Tara Quinn, Francois Bousquet and Chloe Guerbois
Coastal communities around the world are crucibles of change; shifting patterns of settlement and migration; new developments and new land uses; and climate change impacts such as sea level rise and weather extremes are reshaping place based risks and peoples’ resilience. We wanted to understand peoples’ perceptions of these changes and attendant risks using the lens of place. This paper presents findings from the MAGIC (Multi-scale Adaptation to Global change in Coastlines) project, where surveys were undertaken at sites in Cornwall UK, Languedoc France, and the Garden Route in South Africa (n700). We investigate the interactions between place meanings, place attachment and their relationship with perceptions of environmental and social risk. Place attachment and place meanings are highly diverse and articulated in many different ways, shaping attitudes to chronic and acute social ecological change. Our findings demonstrate that the variety of place attachments within populations explains varying sensitivity to social and ecological change and is therefore a useful lens and entry point for discussions about managing rapidly changing coastlines.