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  1. 1. Ocean & Coastal Management xxx (2012) 1e10 Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect Ocean & Coastal Management journal homepage: development of the sea-front at Fortaleza (Brazil): Perspectives on itsvaluation and consequencesD.P. Paula a, b, *, J.M.A. Dias a, b, Ó. Ferreira a, J.O. Morais ba CIMA, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005 Faro, Portugalb Universidade Estadual do Ceará/PROPGEO/LGCO, Av. Paranjana 1700, Campus do Itaperi, Fortaleza, Ceará 60740000, Brazila r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c tArticle history: Occupation of the Fortaleza’s coastline began in the 17th century following the arrival of the Dutch andAvailable online xxx subsequent construction of the fortress after which the city is named. Urban development of the coast began in the early 19th century. The processes of occupation and urbanization along Fortaleza’s coastline is inseparable from the history of the port and its environmental impacts (silting-up and erosion). Currently, the coast studied is one of Brazil’s most developed, densely populated and most heavily modified by coastal engineering structures. Urban development accelerated in the 1980s due to tourism activities and led to the expansion of high-rise construction along the beachfront. Intensive occupation thus replaced extensive occupation. This paper explores Fortaleza’s urban development from two perspectives. Firstly, we use historical data to document the process of high-rise development on the tourist sea-front and the modification of the same coast with coastal engineering structures designed to contain erosion triggered by the construction of Mucuripe Harbor. Secondly, we collected field data on the current urban fabric (including the distribution of high-rise buildings, land prices and land use) and used these data to analyze urban growth and human pressure on the coastal zone, especially the For- taleza sea-front. Extensive artificial modification of the coast has enabled Fortaleza to develop into one of the most important tourist resorts in Brazil. In turn, this increased economic activity has allowed increasingly extensive and costly coastal engineering structures to be built in the area. Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.1. Introduction people live within 100 km of coastline at elevations below 100 m, where population density is about 3 times greater than the global Sandy beaches prevail on exposed coastlines around the world average (Small and Nicholls, 2003). In Brazil, for example, coastline(Bascom, 1980). Currently they are favored sites for recreation and extends for 8500 km including 300 coastal municipalities. Four ofthe development of economic activities such as beach tourism (e.g.: the ten (40%) largest metropolitan areas of the Brazil are located onKlein et al., 2004) and, as a consequence, they are highly valued and the sea-front, including Fortaleza. Half of the population (moresought after by modern society as a place for primary, secondary or than 90 million people) lives less than 200 km from the sea (Araújotemporary residence (Parsons and Powell, 2001). This attraction and Costa, 2008). Rapid population growth has been followed bytoward the coastal zone has triggered intense population growth, a process of disorganized urbanization of coastal areas (Muehe,causing significant expansion of urbanized areas (both in area and 2004).height) and great human pressure on beaches (Brown and The high level of population density in coastal areas reduces theMcLachlan, 2002). environmental resilience of beach, especially in urban zones. Here The impacts of urbanization on coastal areas have been widely tourism has contributed to massive occupation of the coast, whichdiscussed in literature (e.g.: Turner et al., 1996; Dias and Ferreira, has resulted in decrease in environmental quality at recreational1997; Nicholls and Small, 2002; Sealeum et al., 2007; Ariza et al., beaches (Sealeum et al., 2007; Cervantes and Espejel, 2008; Araújo2008; Silva et al., 2008). Recent estimates show that 1.2 billion and Costa, 2008). In developed countries beaches are commonly seen as spaces for leisure and entertainment by modern society (Ariza et al., 2008). Whereas in developing countries (e.g.: Brazil) * Corresponding author. Universidade Estadual do Ceará, Av. Paranjana 1700,Campus do Itaperi, Fortaleza, Geografia, Ceará 60740000, Brazil. Tel.: þ55 85 beaches are often used for commodity exchange. Beaches therefore32633478; fax: þ55 85 31019885. represent two interacting subsystems: one natural and the other E-mail addresses:, (D.P. Paula). socioeconomic (Araújo and Costa, 2008).0964-5691/$ e see front matter Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.03.004 Please cite this article in press as: Paula, D.P., et al., High-rise development of the sea-front at Fortaleza (Brazil): Perspectives on its valuation and consequences, Ocean & Coastal Management (2012), doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.03.004
