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Géographie politique et géopolitique brésilienne au XXI siècle

Methodological Strategy of Ecological Economic Zoning (EEZ) in the Municipal Scale: an Academic Exercise of Political Geography for the Management of the Territory

Stratégie méthodologique de zonage écologique économique (ZEE) à l'échelle municipale : un exercice académique de géographie politique pour la gestion du territoire
Augusto César Pinheiro da Silva, Marcelo Motta de Freitas et Rejane Araujo Rodrigues
Cet article est une traduction de :
Estratégia metodológica de Zoneamento Ecológico Econômico (ZEE) na escala municipal: um exercício acadêmico de geografia política para a gestão do território


Modèles méthodologiques de zonage écologique d'économique (ZEE) émergent dans les 20 dernières années en Brésil comme possibilité de renforcer la compréhension des savants pour la potentialisation des décisions des sphères politiques locales dans le modèle fédéral brésilien. Participants centrale condition institutionnelles de l'applicabilité du zonage à l'échelle locale, les municipalités ont la capacité d'articuler des défis de gestion régionaux qui se posent en ce qui concerne les ressources environnementales, sociales et économiques, mais aussi en les rendant plus productifs et efficaces dans leur propre espace et de la gestion publique. Dans ce contexte, cet article montre les chemins méthodologiques prises par un groupe de chercheurs dans à l'élaboration de deux zonages économique et écologique le deux unités municipales dans différentes régions du Brésil. En eux, plusieurs entreprises nationales et internationales en capital, et la gestion des actions politiques cherchent à moderniser (infrastructure, technologie, etc.) les pratiques culturelles, le profil environnemental et les activités économiques traditionnelles . Dans les zones régionales où elles opèrent, ils quadrillent jusqu'à différents intérêts qui peuvent se transformer définitivement la qualité de vie locale. L'utilisation politique ZEE peut être une excellente occasion de promouvoir le bien-être de la gestion des échelles locales et régionales, et de comprendre la nature de ce type de zonage et de ses possibilités comme outil d'action politique municipale devient essentielle pour la recherche spatiale et les étudiants en géographie de la politique contemporaine .

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The political-institutional framework of the Brazilian federation in transformation

1Brazil, as a Federative Republic since 1891, is going through a re-structuring of its territorial management instances for more than a century (Andrade; Andrade, 1999). From these changes, some territorial-legal variables emerge as social-political strategies in multiple scales and noticeably after the 1988 Federal Constitution (the so-called municipalist constitution). Such emergences have created complex scenarios in the public administration of the Brazilian State, due to the force of its municipalities. In them, instruments, actors and plural management agents converge/diverge around the logic of policies of the Brazilian territory, in a composition of inter-governmental and inter-scale architectures, which redeem the local regional aspect.

2This scenario adds to the present crisis of the federalist structures of several countries. Spain, Germany and Russia are examples of national territories where social-political, economic and cultural transformations, which re-order the legal-administrative logic of many occidental societies; that is, this is one more symptom of the hyper-crisis of modernity (Habermas, 2000), made worse since the end of the Cold War. Such dynamics affects, structurally, the arrangements of territorial management in regions that were considered stable before in the geopolitical scope, driving other conceptions around the consecrated expressions of sovereignty and autonomy, in varied territorial scales of political representation (Castro, 2005; Fonti & Rufi, 2006; Silva, 2012). Composition of multi-scale forces of power agents are re-defined, mediated by instruments of regulation in planetary scale, whose resistance, actions and local rebates have different answers, since the dimension and intentionality present, derived from the instituted and institutioning forces (Castoriadis, 1983). Thus the emergence of political architectures for public administration makes management re-engineering of the territories founder of a new special organization, in which the life strategies of an expressive scope of social groups are now being accounted as in a geo-political game of symbolic-cultural, infra-structural productive and legal –administrative changes in several geographic scales.

  • 1 About the Network-State, the Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells declares that, nowadays, there are (...)
  • 2 If we enter in the vast discussion about the concepts that life quality offers us academically, thi (...)

3Globalization, made possible by institutions and regulation agencies in several societies by the globalization of standardized production patterns, since the end of the of the 1980’s, is re-structuring the shades of public and private institutions and of National States, as Castells1 reminds us (1997, 2009), which start to function “in network”, reinforcing the logic of de-centralization of management about innumerable daily issues of their recognized legal-political territories. Their local representations are maintained, however, as central agents for the territory regulation, realizing their public policy projects. As was understood by the Spanish philosopher, these interactions will only be realized in a way to answer the requests of “local citizenship”, if the political classes and civil society reorganize themselves by means of the same networks which receive and form, even if only virtually, “spaces of political life” that are connected to popular demands in public projects focusing on quality2 of life of the territories.

