ever more heterogeneous, fragmented and with increasing levels of complexity due to the changing relationship between man and nature. Integrated coastal zone management therefore requires detailed knowledge of the system and its components, based—to a large extent—on technical and scientific information. However, the information generated must be in line with the political requirements necessary for decision-making and planning. Thus the use of indicators to give a simplified view of the many components of the territory, and at the same time to provide important information about patterns or trends, becomes a tool of the utmost importance. These indicators can be understood as measurable characteristics of the environment, which facilitate comprehension of the processes occurring at different scales and serve as a reference to inform the population and support decision-making. The aim of the present note is to demonstrate briefly the need to develop geographical-environmental and natural risk indicators to facilitate comprehension of the dynamic of spatial and temporal landscape patterns, particularly in coastal environments. This approach offers an historical summary of the natural, socio-economic and political processes which currently make up the territory, and which without doubt will continue to influence it in the future. At the same time, it is proposed that information should be integrated on the basis of this framework with a view to generating spatial decision support systems in a context of planning and integrated management of the coastal zones of Chile.

Cite this paper
F. Peña-Cortés, D. Rozas-Vásquez, G. Rebolledo, J. Pincheira-Ulbrich, M. Escalona, E. Hauenstein, L. Vargas-Chacoff, C. Bertrán, J. Tapia and M. Cisternas, "Territorial Planning for Coastal Zones in Chile: The Need for Geographical-Environmental and Natural Risk Indicators for Spatial Decision Support Systems," International Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 4 No. 6, 2013, pp. 17-29. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2013.46A2003.
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