  2. 2. 2 D.P. Paula et al. / Ocean & Coastal Management xxx (2012) 1e10 Coastal development, along with impacts of human activities In many Brazilian cities the maximum height limitation onin watersheds, has often led to a sharp decrease in sediment buildings on the sea-front was established in the 1990s, prior to thissupply to coasts, resulting in coastal retreat and beach erosion. time there was only regulation on the construction site. The LandThis has further caused the destruction of housing, community Law (1960s) stipulated that in most coast cities, including Fortaleza,facilities and financial investments (e.g.: Bird, 2000; Dias, 2005; all residential areas located on the sea-front and next to the riverFerreira et al., 2008). must had a maximum building height of three (3) to four (4) floors. Urban beaches are increasingly sandwiched between growing Presently, for most of the coastal cities of Brazil (e.g.: Fortaleza,urban areas on the continental side and the action of waves and Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Balneário Camboriú) the limit allowed fortides on the ocean side. Under such conditions, beaches lose their buildings on the sea-front varies from 60 m (20 floors) to 75 m (25resilience, rapidly changing in shape and extension in response to floors). In Fortaleza’s specific case, this limit is 72 m (24 floors).high-energy events (Klein et al., 2003). Human-induced changes, Carleial and Araújo (2011) point out that high-rise build-up inlike the urbanization of areas too close to the shoreline, not only Fortaleza was linked to economic activities in the industrial sector,profoundly alter the natural environment, but also sooner or later extending to high-income neighborhoods for residential, andlater are themselves threatened by beach dynamics. This occurs later commercial, purposes. Somekh (1997) calls this process theespecially during high-energy events, generally prompting the multiplication of urban land, made possible by the elevator. Thus,construction of hard coastal engineering works (e.g.: Dias, 1990). verticality is said to be linked to the intensive use of urban landThese cause changes in coastal characteristics and dynamics, (density) and the pattern of technological development.reducing beaches’ ability to adapt to natural events, and directly This study analyzes the major changes that occurred along theinterfering in their sedimentary balance (e.g.: Dias, 1990; Swenson Fortaleza shoreline between the 1960s and 2000s, aiming atand Franklin, 2000; Nordstrom, 2000; Hansen, 2010). understanding how human interference (intensive urbanization e Intensive urban development took place in Fortaleza in the connected largely to touristic activities) contributed to the mass1980s, a period in which Fortaleza’s economic interests shifted occupation of the coast and its associated impacts.from the hinterland and began to focus almost entirely on the coast(Dantas, 2002). Thus it ceased to be a harbor city and became one of 2. Materials and methodsthe most sought after tourist destinations in Brazil. This trans-formation was ruled by the intense urbanization of the coastline Information on all urban facilities along the Beira Mar Avenuestarting in the late 1960s and peaking in the 1980s (Vasconcelos (Fortaleza) was recorded during fieldwork carried out in 2010. Aand Coriolano, 2008). Between 1960s and 2011 Fortaleza’s pop- Differential Global Positioning System (DGPSGTRG2/GLONASS)ulation grew more than 250%. During the first 10 years of the 21st with a precision of 10 mm/1 ppm (kinematic module) was used tocentury Fortaleza’s population has grown more than the national record the information about the buildings located along the sea-average. Fortaleza is the 5th most populous municipality (2,447,409 front. Information collected included geographic coordinates,peoples) in Brazil (IBGE, 2010). This growth was achieved due to types of building (office, residence, institutional, mixed, hotel andpublic and private investments in urban (e.g.: harbor, airport, rail- others), name of the building, number of floors, year of constructionroad and freeway) and tourist (e.g.: hotel, resort, restaurant and and maximum distance from the coastline, the width of the beachnight club) infrastructure. sidewalk and its distance from the highest tide line. This informa- Along Fortaleza’s shoreline, coastal erosion and the encroach- tion was inserted into a database in a Geographic Informationment of the urban area have turned a natural landscape into System GIS. The geographical identification of the buildings anda heavily urbanized cityscape where, through hard coastal engi- their use allowed to map zones of interest (e.g.: Public, private andneering structures (groynes, harbors, marinas, jetties and land technological). Moreover, the buildings geographic distributionreclamation), the current coastline has become completely artificial. allowed to identify occupied blocks and their occupation type (e.g.: The way of life in cities with such a high degree of urbanization residential, tourist and commercial activities).promotes distinct social patterns and physical structures. The The rate of verticalization and value (per square meter) wasintense flow of capital and people, and limitations on physical calculated from documents made available by the City Hall of For-space, lead to high-rise construction. This type of construction was taleza (PMF), the Regional Council of Realtors (CRECI), the Union ofadopted during the industrial revolution in Europe, where three- to Enterprises for Buying, Selling, Leasing and Managing Property ofsix-story buildings appeared in major cities (Mascaró and Ceará (SECOVI-CE), and information found in newspapers. TheseYoshinaga, 2005). In the U.S.A, this type of construction was data showed some inaccuracies in the field and were corrected asadopted in the 19th century in the cities of Chicago, New York and required. The rate of construction was determined by the ratioManhattan Island. The first of these constructions rose to more than between the number of buildings built and the number of years100 m (or more than 30 floors). In Brazil, high-rise construction at under analysis (10, in this case, since the scale used is based oncoastal areas started in 1920 in the cities of São Paulo (Santos decades).Beach) and Rio de Janeiro (Copacabana Beach). In the cities