4In this context, the existing federative models have a fertile field to ratify local democratic practices, from the representations known for their co-participative governances capable of promoting policies that spread themselves horizontally (Santos, 1996). In the case of local level of federalism in the country, the Brazilian cities cannot manage by themselves, in an efficient way, a great part of the daily demands, such as the socio-environmental, for example, without an organization in network with other municipalities (Silva, 2014), bringing to the regional sphere the decisions about issues that involve the control of water resources, the deposition of solid waste, the policies of basic sanitation and of hillside occupation. That is, as Costa (2011) states, it is in the regions formed by common desires of similar territories that the population can have political–institutional backing, since the regionalization of its demands (as in the adjacent cities, for example) can be better administrated by the co-participation of a populational mass organized in network among its representatives. These are the ones who have a collective responsibility of producing, within the management levels, a better use of the existing resources and of the space potentials, so as to respond, concretely, to the population in a horizontal manner.

5The article presented refers to one of the most innovative architectures in reference to local policies in the scope of Brazilian federalism, ecological economic zoning (EEZ). This legal-politic mechanism may become a source of new territorial solidarity networks, generator of increasing co-participations in cooperative regional governances, because it highlights the capacity of the institutional and institutionalizing powers, in the Brazilian cities, to understand each other as representations of less unequal and more efficient federative policies. One methodological rationality for the zoning was developed by the research groups “Gestão Territorial do Estado o Rio de Janeiro” (GeTERJ) [Territorial Management of the State of Rio de Janeiro] e Morfotektos, both from PUC-Rio and led by professors of the post-graduation program in Geography of the same institution.

Figure 1 - City of Resende (RJ) and its division into districts

Figure 1 - City of Resende (RJ) and its division into districts

Source: Silva et al., (2010).

  • 3 The EEZ-Resende and EEZ-Maragojipe were two of the several products requested by the projects “Plan (...)

6On two moments, such methodology was applied in two Brazilian cities: at Resende (Fig. 1), state of Rio de Janeiro, between 2008 and 2010, and at Maragojipe (Fig. 2), state of Bahia, between 2011 and 2012. The two researches were financed with Petrobras funds3.

Figure 2 - Location of city of Maragojipe and Metropolitan Region of Salvador

Figure 2 - Location of city of Maragojipe and Metropolitan Region of Salvador

Source: Silva et al., (2012).

7Such architecture may enable both the reformulation of political-administrative structures managing the state and sub-regional territories as to how to take the researchers and public administrators to re-think about how such organizations may bring more adequate solutions for the partition of the resources, the stimuli of potentials and the increase of intrinsic perspectives of quality of life of several populations.

8The EEZ architecture has been occurring in Brazil in several scales, since 1981, as we will see ahead, transforming some important management strategies of institutional forces in the Brazilian territory, where the scales of resolution of multi-dimensional problems by the geographical factors may reinforce the legitimacy of such architecture in expansion, at present.

The Ecological Economic Zoning (EEZ) under Brazilian legislation

  • 4 In this article, sustainability is conceived as a systematic concept related to the continuity of e (...)

9Since Ecology entered the Brazilian political agenda, at the end of the 1980’s, under the protection of an environmental geo-politics (LEIS, 1999) or of the bio-diversity (Porto-Gonçalves, 2006), the appropriation and “adequate use” of what started to be called “natural resources” (forests, drinking water, bio-diversities…) became socially acceptable and economically necessary for “the development”, delegating to the Brazilian state, in its highest sphere of decision, the control of nature as a social practice of environmental preservation, in a sustainability logic.4

10The ecological economic zoning (EEZ) (most recently called social-economic and environmental zoning-SEEZ) is a name that tries to avoid the falling apart of society and nature in processes of political-territorial ordering and planning to evidence that without social issues, any knitting of public management, which involves the appropriation and the use of natural resources for its potentials, is insoluble. Thus, EEZ are instruments of territorial policy, which in Brazil, came to be used by the federal sphere, in the 1980’s, in planning and appropriation of the Amazonia Legal [portion of the Amazon region which comprehends nine Brazilian states, with similar vegetation and bathed by the Amazon river basin], in relation to several supra-national agents (Silva, 2014). In a modernization context of the Brazilian governmental institutions in the last 20 years, the political and social pressure on the constituted powers is now realized by national entities connected to the environment, which could amplify the access of the public to the reserves of non-renewable assets, vital for the economic and geo-political dynamics of the country.

11International conferences such as the meetings in Stockholm (1972) and in Rio de Janeiro (1992), as well as the RIO+20 of 2012, were events promoting discussions around public strategies, with strong support and social sustenance, for the comprehension of the combination between the orthodox conceptions of development (greatly discussed in the economic forums of the international geo-political scenario, between the years 1970 and 1990), and the ones that stimulate the connection with nature as “things” and its driving force in the biosphere, home to man and other forms of life. This combination was generated by scientific and institutional understanding from which subjects/actors and agents cannot avoid and annul themselves, in a new geo-politics of collective action. Such combination of forces increased the institutional and academic discussions (which partially affected the public management) to a vision of the world identified with the undelayable protection of the space of man (environment), and so, the space where life occurs; however, we have to remember that there are many sustainable conceptions in the co-relation of forces that give ideological support to “environmental protection” (Frey, 2001).

