Conceiving river margins as complex and important environments for numerous socioenvironmental dynamics, this article pointed out similarities and specificities of three urban spots along the same river, detailing occupation processes, uses and vulnerabilities. The objective of this work was to investigate the influence of land occupation and land use patterns in distinct urban areas on the margins of the Capibaribe River, located in the state of Pernambuco, aiming to mitigate vulnerabilities. For that, the hypothetical deductive method, guided by the systemic reasoning line, was used. The relationship between urban spots in the local and regional economy and the margins of the Capibaribe River has made a contradictory picture of the negative signs that point to the environmental degradation and vulnerability of low income populations on the Capibaribe river margins. In order to mitigate these consequences, actions must be carried out to address local variations in the nature of river margins and social dilemmas of land use and land use, as well as to review existing policies and the role of the State in the integrated management of riverbank areas in urban spots.
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