of NE To quantify vacant land and the advancement of the urban front,Brazil, constructions of buildings on sea-front started in aerial photographs of Fortaleza (1968, 1972, 1978, 1995 and 2004),1950se1960s (e.g.: Fortaleza, Recife and Salvador). TM-LANDSAT (1978, 1980, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2005) This form of development, also referred to as verticalization, is and QuickBird images (2003 and 2010) were used. This imagery wascharacterized by the replacement of urban constructions (houses) converted to the same projection and datum and analyzed usingand open spaces by intensive or multifamily buildings. This process, ARCGIS 9 software. Each geographic item recorded was assigned tocommon in modern urban structure, is more prevalent in areas of one or more categories for incorporation into the database, allowingintense market speculation. In Fortaleza, this occurs mainly in the items with similar land-uses to be extracted and analyzed.area surrounding the Beira Mar Avenue, built in 1963 and extend- We calculated the distance between the urban front (buildings,ing from Iracema Beach to Mucuripe Beach, and where the main blocks, sidewalks and stalls) and the maximum wave run-up levelclubs, hotels, flats and restaurants are found. In Rio de Janeiro, high- on the day of the experiment by inserting the coordinates collectedrise processes on the sea-front intensified after the Copacabana in the field into a georeferenced base-map of the area. DistancesPalace hotel construction (Copacabana Beach) in 1923 (Ficher, from each urban structure and the maximum wave run-up were1994). then calculated. Please cite this article in press as: Paula, D.P., et al., High-rise development of the sea-front at Fortaleza (Brazil): Perspectives on its valuation and consequences, Ocean & Coastal Management (2012), doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.03.004
  3. 3. D.P. Paula et al. / Ocean & Coastal Management xxx (2012) 1e10 33. Study area Mucuripe (2.9 km). Immediately adjacent to and connecting these beaches is the Beira Mar Avenue (Fig. 1). Seventeen geometrically The study area is in the city of Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará State, dissimilar blocks are strung along the landward side of the avenue.Northeast Brazil. The city faces the equatorial Atlantic Ocean with Sandy beaches are situated between Mucuripe Harbor (east) and34 km of sandy beaches and has an average altitude of 21 m above Iracema Beach. About 90% of the coastline is affected by hardsea level (IBGE, 2010). The geographical position of the city, located coastal engineering structures (Valentini and Rosman, 1992).just below the equator, makes it a popular tourist destination for Beira Mar beaches are at present characterized by a narrow stripEuropeans and Americans. Fortaleza has the highest population of sand, averaging 45 m wide, with wider beaches in the middledensity among the Brazilian state capitals: about 8000 inhabitants sector and narrower ones to the east. There is a stretch of 300 mper square kilometer. The city experiences a semi-arid climate with between Náutico Beach and Mucuripe Beach, known as the Volta darather small temperature amplitude (average maximum: 30 ; Jurema, which has no beach, but only rocky outcrops (beach rocks)average minimum 24 ). Its climatic conditions are influenced by the averaging 30 m in width and submerged at high tide. According toInter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and variations in the Paula et al. (2008), Beira Mar beaches are intermediate in type,seasonal phenomena of El Niño (which occurs in the dry season) and tending toward more reflective stages during storm events,La Niña (marked by rainfall above the regional multi-annual apparently as a consequence of the coastline’s high degree of arti-average). Geologically, the city sits on the quartz sand sediments of ficial modification.the coastal plain, consisting of beach and marine terraces, mobile The touristic Beira Mar sea-front of Fortaleza is located inand fixed sand dunes and fluvialemarine plains. a region with a population density of 8200 inhabitants/km2, The tidal regime is semidiurnal meso-tidal, ranging from 0.5 m reaching 12,000 inhabitants/km2 at Mucuripe Beach. The averageto 3.87 m (INPH, 1996). For 95% of the year, waves approach from monthly income of the population that lives along Beira Marthe east (90 ), with dominant significant wave heights of less than Avenue is R$2500 (U.S. $1506). However Náutico Beach residents1.5 m and wave periods of less than 10 s. Waves from the northeast have an average income of R$4000 (U.S. $2409), five times theoccur occasionally (5% of the time) with significant height greater average income of Fortaleza as a whole: R$ 800 (U.S. $482) (IBGE,than 1.5 m, and average period of 12 s (INPH, 2002). These waves 2010).are largely responsible for beach erosion (Melo et al., 1995). Theprevailing winds consistently come from EeSE at an average speed 4. Results and discussionof 4 m/s, but can reach 7 m/s in the second half of the year (Maiaet al., 1996). 4.1. The historic processes Fortaleza has more than 30 km de coastline, which is limited byPacoti (east) and Ceará (west) rivers. Only a 7.5 km stretch of beach The origins of urban development in Fortaleza can be tracedis considered in this study, corresponding to the traditional tour- back to 1649 AD, when the Dutch constructed the Schoonemborchistic sea-front e the north coast e comprising the following bea- Fortress on the banks of the Pajeú Creek. Fortaleza was promoted toches: Iracema (2.1 km), Meireles (1.5 km), Náutico (1.0 km) and the status of city in 1726. However, intensive occupation of the Fig. 1. Location of the Fortaleza study area in NW Brazil. Please cite this article in press as: Paula, D.P., et al., High-rise development of the sea-front at Fortaleza (Brazil): Perspectives on its valuation and consequences, Ocean Coastal Management (2012), doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.03.004
