Social impact assessment of marine projects and structures (the case of Chamkhaleh Port construction project)

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Environmental Education, Management and Planning, School of Environment, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The social impact assessment is a strategic tool for managing development-related social activities aimed at reducing economic, social, and environmental costs. Since development plans incorporate undeniable impacts and consequences on the social, economic and environmental characteristics of an area, recognizing and managing these impacts can play an important role in promoting and sustaining the projects in addition to reducing negative effects and enhancing positive outcomes. Aiming to assess the social impacts of marine projects and structures, this study investigated the impacts of Chamkhaleh Port construction on the quality of life, social capital, economics, and environmental indicators.
Material and methods:
The present study was applied, descriptive-analytical and correlational research. The statistical population was 8840 people from Chaf and Chamkhaleh city in 2016. The sample size was estimated 400 using Cochran formula and distributed by stratified random sampling. The research tool was a researcher-made questionnaire, the validity of which was confirmed by content validity and construct validity. Also, its reliability was confirmed by Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.750. Finally, the data obtained from the questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive and correlation analysis in SPSS 20 and LISREL 8.80 software.
Results and discussion:
The results of the confirmatory factor analysis showed that the impact of the port on the quality of life index was 5.69, which indicated the positive impact of the project in this section. The greatest impact on this sector was the improvement of the tourism situation with an impact of 7.8 and then new job opportunities with the impact of 7.01. In the social capital section, the most important impact was the increase in the participation of people in the development plans of the region with an impact of 6.20. The impact of the construction of the port on the economic section was 6.48, which indicated the positive impact of the project in this section. The project's effect on the environmental sector was 2.90, which indicated the negative effect of the project on this sector. The creation of air pollution in the region with an impact coefficient of 5.61 and pollution of seawater and changes in water quality in rivers and coastal waters with an impact factor of 5.466 would have negative effects on the environment. Because in the sustainability of developmental projects social, human, financial, infrastructure (physical), and natural assets must be developed or improved, it is necessary to enhance the positive effects of the plan in order to reduce the negative impacts. Project implementation can be a step towards improving the social, economic, and environmental conditions of the region.
The social impacts of the construction projects are as important as their economic impacts and have a direct impact on the fate of the project and the achievement of its goal. Since such projects have significant impacts on people's lives, social impact assessment and identifying the impacts helps people become aware of the effects of projects, leading to social development, increasing development efficiency and reducing the negative impacts of development plans and a move towards sustainable development.


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