12For the referred researcher, the sustainable approaches are more recurrent, fundamentally, under three approaches: the first, and most common, is the strong connection of the aspects of use and appropriation of nature in the classic bias of the “resource for reproduction of economies”; that is, on being expressed the present potentials of a certain space and the importance of its “natural content” in this development, nature is conceived as a commodity, that creates a strong connection of the places/locations to the national and international markets of raw materials. Such connectivity re-orders the social functions of the places and a series of infra structural and logistic transformations occur under the spectrum of territorial management, with quite reverse environmental effects. The environmental approach takes the identified places by their biotic profiles and/or natural in their function in the ecological system, showing the interdependence of aspects of nature that determine a “mandatory condition” of preservation /conservation of the “natural things” of the territory, going further than the need of nature’s use by man”. Besides the importance on the relocation of nature as structure of the civilization order, because without it, life would disappear from the planet, the ecological approach puts men and their societies as periphery in the scope of public policies, being able to exclude, reduce, or eliminate all potential of economic growth and of the use of space by several groups. Finally, nowadays, the political approach grows as potential of sustainable practices by governments in multiple scales (Fig. 3). In understanding that no use, appropriation, occupation and association man/environment can be made without the mediation between state projects and public interests (via representation/participation), and that territories are the daily political arena (so there are losses, gains and convincing about several priorities), political sustainable approaches redirect the decisions about projects to society as a whole in the territories, forcing co-participation of the actors in special practices, which legitimate the territorial management, minimizing the environmental and economic effects that may be generated by the actions in the territories.

Figure 3 - Most recurrent sustainable practices (Adapted from Frey, 2001)

Figure 3 - Most recurrent sustainable practices (Adapted from Frey, 2001)

Source: Elaborated by Silva (2016).

13Specifically in Brazil, the repercussion of international events quoted facilitated the proliferation of entities (of several nature) for the defense of the environment, with the creation of environmental agents and managers in several scales of the public power. However, the interpretation about EEZ tend to depend on the academic, technical and ideological perspectives of the teams involved in their making, as well as, the promoting and financing agents that put forward the idea that EEZ is an innovative instrument for the impulse of dynamic, environmental or mercantile policies over the resources, but, mainly the “weight” of each of the “E”’s in the desired zoning. From this co-relation of forces (more “ecological”, or more “economical” or an equal weight on them “social economic and ecological” in the construction of sustainability?) shall come the key that shall determine the zone delimitation to be managed by government projects for the quality of life in the territories.

14When GeTERJ/Morfotektos defined a methodology for development of the EEZ requested in municipal scale, their leading thread followed the premises of sustainability in a local conception, where standards of public action in the space should be those desired and/or possible imagined by the populations that live in the territories to be zoned. In this sense, the understanding of the productive, cultural, religious and social reproduction patterns were prioritized by means of several field works, contacting these places with other where the social and institutional actors were present, politically, in the regional spectrum. This methodological premise tries to follow the consolidation of democracy in the Brazilian institutions in the last 20 years. Since the coming back to the National State that abides by the rule of Law, management patterns were being diversified, starting from the conception that it is in the places that the use and appropriation of the resources must be defined and applied (Fig. 4). However, for the local conception to be understood, decades of centralization of the EEZ projects were experienced, and the scale from national to municipal, the steps of acting (still persisting nowadays) of the federal units cannot be forgotten, because they generated special products and dynamics in fashion, making the issue “competence for definition of EEZ” of a very intimate venue with political geography.

Figure 4 - Zoning Scales in Brazil, after returning to the Rule of Law (1988)

Figure 4 - Zoning Scales in Brazil, after returning to the Rule of Law (1988)

Source: Elaborated by Silva (2016).

15Understood, institutionally, as an instrument of planning, the economic ecological zonings are connected, in their origin, to the National Policy of Environment under Federal Law nr. 6.938, of August 31, 1981, which establishes the National Environment Policy, its purposes, formulation and appliance mechanisms and other procedures, determining in its Article 5, that:

The guidelines of National Environment Policy are to be formulated in norms and plans destined to orient the action of Union, State, Federal District, Territories and Municipalities’ Governments in relation to environmental quality preservation and maintenance of ecological balance, observing the principles established in Article 2 of this law. (Cavalcante, 2005, s/p)

16In its Article 9, the Federal Law quoted above indicates that the instruments of National Environmental Policy: “II – Environmental Zoning (Regulation)”. Being so, the stricto sensu of political–legal zoning resides in the regulation of a space re-division based on premises for the use of potential territorial space in a given scale of action of public power (municipal, state, regional,…) and in this sense, we agree that the State policy is essential for making the set of norms and social-spatial practices adequate, existent in a certain political–administrative arrangement with others considered potential under the perspective of sustainability. Since the Brazilian Federal Constitution of 1988, the municipalities climbed a step up as political–administrative entities and territorial management, because,

(…) differently, from several other federations, the Brazilian one (…), is a three level system (triple federalism) because is comprehends municipalities, together with the states, as integrating parts of the federation, reflecting a long tradition of municipal autonomy and scarce control from the states on local issues. (Souza, 2005, p.110)

17However, this State, is no longer restricted to the force of its central instance after the Brazilian political opening of 1979, and rescuing, legally, the local instances (states and cities) with the 1988 Constitution, levered, at local level, projects of appropriation and use of its resources territorially located as “strategy for development”. And so, presently, EEZ’s are requested by several agencies (notably public ones) with the purpose of stimulating, locally, strategies of local development where the environment, conceived as the one in which nature and society interact sustainably, be it in an integrated environment, complex, and with its parts connected in function of the permanence, maintenance and life protection, or in its several dimensions and scales.

18A long way to go until we arrive to general guidelines for all the EEZ’s, at the same time, that we don’t believe in one single norm or zoning methodology to contemplate the richness of possibilities that such management instrument may proportion in special fragments. For such, it is necessary that the development of local studies by men and societies located (Zaoual, 2006), because from then on the zoning patterns may be sketched for distinct territories, in a logic of sustainability to be maintained in the plurality of the present world, by means of programs, projects and most present management plans.

Methodologic bases of EEZ of Resende and Maragojipe: municipal challenges between planning and local management

  • 5 In Rio-92 Conference, the participating countries made the commitment and the challenge of internal (...)

19According to official documents based on Agenda 215 that affect Brazilian municipalities with population equal or over 20 thousand inhabitants, the dimension of sustainability should be conceived in local development policies, through multi-sector discussions with local societies, that should conceive such document as a self-sustainable quality of life project, cyclical, and applicable as state policy and not as a Government policy. As a consequence of this dimension of action of the powers, the definition of management zones may be conceived as an innovative appliance of public planning policies in the scope of present federative societies, for they were conceived as “sustainable territorial ordainment”, in the scale of municipalities and should comprehend three very clear steps during elaboration: the first one is technical (diagnosis), where there is creation of a data base and information about the territory to be zoned, its potential and general data about physical-ecological and economic conditions, preferably by means of information collected from primary sources. When the priority areas are defined for sustainability practices, we can move on to the second step, which is academic (prognosis), when the possibilities of sustainable zoning are observed (by means of studies based both on facts of Science as well as on local understanding of what this means to the inhabitants), from conditions found before, and the wishes and interests of agents interested in EEZ. This moment is fundamental for the understanding between what exists, what we want and what is possible “under a vision of sustainability”.

  • 6 Such expression has been adapted and tested, in the scope of Social Sciences, since the beginning o (...)

20“Non-Sustainable” projects no longer correspond to the desires of ethical and institutional pattern of the country and should be scorned and denounced in case they are forced to by hegemonic agents. The last step is the political one (discussing with civil society, states, several agents), because applying zoning with a sustainable perspective, interactions with governments (of the municipality where the event shall occur and those around it) and civil society for the establishment of priority areas for planning and use of diverse spaces, will only be possible by means of agreements between the institutioning and instituted powers, and the cohesion force that such connection may proportion by the public agent who institutes the zones, based on the premises of sustainability (Silva et al., 2010). In this context, zoning comes from the need of preservation and conservation of the environment as a condition for implementation of a social-political and economic project of sustainable social-spatial development6 that is instrument for territorial management, whose guidelines point to the reduction of social inequalities and potentialization of already existing productive activities or to be stimulated, with minimum negative social-environmental effects (Silva et al., 2010).

21To obtain such result, it is necessary to implement this instrument as a notebook of intentions by public managers for the appliance of the construction and several activities plans that establish measures and standards of environmental protection, by means of economic and infrastructure investments that promote jobs and income. As consequence, in practice, EEZ is an instrument that seeks greater efficiency in managing the social-economic and Nature’s resources of the territories, as well as the capacity of generating several attractiveness for direct investments of public and private origin generating the improvement of life conditions of those inhabitants of the territory.

22The more horizontal the decisions among the municipalities involved, the greater are the chances of success in managing the common things of the territory, involved by networks of common collective or individual use that repeat themselves in the spaces, and over which the state, in its multiple representations, has the obligation of taking care for the efficiency of sustainability, with quality of life and its many dimensions.

23In the municipal sphere, EEZ enables the managers participate in a new institutional arrangement in the process of planning its public policies (in a continuum with its regional peers and the spheres of decision beyond the local level) as they use the “Sistema de Informações Geográficas” (SIG) [Geographic Information System] in the evaluation of actions of the productive sectors focused on social-spatial re-structuring and its potentials, as expressed in the organization chart in Fig. 5.

Figure 5 - Organization Chart of a Municipal EEZ, in the vision of GeTERJ

Figure 5 - Organization Chart of a Municipal EEZ, in the vision of GeTERJ

Source: Silva et al., (2010).

