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Unofficial Road Building in the Amazon: Socioeconomic and Biophysical ExplanationsRoads have manifold social and environmental impacts, including regional development, social conflicts and habitat fragmentation. 'Road ecology' has emerged as an approach to evaluate the various ecological and hydrological impacts of roads. This article aims to complement road ecology by examining the socio-spatial processes of road building itself. Focusing on the Brazilian Amazon, a heavily-studied context due to forest fragmentation by roads, the authors consider non-state social actors who build 'unofficial roads' for the purpose of gaining access to natural resources to support livelihoods and community development. They examine four case studies of roads with distinct histories in order to explain the socio-spatial processes behind road building in terms of profit maximization, land tenure claims, co-operative and conflictive political ecologies, and constraints as well as opportunities afforded by the biophysical environment. The study cases illustrate the need for a multi-pronged theoretical approach to understanding road building, and call for more attention to the role of non-state actors in unofficial road construction.
Document ID
20070022831
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Perz, Stephen G.
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Caldas, Marcellus M.
(Kansas State Univ. Manhattan, KS, United States)
Arima, Eugenio
(Hobart and William Smith Coll. Geneva, NY, United States)
Walker, Robert J.
(Michigan Univ. Ann Arbor, MI, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 2007
Publication Information
Publication: Development and Change
Volume: 38
Issue: 3
Subject Category
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NCC5-694
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
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