River Restoration and Rehabilitation as a New Urban Design Strategy: Learning to Re-see Urban Rivers

By Paulina Espinosa, Bruno De Meulder and Alfredo Ollero.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: February 24, 2016 $US5.00

This study analyses how river restoration-rehabilitation concepts can be transferred from natural settings to constructed environments and thus form part of an urban design strategy. In contrast to conventional civil engineering, this strategy explores how hydraulic challenges can be tackled through instead of against nature. The study focuses on urban rivers in Chile where unstable geographical and environmental conditions in combination with limited budgets require innovative solutions. The methodology uses research by design. From an environmental viewpoint, river restoration know-how is shifted from a restoring tool to a spatial analysis tool focused on understanding natural spatial processes. The outcome of this study is a cartography that maps the dynamic interplay between the natural water system and the city of Concepcion’s environmental conditions on the one hand and the relationship between the river landscape and urban development on the other.

Keywords: River Restoration, Landscape Urbanism, Adaptive Planning

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.57-73. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: February 24, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.496MB)).

Paulina Espinosa

Ph.D Researcher, Faculty of Engineering Science, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Bruno De Meulder

Full Professor, Faculty of Engineering Science, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Alfredo Ollero

Senior Lecturer, Geography and Regional Planning Department, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain