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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/21892

Title: Challenges of upstream water management and the spatial structuring of the nebulous city
Authors: Nolf, Christian
Advisors: De Meulder, Bruno
Shannon, Kelly
Devisch, Oswald
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: This dissertation is part of the interdisciplinary research 'Water in urban Flemish landscapes - integrating civil engineering and urban design approaches in regional landscape development projects'. This research project focuses on three issues: - the need for new spatial planning and design tools capable of dealing with the dispersed urbanisation and fragmentation of the open space that characterises large parts of Flanders; - the emphasis on co-production in contemporary planning and design and with it the emergence of new disciplines, such as landscape urbanism, that propagate the structuring capacity of the landscape, - solving quantitative (scarcity and flooding) and qualitative (pollution, ecological role of water) water issues which require new solutions (often conflicting with existing forms of land use). Motivated by growing ecological concerns and the limited ability of hard engineering to cope with the prospects of indeterminate climate change, the concept of integrated water resource management (IWRM) was formulated as the sustainable solution to issues of water quantity and quality (water production, consumption, drainage and treatment, flood, drought etc.). IWRM is however being increasingly criticised for its generic definition and undefined modes of application. The challenge therefore lies in refinement and contextualisation, exemplifying how integrated water management could be achieved effectively in practice and incorporate 'greener' and 'softer' approaches. As a response to the European Water Framework Directive and in line with IWRM priorities, Flanders established a new water management policy6 in 2003 to coordinate a decentralised and integrated approach. It was translated into instruments addressing the individual plot (water impact assessment/ 'Watertoets'), the intermediate scale (technical guides such as the 'code(s) of good practice') and (sub)catchment plans ('(deel-)bekkenbeheerplan'). Although championing cmmpatible objectives of more space for water, these instruments have not been coordinated between a series of agencies and administrations. Moreover, according to Flemish water and land management stakeholders7, existing plans and instruments have a top-down , prescriptive and static character that does not encourage integrated projects. This research has therefore sought an interdisciplinary method of water management and planning at a local and intermediate level {(inter)municipal/subcatchrnent). The research question is how to assume this fundamental role practically in water management terms while simultaneously addressing the spatial development issues raised by Flanders' dispersed urbanisation. The project was undertaken as two complementary research projects. This thesis focuses on urbanisation and urban water issues and the other thesis by Isabelle Putseys focuses on the potential of re-naturalisation of the river system to address the fragmented open space structure.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/21892
Category: T1
Type: Theses and Dissertations
Appears in Collections: PhD theses
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