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Research Article Open Access
This text presents a historical retrospective of the early nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century that illustrates the path up to the recent various formulations of the concept of sustainable development. Given the enormous breadth of the subject, the content selection was based on two criteria. Initially, it was decided to contemplate the events and projects abroad, to realize the availability of the references about the subject. The other criterion adopted was to select events and relevant publications with primarily economic and/or environmental focus. The bibliographical survey was conducted from the literature available on the Internet and lists the major conferences and multilateral documents in addition to the most relevant books published on the subject in the Western world. It is noteworthy that the text was structured following the natural chronological order of the events and the publications, to facilitate the identification of the periods with approaches in dealing with socio-environmental problems similar to the current ones. From the results, three main periods were identified regarding the approaches adopted to address the environmental and social problems. In this chapter they were named as “A period of attention turned to the impact of human activities” covering the initial period between 1800 and 1900; “The pre- Stockholm environmentalism period”, 1900-1970; and “The post- Stockholm ecologism period”, 1970 to 2010 (the last year of the survey). It’s considered that the historical retrospective is useful because it helps to understand the different definitions of sustainability depending on the historical moment and particular world views, whether from individuals or organizations.
Environmental history, Sustainability, Sustainable development, Human-nature relationship, Coastal Development, Beach Nourishment, Coastal Engineering