24In this organization chart, the academic teams of EEZ Resende and Maragojipe structured the zoning dynamics as a premise that a certain territorial order with its special logistics, position in the context of the federative unit, level of social-political structure, particularities and singularities, should be submitted to a detailed diagnosis of physical-biotic, social-politic, economic and cultural aspects. Such process would enable the comprehension of interactions between society and nature of the territory to be zoned. The special dimension generated by such interactions should bring, to the managers, the reflexivity about dynamics of the public policies to be implemented in the territory, since they, in Brazilian society are traditionally compartmented in scalar sections (scalar competition), which hampers the realization, by the managers, of the quality of life in the territory. A competitive federalism (Souza, 2005) reinforces this special interpretation of the political agents, producing, in the composition of parts of the territory (which contain, in its turn, the whole), the complexity of juridical-institutional competences to realize them.

25We will add to the process of defining the diagnosis of the observed fragments, the legislation and regulatory marks of the administrative functions, understood in the context of instituted legalities instituted by the organic municipal and state laws, as well as by the city guidelines plans. Such inter-relations are evaluated by the ideological point of view of those who have control of the bureaucratic-administrative machine, starting from its representation and political institutionalism (the elected managers, in multiple scales), without losing sight of the economic agents (private) and the political actors of the territory who have a key role in directing public policies. This way, the professionals proposing the municipal sub-division in planning units (or preliminary EEZ) must understand the complexity of forces involved in the management of the territory to execute the decision about the delimitation of the parts that compose the whole.

26However, it will only be from the praxis of politics of the local managers and class associations (several social movements, supra-state organizations and non-governmental) that the preliminary EEZ will be tested, thought, justified and modified, adjusting itself according to the local dynamics of those who live, every day, the places. It is only in face of the adaptations and changes demanded by the groups who have political representation in the unit that the EEZ can be ratified, and so it is from the demands of those who will suffer the structural changes of sustainability policy changes to be applied in each zone that such planning units shall be officialized as units of the landscape (final EEZ). EEZ ratified, the political dispute in the districts as a way of the local forces of the city representatives to act directly in the appliance of municipal public policies in the zones, with the purpose of ‘in the proximity’, promote the special development (or sustainability) with the benefit for the territorial populations in the place and its surroundings. Thus, there shall be the appliance of public policies capable of bringing to the communities involved, a greater political engagement in collective decisions, present and future. Such management strategy creates a dynamic, interactive architecture, capable of replicating itself spatially from the formation of political leaders (mainly in regional scope), capable of contaminating the neighbor municipalities with horizontal projects, from most the complex local decisions and in network.

27In relation to final EEZ presented in the following page, the selected zones of the Resende municipality (Fig. 6) refer mostly to the re-conducting of the municipality to a productive pact and the power around the three greatest Brazilian metropolises. Because it is near the axis Rio de Janeiro–São Paulo, the municipality receives a great influence of the metropolization process, and is one of the dynamic areas of the macro-region formed by the axis of integration of the two greatest Brazilian cities. So, suffering from fluctuations of the assembling and dis-assembling of the Brazilian Fordist model (presently Resende receives industrial investments from the dismount of the industrial region of São Paulo called the ABCD), Resende is re-conducted to the post-Fordist vigor of the twenty first century, making the municipal decisions being forwarded to sectorial re-reading of the traditional economy of this dynamic axis, redeeming the quality of its farm lands (greatly influenced by the coffee crop plantations in the nineteenth century, and the extensive agro-pasture activities in the twentieth century), but verifying the agricultural sector, the productive trends connected to the twenty first century (fish-farming, small intensive vegetable farming…) as well as a redeeming of the present rural and ecological tourism, based on regional history. Re-dynamic the fragments of Mata Atlântica [Atlantic Forrest] is one of the sustainable ways that the municipality can centralize the decisions about re-foresting the vegetation along Rio Paraíba do Sul [Paraíba do Sul River], and Resende may be a policy replicator for water preservation and for urban supply, the consumption for family farming and increase of capacity for using the vast portions of drinking water of the municipality, together with neighboring municipalities, with river transportation reconnecting the region by networks that stimulate the life of its inhabitants and new investments.

Figure 6 - Final Resende EEZ (2011)

Figure 6 - Final Resende EEZ (2011)

Source: Silva et al., (2010).

28In Maragojipe, a municipality in Bahia, the great challenge for the EEZ success that was made shall be to face the shock between cultural and economic traditions of a municipality located in a region far from all the transformations generated by the Brazilian industrialist phase of the twentieth century (as is the region of the first municipality analyzed) and the spatial transformations that shall come with the great public and private investments (of domestic and international capital) for the construction of a giant harbor and shipyard in a region with great concentration of mangrove of limpid waters and abundant biodiversity of species. This logistic investment may dismount traditional activities and very important profiles, regionally and nationally, as the activities of non-industrial fishing, the production of piaçava [kind of straw] and handicrafts with seashells, of a population with low education indexes and little connection with other social groups and territories. In this sense, the Maragojipe zoning (Fig. 7) was focused on natural environments preservation, still very little used and occupied, where there is a great preservation, for centuries, of the local and regional biosphere and subsistence activities. The possibility of development of local sustainable policies, in this case, is based on the capacity of the human groups which may be affected by the billion dollars of investments in the next few years, being able to use the logic of royalties or another counterpart for the diversification of its subsistence activities, as well as, to proportion the professional re-qualification of a territory which does not offer other sources of jobs, as well as, no political network connecting it with the metropolitan region, which makes it less likely for its political groups to be able to organize themselves regionally, in a horizontal region, for the lack of partnerships and cooperation. However, the greatest difficulty of the realization of EEZ in this municipality was the possibility of maintaining the productive and cultural practices of the traditional people, as quilombolas (ex-slaves’ families) and ribeirinhos (riverside dwellers), facing the intensity of the arrival of corporate capitals in the region.

