Coastal change in North Norfolk: the contribution of visualizations to decision-making

Zavala, Jacqueline (2019) Coastal change in North Norfolk: the contribution of visualizations to decision-making. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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In the UK, stretches of coasts are under threat from increased coastal flooding and erosion. As a result, the UK has developed programs and policies that allow local authorities to have more oversight on the management of these coasts. However, it has been argued that more integrated management of coastal areas is needed, balancing present and future needs in relation to current and future change. These processes can be aided by the application and use of different tools, such as visualizations, which may facilitate understanding and learning. However, there is a lack of research on the use of visualizations in decision-making processes over continued periods of time. This thesis addresses this gap, and aims to explore the uses and limitations of visualizations in coastal decision-making.

A longitudinal study was conducted in a village on the North Norfolk coast of the UK, where coastal change has been prominent over past decades. Over a two-year period, throughout diverse phases and modes of engagement, participants’ perceptions of the physical and social aspects of the village, as well as views of potential futures, were explored and discussed. Visualizations were used to show future changes that participants suggested, and to elicit discussion of these, to explore how the village might face and deal with future changes.

The findings of this thesis indicate that visualizations are useful tools in participatory processes for communicating future changes, and supports the usefulness of a bottom-up approach to creating visualizations and developing future longitudinal coastal management options. Limitations of the methods utilized in this case study include the implications of external variables on responses given by participants (e.g. storm events, local government actions), and technological limitations. This study reflects on potential implications of integrating visualizations in coastal management, including requirements and constraints.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2021 13:51
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2023 01:38


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