Revista Brasileira de Estudos de População
Print version ISSN 0102-3098
MARANDOLA JR., Eduardo and MODESTO, Francine. Perception of urban environmental threats and place effects on the population-environment relationship. Rev. bras. estud. popul. [online]. 2012, vol.29, n.1, pp. 7-35. ISSN 0102-3098. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-30982012000100002.
Since their beginning, environmental studies have faced the threat of the ecological fallacy. Particularly within the human sciences domain, there has always been special attention to any form of geographical determinism or interpretation that could link society's understanding to nature's rationale. Regarding Population and Environment (P-E) studies, the concern has always been present, and not rarely with debate over the ecological fallacy, its risks and ways to eradicate it from the scope of analyses. However, in past decades, with the growing interest of human sciences on space, the importance of spatiality and the continuous amalgamation of its dimension in analyses have renewed this concern, now within a new sociocultural context. The effects of space have taken a new dimension, as we recognize, against the globalization trend, the strength of regional and local factors upon the determination and mediation of environmental issues that affect populations and places in a specific, but not in an indiscriminate way for space. Based on this, the methodological discussion has to consider how space influences the P-E equation, taking into consideration previous debates and the new contemporaneous sociospatial arrangements. These issues were relevant in the investigation over the perception of the dangers and vulnerability in the Metropolitan Regions of Campinas and Baixada Santista, in the State of São Paulo. Using data from a 2007 household survey (Vulnerability Project), we aimed to reach beyond the variables commonly used to assess living conditions (income, education, vital cycle), and we attempted to understand the variables according to differentiated spatial scales, considering the effects of space as critical for the perception of urban threats within the population-space-environment relationship.
Keywords : Risks; Space; Migration; Methodology; Population; Environment.