  4. 4. 4 D.P. Paula et al. / Ocean Coastal Management xxx (2012) 1e10coastal area of Fortaleza only began in the early nineteenth century In the process of coastal development in Fortaleza, it is impor-and was linked to the construction of the city’s harbor. The first tant to bear in mind the occurrence of drought episodes, which areberth of Fortaleza, of a temporary character, was made of wood and characteristic events in Ceará. For example, the year 1951 wasstone and was built in 1804 in the area of Prainha (east of Praia de a drought year, with precipitation reduced to only 747 mm for theIracema) (Espindola, 1978). In 1844 it was replaced by another one, region as a whole (Morettin et al., 1993). Some locations hadresting on wooden piles, located in the vicinity of the current Poço considerably lower rainfall than this average value. As highlightedda Draga, Iracema Beach (Meyll, 1930). by newspapers of the time (Nobre, 1973), there was a strong urban These first port facilities quickly became inoperable due to growth that year because labor was cheap and there was anpronounced silting-up. The problem was so intense that in 1860s it increase in rents, a strong incentive to build. Sources related to thewas no longer possible to embark at low tide (Morais, 1972). At this government (Souza, 1979) calculated that, during that period, closepoint, the city was clustered around the port infrastructure, the to eighty million Cruzeiros (more than U.S. $90,000 at the time) wascoastal front only occupying around 3 km (today’s historical center) spent building the city.near Iracema Beach. Along the coast east of this area (today’s Following an episode of severe coastal erosion, the urban facil-touristic sea-front), extensive dunes stretched from the coastline ities of Iracema Beach migrated to Meireles Beach, where lessfar into the interior. erosion was observed. According to the technical report of the 4th In order to solve the silting-up problems, a 670-m breakwater District of Ports, Rivers and Canals (DPRPC), erosion of these bea-(known as the Hawkshaw Breakwater) was constructed (Valentini ches was responsible for the first house collapses in the history ofand Rosman, 1992). However, these works increased the silting Ceará (Parente, 1965). As a temporary solution, the State Govern-process to the point where a shoal formed along the eastern side of ment authorized the construction of three rip-rap seawallsthe breakwater, while a shallow sandbank completely occupied the between Iracema and Meireles beaches in 1963 and six groynes onport basin. This is visible in the French Navy hydrographic chart of the west coast.1867, in which the completed Hawkshaw Breakwater is shown (the Jucá (2000), based on newspaper reports of the time, estimatedonly artificial intervention to the coastline at the time). Morais that about 200 m of beach were eroded in a period of 10 years, with(1972) point out that the low waterline moved 400 m out to sea an average erosion rate of about 20 m/year. Presumably this wasfrom its previous location, some 130 m from the present location of one of the highest erosion rates recorded on the Ceará coast duringBeira Mar Avenue. In an attempt to reduce coastal sediment supply, the last two centuries. Contrary to what could have been expected,several dunes were vegetated to curtail aeolian transport. Groynes elite landowners were slow to shift from Iracema Beach to Meireles,were also built, but the problem persisted. despite all the problems related to coastal erosion. In 1899, a new port structure (known as the Metal Bridge), was During the 1970s, erosion problems continued along the coast ofbuilt updrift of the Hawkshaw Breakwater. The structure Fortaleza. According to Salim (1998), by 1975 the coastline of For-(completely permeable) did not induce sediment accumulation, taleza was artificially altered by 12 groynes, 4 rip-rap seawalls, 2thus avoiding silting-up problems. Port warehouses were even bridges, an oil jetty and 2 breakwaters, spread between Mucuripebuilt over the adjacent dunes with the aim of diminishing aeolian Harbor and the mouth of the Ceará River. In the late 1970s, the westtransport to the harbour basin. Nevertheless, the occupation coast of Fortaleza was totally artificial, being mainly defined byremained restricted to the port area and urban expansion coastal hard engineering structures constructed in response tocontinued toward the city center. erosion triggered by construction of the port. After thirty years, structural problems on the Metal Bridge Thanks to the sense of security lent by the coastal-defense hardposed safety risks to the arrival and departure of people and goods structures, occupation of the seaside zone increased, namelyto/from Fortaleza. The structure no longer met the social, economic through the construction of Beira Mar Avenue and the replacementand commercial demands of the city, and was decommissioned. of extensive low-rise buildings (houses) by intensive, high-riseThe port began to be transferred to Mucuripe Bay in 1933, a site developments. This happened mainly in the area between Náu-previously occupied only by fishing communities (Morais, 1981). tico and Meireles beaches. The 1980s and 1990s were marked byTwo decades before, the Mucuripe dunes had been stabilized with the massive occupation of the coastal zone driven by tourism. Thisvegetation, possibly with the dual purpose of preventing the sand