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    The impacts of and responses to place loss in a coastal community in Ireland

    Phillips, Christopher and Murphy, Conor and Bresnihan, Patrick (2022) The impacts of and responses to place loss in a coastal community in Ireland. Local Environment, 27 (7). pp. 879-896. ISSN 1354-9839

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    This paper explores the impact of place loss due to the loss of a beach from coastal erosion in the community of Courtown, Co. Wexford,Ireland. Using in-depth walking interviews and photo-elicitation, we investigate (i) the experiences and emotional challenges of place loss;(ii) the impacts of place loss and adaptive actions on people–place relationships and; (iii) how individuals re-imagine the future of place following loss. We find that place loss results in emotional responses consistent with solastalgia for many interviewees. Adaptation actions in the form of installation of rock armour to deal with coastal erosion were seen by many as undesirable and amplified the sense of loss experienced. For most, the lack of community engagement in decision-making has created a sense of powerlessness and anxiety around the future of place. Moreover, this sense of powerlessness is amplified for many by concurrent but unrelated policies that incentivised rapid residential development in the area, contributing to changing place identity and community cohesion. Our findings highlight that impacts of environmental change and adaptation on individuals, while significant on their own, unfold within and can be amplified by the context of on-going development issues and decision-making processes. Despite their sense of powerlessness, there is evidence that residents see rich opportunities to re-imagine place if decision-makers can create opportunities to incorporate the voice of local communities

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: place loss; solastalgia; place attachment; coastal erosion; adaptation;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Item ID: 17777
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Corinne Voces
    Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2023 10:58
    Journal or Publication Title: Local Environment
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: Irish Research Council, Environmental Protection Agency
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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