Classification of the Aesthetic Value of Urban Rivers

Publication Year:
2005
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Repository URL:
https://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/ucowrconfs_2005/18
Author(s):
Bisjak, Ales
article description
Environmental goals of the European Water Framework Directive (hereinafter called: WFD) (The European Parliament and the Council, 2000), adopted by the European Community in 2000, foresee the achievement of the Good Ecological Status of all surface water bodies by the year 2015. Goals should be achieved by the way of applying the measures, such as restoration or rehabilitation works. In the context of the modern care of the river environment, rivers in urban environment areas should be considered as a special category. European project URBEM (Urban River Basin Enhancement Methods), funded by the European Commission in the 5th Framework Programme for the implementation of the WFD and developed in co-operation of partners from 5 EU countries (Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Portugal and Slovenia), has aimed to prepare a tool for the needs of municipal administration in the decision-making process in relation to renewal and rehabilitation schemes of urban corridors. As a part of the project, the partner from Portugal has in co-operation with other partners in the project drawn up a draft method for a combined expert and survey assessment of the aesthetic value of urban rivers (URBEM, 2004). The aim of the method is to provide an assessment of the visual environment of urban rivers in order to facilitate decision-making when prioritising the approach to rehabilitation of urban rivers. In comparison to the existing methods for valuation of the hydromorphological state of rivers, which are based on the assessment of the anthropogenic alterations or ecological deficit of the hydromorphological process in the river corridor, the URBEM method provides an assessment of the river corridor in a wider sense: ecological, spatial and social. In Slovenia, the method was tested on three urban rivers in the capital city of Ljubljana. In the course of testing, several strengths as well as weaknesses of the proposed method were identified.