chapter  5
16 Pages

Managing urban riverscapes: towards a cultural perspective of land and water governance: Meike Levin-Keitel

Rivers have always played a crucial role in human activities, e.g. the founding of settlements on riverbanks, the use of temporarily flooded areas for agricultural food production, or their use as strategic barriers of defence. On rivers, goods for trade were transported, the river water was necessary for the development of different techniques of traditional handicraft, and it simultaneously served as a fresh water supply and wastewater disposal. Nowadays, focusing on urban riverscapes includes being confronted by some of these issues (albeit slightly modified), as well as the multiple additional demands on the river water itself (in terms of quality and quantity) and on its riparian land uses and their diverse influences (in terms of the cycle of substances, interdependence between these uses and the river ecosystem, their spatial impact, the consequences of societal changes, etc. (Levin-Keitel, 2014)). Especially in urban areas, where space by the river is limited and numerous diverging interests are articulated, these demands and peculiarities are gaining a controversial dimension.