Funchal Urban area





Conflict case


Funchall Bay

Madeira Island is located in the Atlantic Ocean (latitude 32° 52' N and 32° 38' N; longitude 16° 39' W and 17° 16' W). The distance from the coast of Africa (Cape Blanc) is 796 km, while for Lisbon is 978 km. The island has an area of 75,852.37 ha. map_funchal

In 2008 the resident population was estimated at 242,760 inhabitants and revealed a huge asymmetry between the North and South. The three northern municipalities have a total of 17,220 inhabitants, which represents 7.1% of the island. The seven municipalities located on the southern coast hold 92.9% of the population. But the South is also subjected to wide disparities in how the population is distributed in the territory. The municipality of Funchal, the capital of the Autonomous Region covers an area of 7,614.06 ha (10.3% of the island) and in 2008, had 98,583 inhabitants (40.6% of the population of the island).

The polarizing action exerted by Funchal on the island, assumes a greater intensity in the surrounding four municipalities - Câmara de Lobos and Ribeira Brava at the West, Santa Cruz and Machico, at the East - which have undergone a regression of the countryside to benefit the residential units to accommodate people travelling daily to work in Funchal. The five municipalities that constitute the “metropolitan area” of Funchal occupy 45.3% of the territory and in 2008 concentrated 84.6% (205,455 inhabitants) of the island population.

The main problem of marine and coastal ecosystems of Madeira Island has its origin in the interior of the island. The desertification of the central mountain due to frequent forest fires and centuries of grazing associated with the deposit of materials in the floodplains and the strangulation of the streams, allowing that during the flash floods the streams carry large quantities of debris to the sea. The result with more visual impact is the changing shape of the shoreline, being the most emblematic example the landfill created in the South of Avenida do Mar filled with materials of the 20th of February, 2010 and increased with the deposit made after the recent flash flood of the 21stof October.

The elaboration and implementation of the Coastal Zone Management Plan is a fundamental tool to break the process of artificiality of the cliffs, to preserve the areas that still have indigenous vegetation nucleus and to recover spaces with high ecotourism potential.

Funchal_hotels funchal_bay