intensified the process of high-rise development of the sea-front. Infrom reaching the city via easterly winds, and allowing the 1998, the construction of the International Airport of Fortalezaexpansion of the urban agglomeration. confirmed the status of the city as a major tourist destination in The basic infrastructure for Mucuripe Port was completed in Brazil, indirectly enhancing Beira Mar’s occupation density.1938. However, the main protective structure- the Titan jetty/ On the other hand, the growth of the city led to stabilization ofbreakwater- did not prevent harbor silting-up problems as expec- the dune fields and the canalization of rivers and urban streams,ted (Pitombeira, 1976). In fact, it induced intense coastal erosion of affecting the vulnerable balance of sediments on the coastline eIracema Beach, where the old port was located. These were the first Coastal erosion thus intensified. The same situation was observedcoastal erosion problems recorded along the Fortaleza coastline. In by Costa et al. (2008) on the shoreline of Boa Viagem Beach in Recifean attempt to stop this erosion, four rip-rap groynes were built (NE Brazil). The 2000s were characterized by the intensification ofprior to 1945. More or less simultaneously, Fortaleza’s urban area high-rise construction as a model for the urban development of thestarted to expand toward Mucuripe Harbor (east), occupying more city, especially the touristic sea-front. This process brought newthan 6 km of shore front. Since that time, Fortaleza’s population has investment in urban infrastructure, with the aim of adapting theincreased by 463% (data from the year 2000: IBGE, 2010). In the coastal area to the demands of the tourism industry and the1950s the Titan breakwater was extended to 1910 m and the requirements for hosting the 2014 World Cup.Titanzinho (Little Titan) groyne (1 km long) was built at Praia do Urbanization is a major determinant of the vulnerability of theFuturo, immediately updrift of the Titan, in order to retain littoral coastline to high-energy events (storms). In this case, it is impor-drift and avoid harbor siltation (Castro, 1989). Success was, tant to point out that these events seem to be increasing inhowever, questionable: the harbour continued to accumulate frequency, intensity and impact on coastal infrastructure (Vilibicsediment and erosion along Beira Mar intensified, leading to the et al., 2000). According to information published by Municipalreorganization of all the coastal hard engineering structures Government of Fortaleza and circulated in local newspapers, thebetween Iracema and Meireles Beaches (Maia et al., 1998). cost of reconstructing the affected areas is very high and Fortaleza Please cite this article in press as: Paula, D.P., et al., High-rise development of the sea-front at Fortaleza (Brazil): Perspectives on its valuation and consequences, Ocean Coastal Management (2012), doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.03.004
  5. 5. D.P. Paula et al. / Ocean Coastal Management xxx (2012) 1e10 5 buildings per year in 1980, 3.3 in 1990). In 2009, there were around 77 buildings, two of which were in the final stages of construction (Fig. 2). The rate of construction between the 1980s and 1990s was the highest in history, reaching a figure of 7.1 buildings per year, driven by investments in tourism and the concentration of the elite in this stretch of the city. The hectic pace of growth slowed in the 2000s due to the lack of spaces suitable for construction. 4.2.2. Distribution of buildings The number of buildings per block is variable (1e19), reflecting an average occupancy rate of 4.6 buildings/block. The number of buildings per block increases in from Iracema Beach to Mucuripe Harbor, i.e. from the sector that suffered the greatest erosion toward the least affected. The buildings also feature different forms of use, with special emphasis on residential (54.5%) and hotel facilities (20.8%) (Fig. 3). The data reveal that the tourist sea-front is mainly residential,Fig. 2. Number of high-rise buildings constructed on Beira Mar Avenue between the although commercial and hotel facilities have increased over the1960s and 2000s. last decade. Mucuripe Beach has the largest number of buildings (37 units), almost 50% of the total sample. Meireles Beach, to the west, has one third of all the buildings, while Náutico Beach, in thespent more than 200 million Reais (more than U.S. $120 million) in central sector, has 18% of the buildings. On the whole extension ofthe 2000s on such works. It is estimated that, by 2014, over R$400 the sea front, only two blocks are primarily residential (B3-Meirelesmillion will be spent (U.S. $400 million), exacerbating the level of Beach and B13-Mucuripe Beach).environmental modification, and probably reaching an unsustain- The buildings are 14.5 floors high on average. The Mucuripe areaable level of economic expenditure. Today, the Fortaleza sea-front is is home to the tallest buildings of all (26 floors) (Fig. 4). This areatotally modified by residential and commercial buildings, hotels, also has six buildings that exceeded the allowable height limit forflats, restaurants, recreational clubs and unyielding protective constructions on the sea-front. Only two buildings exceeded thestructures. limit in the area of Meireles and Náutico, while other buildings are in accordance with state law However, it is also at this area that the4.2. Evolution of urbanization/verticalization largest number of low-rise buildings (up to 5 floors) is found on the sea front e a church, two houses and ten commercial outlets4.2.1. Verticalization rate (shops, bars and restaurants). Maia et al. (1996) have observed that The first high-rise