Show Less
Restricted access

River-Friendly Cities

An Outline of Historical Changes in Relations between Cities and Rivers and Contemporary Water-Responsible Urbanization Strategies

Anna Januchta-Szostak

The history of urbanization was inseparably connected with the exploitation of the environment and the subjugation of rivers. Today we experience the effects of this expansion in the form of escalating water problems. The book outlines the processes of transformation of anthropogenic, natural and waterborne structures in urban environment, which were presented in three historical phases: the period of Respect, Conquest and Return. River-friendly cities require integrated water management in entire catchments from the source to the recipient. The key to the success of the Return strategy is the recovery of space for greenery and water, responsible spatial planning, circular economy and rainwater management as well as continuous raising of awareness of the whole society.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Abstract

Extract

The history of urbanisation was inseparably connected with the use of the environment, the transformation of the catchment areas as well as the subjugation and exploitation of rivers. Today we experience the effects of this expansion in the form of escalating water problems, which are serious threats to humanity in the era of global climate change and the continuous growth of the urban population. The book outlines the processes of transformation of urban (Red), natural (Green) and waterborne (Blue) structures in three phases of civilisation development: the period of RESPECT, CONQUEST and RETURN.

The period of RESPECT (from the beginning of the settlement to the 16th century) was characterised by sustainable use of resources, allowing the natural environment to regenerate naturally. The cities were balancing on the edge of benefits and threats, on the one hand using transport, defence and production assets of water, on the other hand, respecting the flood risks. A distinctive feature of this period was also subjective or even sacral approach to rivers, resulting not only from the peoples’ dependence on water and the lack of technical capabilities of resistance, but also from the holistic perception of nature.

The CONQUEST period (from the 16th century to the 1970s) began in the era of great geographical “discoveries” which introduced Europe into the era of colonialism, entailing exploitation of natural resources and non-Christian native cultures. The economic growth, scientific and technical progress became a catalyst for the industrial revolution and urban expansion as well...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.