Figure 7 - Final Maragojipe EEZ (2012)

Figure 7 - Final Maragojipe EEZ (2012)

Source: Silva et al., (2012).

The political and spatial praxis: a brief conclusion about EEZ and its limits, from the scale of the events

29In face of development of EEZ here presented, the management team of Resende EEZ delimited in 2010, the first incongruity in the dynamics of spatial segmentation for the management of sustainability policies. Among them, the management of environmental resources (notably the forest fragments, hydric resources, hillside preservation) stood out. They noticed the impossibility of the zoning sustainability project’s survival according to the pattern of use and appropriation of resources in which only the juridical political scale of the municipal unit zoned is taken into consideration, since the cartographic and /or political scale does not restrict the geographic scale, that is, the scale of special events (Castro, 1995).

30In the meantime, some other ways are being trailed by managers, who are in connection with the regional development strategies, political focus of the EEZ premises. Researchers that are permanently analyzing the zoning organization know that there is no possibility of having public policies of sustainability being developed in a separate way in each municipal clipping, if there is no “horizontal solidarity of territories” (Santos, 1996). Only by this level of commitment of the political-territorial network can the increase of legislative force of the locations occur, taking into consideration the distributive logic of the “Fundo de Participação” [Participation Fund] of the state and municipal revenues, for example. This fund is based on the quantitative of general population of the municipalities, and the union between the locations would potentialize the public intervention on the environmental resources, that are fragmented by means of the political units: among them, it is worth highlighting the preservation of fresh water sources, the conservation of riverside vegetation by means of reforestation of river margins and hillsides and by removing irregular buildings there, and also by controlling the domestic sanitation residues and urban-industrial and agricultural waste in the atmosphere and on rivers beds.

31Other issues also go into this political equation of sustainable managing of territories as the protection of the underground percolator, the waterproofing of soils more prone to human activity, the preservation of native species of fauna and flora, the deposition of solid waste, among other issues with which the municipal public agents have to occupy themselves, without losing sight of the “policy of the other, the neighbor”, that is, of those who share the same environment, needs and resources in regional scale.

  • 7 Taking into consideration several definitions of “Plano Diretor” [Guidelines Plan](ABNT, 1991, Silv (...)

32We also have to remember that the managerial architecture about the assets is not restricted to the municipalities located in the same governmental region or federation unit. The border municipalities of other federation units will have to administrate one more scale of the architecture in question: the sectored public policies of the state governments of the unit in which it is not part, but that affects it, since it reaches the municipality whose border is limit with its territory. Another fundamental point, which involves the municipal zoning, is the incoherence of many researchers (besides the majority of managers) that the territorial action for an effective zoning is the one attached, only, to the municipal guidelines plans. The guideline plans, which are instruments of action of the municipal public power to stimulate growth of its urban cores7, cannot be the only instrument over which the manager should stake his actions of municipal policies. Seconded by the guideline plans, the economic ecologic zoning are fundamental to logistically re-think the municipal territories as a whole, making them extremely important for strategic plans for federation units like Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. We should consider the rural profile of an expressive part of its municipalities and even the non-urban profile of several others (Maragojipe is a municipality coupled with the metropolitan region of Salvador, without being part of it, but suffering many of the transforming effects of metropolization, as well as Resende, which suffers from a triple metropolitan influence: from Rio de Janeiro, from Campinas, and from São Paulo).

33So, the zonings may comprehend horizontal management projects in the state (and between municipalities of different federation units) that stimulate/potentialize originalities/creativities (Furtado, 1998; Rua, 2002) locations capable of giving impulse to new logistic realities involving, in partnerships, City Halls, several agents and other public and private powers. Such decentralization of the metropolitan region should lever originalities capable of disarranging population and investments, redistributing to give impulse to plural activities in locations not attended by public projects, more favorable presently in the wheel of generation of jobs and income. Such action might reconnect the territories of Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, stimulating the formation of a network resource circulation proportioned by the federative solidarity, which is so dear to our Constitution.

34Other significant problem to be appointed in relation to municipal EEZ refers to jurisprudence of the managing agents (political or economic). The local legislations composed by political and technical people who are very scarcely qualified (notably in some units, as occurs in several Brazilian municipalities) legitimate, many times, development projects under a particular point of view of some specific agent/ actor, due to the strength that emanates from him, “breaking the rules of the decision game”, that is, the quality of life and local sustainability. It is also rather common the non-compatibility of the political agenda of the local public managers (understood as local government) with those of the managing agents of another scale (including the federative unit itself) making the legislations about issues of public interest in inter-governmental agreements extremely necessary.