buildings (more than 12 floors) were built in between 1974 and 1994 there was a decrease in average windthe 1970s near the fish market in the area of Mucuripe, the tradi- speeds of 1.1 m/s and an average temperature rise of 0.8 C in thetional domain of fishermen and their rafts. According to data from city. Their period of analysis coincides with the peak of high-riseSECOVI-CE, it is estimated that the average construction rate was 1.6 development along the sea-front of Fortaleza, but further evalua-buildings per year between 1960 and 2000, varying over time (2.7 tion of the data still needs to be made to make sure that the Fig. 3. Distribution of buildings by use category along the touristic beach front of Fortaleza in 2010. Please cite this article in press as: Paula, D.P., et al., High-rise development of the sea-front at Fortaleza (Brazil): Perspectives on its valuation and consequences, Ocean Coastal Management (2012), doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.03.004
  6. 6. 6 D.P. Paula et al. / Ocean Coastal Management xxx (2012) 1e10 During high-energy events, damage or threats to human occupa- tion prompt the reconstruction, reinforcing and amplification of coastal engineering structures, which in turn maintain or reinforce the economic and tourism value of adjacent spaces. The poorly planned of coastal land and rapid development of the coast has decreased the environmental quality of beaches and consequently there has been a reduction in the competitive advantage these tourist areas in relation to tourist areas where the coast is better preserved. Along sea-front intense high-rise devel- opment has led to an increasingly artificial coastal zone. This process is associated with the transformation of natural spaces into humanized ones. Increasing human pressure on the coastal zone and the unsus- tainable use are incompatible with the support capacity of these environments, which will certainly be reflected in the artificiality of the landscape and consequent of environmental impacts (e.g.:Fig. 4. Distribution of buildings by number of floors for each urban block along the urban flooding, landslide, rise in temperature, coastal erosion andtouristic beachfront of Fortaleza in 2010. marine pollution). In the specific case of the tourist cities, there was an increase of urbanization by the sea due to high-rise development of the sea-temperature variation was not regional, and, in this case, not front. Urban development has exacerbated the problems of coastalattributable to urbanization. erosion on the main tourist beaches of Brazil. In many cases (including Fortaleza, Recife, Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Rio de Janeiro,4.2.3. Distribution of vacant land and valuation of buildings Balneário Camboriú) the coastline itself is defined by urbanization Currently, there are no blocks on the touristic sea-front occupied (e.g.: buildings line, sidewalk, avenue and road). Coastal vulnera-by houses (low-rise construction) that could be demolished by the bility is thus defined by the degree of coastal urbanization (Fig. 5).high-rise building industry, as was the case on the edge of Boa With urbanization close to the sea, waves more easily reach urbanViagem in Recife, Brazil (Costa et al., 2008). Vacant lots along the infrastructure and endanger drainage systems, sewers, lamp post,sea-front were completely built over by 2008. By analyzing aerial roads, cycle lane, squares, fish markets, statues, houses, buildingsphotographs and satellite images, it can be seen that in 1995 there and sidewalks. Governments are then forced to invest in coastalwere only 10 empty lots suitable for construction, and these were protection to prevent damage to property. Devaluation of public andall used up by 2008. From 1995 to 2003, there was a reduction of private property is likely to decrease the tourism attractiveness of70% in vacant areas. Most of the land was used for the construction the city, impacting heavily on the municipality’s.of office and residential buildings. Due to the lack of space, spec- The advance of the sea in some regions has resulted in theulative investors, represented by large construction companies, destruction of urban infrastructure. To prevent coastal impacts andbegan to purchase low-rise buildings (up to 5 floors) and demolish allow beach recovery, beach nourishment was carried out in somethem for new ventures. The main targets were social clubs: of the areas (e.g.: Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Flamengothree clubs existing in the 1990s, only one remained in 2011. Embankment-RJ in Rio de Janeiro, Piçarras Beach in Santa Catarina If this mode of construction were to continue, we envisage that 14 and Iracema Beach in Ceará). Beach nourishment is an attempt tohigh-rise buildings could still be constructed along Fortaleza’s sea- artificially stabilize a naturally migrating shoreline. Artificiallyfront (two on Meireles Beach, five on Náutico Beach and seven on renourished shorelines provide two benefits: increased area forMucuripe Beach). It is important to consider that this estimate can recreation and greater protection against coastal storms.only take effect through the purchase and demolition of existing In Pernambuco a proposal for beach nourishment between thelow-rise buildings. The scarcity of land suitable for construction cities of Jaboatão dos Guararapes and Recife (more than 20 km ofboosted the short-term value of seaside property. According to the coastline) is the subject of current debate. The coastal work willRegional Board of Realtors of Ceará (CRECI), land value on the cost several billion dollars. The high costs to keep the coast safe andbeachfront has increased more than 