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The place of the social in the evaluation of environmental impact: public regulation in Brazil, theoretical advances and challenges for regional planning

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Ariella Kreitlon Carolino
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU/SBI)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Maria de Lourdes Zuquim; Henri Acselrad; Paula Freire Santoro
Advisor: Maria de Lourdes Zuquim

The present study has focused on the social dimension (better known as \'anthropic component\' or \'components of the socioeconomic environment\'), based on the practice and discourse of environmental impact assessment. It sought to analyze the absences, gaps, inadequacies, distortions and omissions that are active in the treatment of this social dimension, seeking to understand them as signs of the momentary configuration of the boundaries of the \'social\' in the environmental regulation of projects in Brazil, as a historical construction crossed by interests Conflict between those involved in environmental hegemony disputes, without losing sight of their dialogue with other fields of social space, such as political and economic. Through this interpretive key, it was possible to return to the origins and historical characteristics that conformed the dominant meanings of terms such as \'environment\', \'environmental impact\' and \'reached\' in public regulation and impact assessment activity, subsuming impacts And social processes related to the implementation of large projects. The research argues, in this sense, that the social component has been assigned a marginal, fragile and quite delimited spatial and temporal role, corroborating historical criticism of this planning instrument. Impoverished diagnostics, assessments that eschew the complexity of cumulative, indirect and second-order social impacts (whose long-term marks, fluidity of spatial boundaries, unpredictability, intangibility and difficulty in monetary valuation) and insufficient mitigating and compensatory measures Are empirically illustrated by the survey, taking the environmental impact study of a recent road ring project, located in the North Coast of the state of São Paulo, as the main raw material for analysis. In addition to an investigative methodology, based on the collection of official documents of the licensing process, the research sought to identify the meanders, mechanisms, operations and filters that replace the \'social\' as a subordinate part of the environmental impact assessment, giving very little emphasis to Such as: migration flows, population growth, additional demand on infrastructure and urban services, landscape transformations and new urban configurations, socio-cultural and economic profile change at the regional level, etc. In parallel, after extensive national and international literature review in the area of social impact assessment (which served as a theoretical-conceptual basis for research), it was sought to determine to what extent new emerging discursive formulations, both in the environmental field and in the professional subfield Of the impact assessment over the last thirty years have found resonance in the practice of assessing the environmental impact of projects in the country - ie as they have been appropriated by regulators and technical consultants responsible for EIAs. Finally, the research sought to reflect on the potentialities and limitations inherent to environmental impact assessment as a regional, integrated, democratic planning tool based on principles of environmental equity and the recognition of the demands of affected social groups. (AU)