35In many cases (the liberation of construction in areas near rivers and streams is a good example) the local environmental legislations are constantly modified, according to the “strength of the main agent/actor”, which hampers the definition of a zoning that, in fact, takes into consideration the real needs of preservation of the river margins for several uses of the population of the municipality. In this sense, the wise interpretation and enforcement of the law by Justice (as is supposed to be the modern jurisprudence) is at the mercy of so many other legal interpretations caused by jurisprudence as legal as the first, which, however, are almost never sustainable. This being so, the pressure of such agents/actors causes instability and loss of reference of political projects focused on efficiency and good use of several resources, in the same way of EEZ, in face of the inconstancy of the public actions of medium and long terms, which make, at each change of municipal and state governments, proposed zonings by certain governments and no State actions focused on local socio-spatial and /or sustainable development.

36In this sense, it becomes vital, even if asymmetrically, that local institutional power legitimate the vetoes of particular incursions by the State establishment, controlling, more effectively, the social part that must be delimitated by projects that have a wide territorial specter for sustainability. For such, there is the need for capacitation of the municipal technical-administrative team in municipal sphere for them to deal with the integrative perspective that such zoning policies must have, even facing the political agenda of district representatives, which represent the local interests connected, in its majority, to non-sustainable productive activities and that need to be modified for a sustainable management of the territory.

37As Weber (1982) already stated, in contrast with classes, the ‘status groups’ (as the technical-administrative employees of the State are considered) form ‘communities’ in the State system, which should work for the common welfare.

38Therefore the intergovernmental architectures cannot be forgotten in the debate about federalism in Brazil, and municipal zoning can be good legal and administrative instruments for the discussions in parliament to change legislation in force about the management of environmental resources in the country.

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1 About the Network-State, the Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells declares that, nowadays, there are three crisis in progress, which affect the “chosen” and “not chosen”. For him, the crises are: 1) economic, which is very large, a global crisis, structural and it is not quick to be solved; 2) ecologic and environmental, of historical proportions, that only nowadays global society starts to acknowledge; and 3) ethical, with the rupture of values of social solidarity which corrodes political legitimacy and the capacity to re-establish citizens’ confidence in the institutions (as the State). For the sociologist, this last crisis is the worst of all, because there is no management tool, it is not possible to manage anything, the State being a fundamental tool, because it has the capacity to take drastic and unpopular measures in a world of suspicion of the citizens.

Such crisis are made even deeper both in non-democratic countries, that have regular social explosions, as in democratic countries, with constant elections, by means of the rupture of alliances that shall form weak governments and as consequence, the disregard for rules in management of public issues. Thus, internet can be an excellent tool for citizen’s active participation, based on information, and to spread it, there is the need for a technological network to be developed and created by the State itself. This is not to mean that people “govern” by internet (this is demagogic), but by means of networks, the citizens may in diverse scales, get information, accessing data and legal issues of which they have a right to know. There are very good programs of citizen participation, which are not used or are very poorly divulged, because there is no political will, that political and transparency avenues be open to all. The capacity we have to create an interactive information democracy is not used, because the Brazilian political classes (and this involves a great part of the countries in the world, with few exceptions, as the Scandinavian countries) are not yet convinced that the present system has come to an end, and if they themselves don’t refurbish or reorganize it, it has been restored and destroyed without reforms. Castells, however, foresees three levels of participation of the citizens by means of networks that form the present State. They are: 1) A great individualization, the “save yourself if you can” in a wild way with the increase of crime rate, violence, xenophobia, or racism in destructive terms; 2) the increase of the level of collective social explosion or social criticism to the system, which is manifest in voting demagogic alternatives that make even more chaotic the management participation form, and; 3) the possibility of reform of political institutions, increasing participation and generating new forms of political articulation by means of the internet, by means of which the population feels responsible for its own demands. If this last form is not produced (and for this the political class has to refurbish itself), then the social rupture or the individual violence may become generalized. All this depends on how the economic crisis is to be solved, where families are vital elements in the amortization and contention of the social-economic tensions created by the bank crisis, since 2008. (Adapted from Castells, 2009).

2 If we enter in the vast discussion about the concepts that life quality offers us academically, this text is guided by the dimension of Herculano (2000), which ratifies Ferreira (1996) for whom the “quality of life” is the right to citizenship.

3 The EEZ-Resende and EEZ-Maragojipe were two of the several products requested by the projects “Planejamento Físico-Territorial do Município de Resende(RJ)” [Physical-Territorial Planning of the Municipality of Resende(RJ)] and “Planejamento Físico–Territorial do Município de Maragojipe(BA)” [Physical-Territorial Planning of the Municipality of Maragojipe(BA)], ordered by Petrobras S.A. to the research group Gestão Físico-Territorial e Ambiental de Municípios [Physical-Territorial and Environmental Management of Municipalities]connected to NAT (Nucleo de Apoio Técnico [Technical Support Nucleus]), of the Civil Engineering Department, from PUC-Rio. GeTERJ and Morfotektos made the requested zoning and delivered it in 2010 (Resende) and 2012 (Maragojipe).