80% in the last 40 years. with sufficient environment quality to attract tourism must be There are properties located in the Meireles and Mucuripe covered by the state, since Brazilian Government is solely respon-neighborhoods whose prices exceed R$8000/m2 (over U.S. $4800/ sible for investments in coastal protection. This demonstrates them2). The high value of these properties is related to natural features long-term unsustainability of economic activities that are incom-(ocean view) and the proximity to essential services, such as patible with the support capacity of beaches.pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, schools, day-care centers, colleges, Considering a scenario where the coast is hit by a high energysupermarkets, banks, malls, department stores and restaurants. The event (sea storm) that exceeds the protections capacity of coastalMucuripe and Meireles neighborhoods are the most expensive in engineering structures, destruction of public property (road, side-Fortaleza, as they offer all the essential services in addition to an walk and power poles), private homes and beach huts and coastalocean view. flooding are inevitable. The tendency is then to reconstruct these defensive structures, making them larger, stronger and “safer”,4.2.4. Seaward advance of the urban boundary amplifying the sense of security and thus creating a feedback The complete artificial stabilization of the coastline has facili- process whose consequences are difficult to estimate. In the case oftated the process of touristic economic development of the sea- Fortaleza, retreating urban facilities would be an uneconomicalfront in Fortaleza. At the same time, this development has signifi- short- to medium-term option because of the high associated costs.cantly contributed to strengthening the coastal engineering struc- This must be viewed in the light of the impetus, now rather slight,tures that define the shoreline. An expensive feedback loop has to further advance urbanization toward the sea through landthus been created. The coastal engineering structures provide reclamation, rip-raps and groynes, which, when established, willoccupation security and therefore raise the value of urban spaces. make the sustainable use of natural resources completely Please cite this article in press as: Paula, D.P., et al., High-rise development of the sea-front at Fortaleza (Brazil): Perspectives on its valuation and consequences, Ocean Coastal Management (2012), doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.03.004
  7. 7. D.P. Paula et al. / Ocean Coastal Management xxx (2012) 1e10 7Fig. 5. High-rise development along Brazilian coastline. In Fortaleza (A) and Jaboatão dos Guararapes (B) the coastline is defined by groynes, rip-raps, sidewalks and buildings.unfeasible. The hand-in-hand relationship between coastal engi- sidewalks, historical sculptures, and urban roads) and privateneering structures and high-rise development means that the interest (beach huts, hotels, houses, shops, restaurants and bars) incoastline is increasingly suffering from human intervention the event of a large storm (Fig. 6B). Muehe (2001) emphasizes that(building of larger structures) and the natural coastal systems have construction on sandy soil and beach strips with a width of lessbeen completely altered. than 150 m should be avoided due to the risk of flooding and The average seaward advance of the urban boundary was 174 m erosion by waves.between the years 1972 and 2008, representing an average change Buildings on Beira Mar Avenue are, on average, 75 m away fromof 4.8 m/year (Fig. 6A). The blocks that migrated the most were B14 the maximum spring tide level. In some places that distance is only(7.2 m/year), B15 (8.8 m/year) and B16 (7.1 m/year). The last two 25 m, i.e. Meireles Beach. Between the first row of buildings and theblocks are located on Mucuripe Beach, which has undergone major artificial coastline lie the Beira Mar Avenue, its sidewalk, and beachtransformations in the 1990s, as it was the stretch with the highest huts. Beira Mar Avenue is on average 10 m wide and 62 m from thenumber of spaces suitable for construction. Disorderly advance of high tide line. The sidewalk is on average 12 m wide and 50 m awayurban facilities on coastline increases the risk of property damage from the spring high tide level. In some stretches, like on Meirelesin areas of technological (e.g.: Mucuripe Harbor), public (e.g.: Beach, this distance is reduced to 15 m. Beach huts are on average Please cite this article in press as: Paula, D.P., et al., High-rise development of the sea-front at Fortaleza (Brazil): Perspectives on its valuation and consequences, Ocean Coastal Management (2012), doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.03.004
  8. 8. 8 D.P. Paula et al. / Ocean Coastal Management xxx (2012) 1e10Fig. 6. Seaward advance of the urban boundary per block (A) and zoning of the areas of interest (B) along the touristic sea-front of Fortaleza. The front-line of constructed buildingsas of 1972 is also shown for reference.40 m from the reach of the tide and waves, making them vulnerable of more than 2 km) (Paula et al., 2008). During storms, it is clearin the event of sea storms. that the advance of urbanization increases the vulnerability of the The urban front of Fortaleza is exposed to ocean storm events coast to wave energy, causing physical damage such as destructionwhen swell waves cause a build-up of water mass along the coast, of the sidewalk, flooding of the avenue and the infiltration of waterthus causing a local sea-level rise that may overtop the first artifi- into electrical conduits, causing blackouts in the lampposts thatcial line (4.6 m above hydrographic zero, over a long shore distance illuminate the shore. Fig. 7. Waves crashing over the sidewalk and flooding Iracema Beach during the storm of December, 2009. Source: Rapha Bessa. Please cite this article in press as: Paula, D.P., et al., High-rise development of the sea-front at Fortaleza (Brazil): Perspectives on its valuation and consequences, Ocean Coastal Management (2012), doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.03.004
