Case Studies/Atlas of Sustainability Indicators for the Coastal Municipalities of Rio de Janeiro

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Atlas de 40 indicadores de sustentabilidade, classificados dentro das seis dimensões do desenvolvimento sustentável - espacial, ecológica, social, econômica, cultural e política-institucional, aplicados aos 34 municípios costeiros do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

"The Atlas of Sustainability Indicators for the Coastal Municipalities of the State of Rio de Janeiro offer a example of how is possible to evaluate, to understand and to share data of the coastal zone, objecting to colaborate to obtain the sustaonable society" — RAQUEL DEZIDÉRIO SOUTO,


This website was designed to inform about the results of the evaluation of 40 sustainability indicators, classified at six dimensions of eco-development first proposed by Ignacy Sachs - social, economical, cultural, spatial, political and ecological, to 34 coastal municipalities of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. The calculated indexes refer to negative impact of the dinamics and activities developed by Man in the course of their occupation along coastal zone. To know more about the methodology used in this research, please visit:

To see the sources of data used, please visit:

To know why is important the analysis of the sustainability indicators, please visit:

To visit the page with generated digital maps, please access:

License Usage

All the informations disposed here can be reproduct partially or totaly, if mentioned its authorship. To make apropriated reference to the atlas of Sustainability Indicators for the Coastal Municipalities of the State of Rio de Janeiro, please cites:

SOUTO, R.D. Atlas of Sustainability Indicators for Coastal Municipalities of the State of Rio de Janeiro. [online], accessed in 9/18/2008.


With an increasing concern about the healthy development of societies in harmony with environment, man started organizing and making efforts at creating mechanisms to monitor and control processes induced by anthropic activities in the coastal zone (CZ). Knowledge of coastal ecology and dynamics became reference information for taking public decisions aiming at sustainable growth and expansion of societies. In this context appears the Integrated Coastal Zone Management, as a Science with the objective of recognizing the coast and its characteristics, understanding its evolution and elaborating mechanisms of quality control of the CZ, guaranteeing quality of life to the population living in these zones.

One of the instruments used to raise the CZ condition is the Parametric Statistics, where the CZ characteristics and forces acting on it are represented by parameters. Having the parameters, the indicators are conceived and used to supply information about the complex organizations. The parameters' degree of importance is distinguished through the attribution of weights to the obtained measures, resulting in the values of each indicator's index. The studies on sustainability indicators have demonstrated that their choice is due to the recognition of the main forces acting as a pressure on the ecosystem and, thus, sets of indicators vary from region to region. However, indicators share characteristics in common, being the clarity in transmission of information the most notorious of them.

So, as a final product, the present work provides the results of the analysis of forty (40) sustainability indicators, based on official data related to the thirty-four (34) coastal municipalities, inside the six (6) dimensions of Sustainable Development proposed by Ignacy Sachs: space, cultural, economic, ecological, social and political.

Anthropic impact polygons have been calculated to each municipality, where the influence of each analyzed dimension is represented. The maps related to dimensions and indicators supply, yet, a space representation of the inequalities found in the State of Rio de Janeiro.

The research focus is to collaborate with a better understanding of the State's socio-environmental dynamics, constituting necessary report to informative support for the formulation of public policies that are adequate to the natural resources' management and to the guarantee of quality of life of the State's population.