4 In this article, sustainability is conceived as a systematic concept related to the continuity of economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects in human society. It proposes to be a means of configuring civilization and its activities in such a way that society, its members and its economies may fulfill its needs and express its greater potential presently, at the same time while it preserves the biodiversity and natural eco-systems, planning and acting in a way to reach pro-efficiency in maintaining these ideals indefinitely. (Rua et al., 2007)

5 In Rio-92 Conference, the participating countries made the commitment and the challenge of internalizing, in its public policies, the notions of sustainability and sustainable development. To comply with this challenge, a presidential decree created “Comissão de Políticas de Desenvolvimento Sustentável da Agenda 21” (CPDS) [Commission for Sustainable Development Policies of Agenda 21], having the purpose of coordinating the process of elaborating and implementing Brazilian Agenda 21. For its development, they adopted a multi-sector methodology, based on Brazilian reality, focused on inter-dependence of environmental, economic, social and institutional dimensions. The process of elaborating this agenda occurred by establishing and formalizing partnerships, having in mind that the actions proposed by Agenda 21 could not simply be treated as a government program, but as a product of consensus among several sectors of Brazilian society. The basis for the discussion and elaboration of Brazilian Agenda 21 stems from six thematic axis:

1. Management of Natural Resources.

2. Sustainable Agriculture.

3. Sustainable Cities.

4. Infra-structure and Regional Integration.

5. Reducing Social Inequalities.

6. Science and Technology for Sustainable Development.

The document called Brazilian Agenda 21 presents society with the result of the first discussions about incorporation of the concept of sustainability to Brazilian development. Understanding that the great challenge of the century is management, on treating natural resources, the challenge is even greater. Thus, Brazilian Agenda 21 establishes strategies for the treatment of areas of the program, inside each thematic axis. (Agenda 21, 2012)

6 Such expression has been adapted and tested, in the scope of Social Sciences, since the beginning of the 1990’s, due to small reflexibility that the context of development as economic growth took in the world, mainly with the advent of globalization of the economy. As Souza (1995, 1999) and Rua et al., (2007) state, the crisis of a general model of development opened space for heterodox reflections in relation to concept, adding the expression “social-spatial” to the concept, in Social Sciences, at first and, which, by its turn, has been replaced by the terminology “sustainabilities”, in the most varied sciences of social-environmental edge.

7 Taking into consideration several definitions of “Plano Diretor” [Guidelines Plan](ABNT, 1991, Silva, 1995, Villaça, 1999 and Saboya, 2007): “policy of urban development”, “future organization of use of urban soil”, “fundamental elements of urban structure”, “administrative reality of the city”, “guidelines for urban development of the municipality”, “a set of principles and rules orienting the action of the agents who build and use the urban space” and “basis for the decisions of actors involved in the process of urban development”, we notice that the municipalities, in their guidelines plans, are reduced to urban space of its territory, eliminating the possibilities of other spatial dimensions, being valued and stimulated, as rural space, for example.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1 - City of Resende (RJ) and its division into districts
Crédits Source: Silva et al., (2010).
Fichier image/png, 1,5M
Titre Figure 2 - Location of city of Maragojipe and Metropolitan Region of Salvador
Crédits Source: Silva et al., (2012).
Fichier image/png, 116k
Titre Figure 3 - Most recurrent sustainable practices (Adapted from Frey, 2001)
Crédits Source: Elaborated by Silva (2016).
Fichier image/png, 6,8k
Titre Figure 4 - Zoning Scales in Brazil, after returning to the Rule of Law (1988)
Crédits Source: Elaborated by Silva (2016).
Fichier image/png, 16k
Titre Figure 5 - Organization Chart of a Municipal EEZ, in the vision of GeTERJ
Crédits Source: Silva et al., (2010).
Fichier image/png, 61k
Titre Figure 6 - Final Resende EEZ (2011)
Crédits Source: Silva et al., (2010).
Fichier image/png, 10M
Titre Figure 7 - Final Maragojipe EEZ (2012)
Crédits Source: Silva et al., (2012).
Fichier image/png, 1,3M
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Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Augusto César Pinheiro da Silva, Marcelo Motta de Freitas et Rejane Araujo Rodrigues, « Methodological Strategy of Ecological Economic Zoning (EEZ) in the Municipal Scale: an Academic Exercise of Political Geography for the Management of the Territory  », L’Espace Politique [En ligne], 31 | 2017-1, mis en ligne le 18 avril 2017, consulté le 22 mai 2017. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/espacepolitique.4221

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Augusto César Pinheiro da Silva

Doctorat en Géographie
Pontificale Université Catholique de Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)

Marcelo Motta de Freitas

Doctorat en Géographie
Pontificale Université Catholique de Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)

Rejane Araujo Rodrigues

Doctorat en Géographie
Pontificale Université Catholique de Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)

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Les contenus de L’Espace politique sont mis à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d’Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 3.0 France.

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