  9. 9. D.P. Paula et al. / Ocean Coastal Management xxx (2012) 1e10 9 Observation of a storm like the one that took place in Fortaleza expansion of adjacent urban areas, increased high-rise develop-between March 18 and 24, 2011, in which urban structures were ment, and raised land prices on the sea-front. Despite the coasteasily reached, allows us to identify three areas of impact e the first having been made fully artificial through coastal engineeringzone lies between Iracema and Meireles beaches (west), where structures, the constructed properties are not fully protected frommarine flooding by overtopping often occurs (Fig. 7); the second the action of sea storms, which destroy roads, sidewalks and homes,zone is restricted to the stretch of Náutico Beach (central), in which and cause coastal flooding. Following any failure of these engi-the morphology of the beach is altered; and the third zone is sit- neering structures, there is a tendency to rebuild them into larger,uated on Mucuripe Beach (east), where the waves reach the edge of stronger and “safer” structures, which, in turn, further increase thisthe sidewalk, and there is no overtopping of the first artificial line. sense of security. High-rise development of Fortaleza’s coastline is nearly4.3. Problems of high-rise urban development complete, and there are no more spaces available. The next stage will be the demolition of older high-rise buildings (5e12 floors), to The unregulated development of the sea front of Fortaleza has provide room for much taller buildings (30 floors). In this process,led to a scarcity of green spaces, which have been replaced by the northern coast of Fortaleza is likely to lose its touristic appeal,asphalt pavement and concrete, materials that retain heat and and tourists will increasingly seek alternatives in adjacent areasincrease the temperature in the city, leading to thermal discomfort (Praia do Futuro and Barra do Ceará) or nearby (Beach Park andfor the communities living on the outskirts. Covering the city in Cumbuco). It seems conceivable that, given the other viableimpermeable materials, such as asphalt and concrete, helps to alternatives, the north coast of Fortaleza will be avoided by beachincrease the risk of flooding, as both storm water and sea water can tourism operators in the medium term, possibly resulting in itsaccumulate near the coastline, as has already occurred at Iracema economic devaluation (at least in the adjacent and nearby areas).Beach. Another factor contributing to increased flood-risk in areas In the short, Fortaleza’s tourist coast (high-rise development ofof Fortaleza is the extensive excavation of sand ridges for numerous the sea-front) will extend westward to enable the city to host thesea-front constructions. World Cup 2014. New tourist infrastructure (e.g.: hotel, resorts, An unsavory result of the intense urbanization of the city, restaurant) is required to accommodate the expected visitors. Theespecially the sea-front, is that the sewerage network has failed to result will be major changes in the landscape to its appropriation bycope with the growing population (more than 2.5 million inhabi- private interests, as well as significant impacts on the social andtants), causing wastewater to be illegally dumped into storm water economic fabric of the city. In the future, economic interests,drains. Once this water reaches rivers and beaches, the pollution tourism potential and environmental quality should be carefullyexceeds the allowable health limits for bathing. Beaches on the weighed up by planning authorities, allowing a true estimate of thetourist coast have elevated concentrations of fecal coliforms linked sustainability or otherwise of the current model of high-rise coastalto storm water carrying sewage (e.g.: Silva et al., 2009). development. According to Bulletin No. 18/2011 of the State Bureau ofEnvironment (SEMACE, 2011), which reports weekly ratings ofthe coastline, Iracema and Mucuripe beaches were unsuitable Acknowledgementsfor bathing between April 4 and May 2, 2011. In addition, theincreased production of domestic garbage eventually clogs drains The authors would like to acknowledge the support of Conselhoand prevents the flow of sediment to the beach. Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico-CNPq The poorly planned occupation of coastal areas has led to arti- (479255/2009-1) and Fundação Cearense de Apoio ao Desenvolvi-ficiality of the landscape, reducing environmental resilience. The mento Científico e Tecnológico-FUNCAP (Support Program forconstruction of urban infrastructure and stabilizations of sand Centers of Excellence-PRONEX). Davis Pereira de Paula was sup-dunes have contributed to an imbalance in sediment supply to the ported by FUNCAP. We would like to thank the teachers andbeaches of the north coast of Fortaleza. The intensification of students of the Laboratório de Geologia e Geomorfologia Costeira eurbanization on the sea-front has effectively fixed the backshore Oceânica (Univ. Estadual do Ceará) and the Centro de Investigaçãozone, interfering with the natural mobilization of sediment Marinha e Ambiental (Univ. Algarve). The authors are grateful tobetween the emerged and submerged beach. 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