Revitalization of Urban River Spaces
Date du début: 31 août 2008,
Date de fin: 30 août 2011
For decades, urban rivers in Central Europe were seen as a threat rather than a benefit. Thus, despite the fact that such areas are particularly important or often the only functioning or potential reservoirs of biodiversity and open space in the city, degraded or abandoned riparian areas are common in Central European cities. The essence of REURIS is to implement strategies and activities aimed at revitalisation (reconstruction of natural and cultural resources) and management of urban river spaces. REURIS will not only create tools but will also allow their testing in practice in order to assess their effectiveness. Achievements: The essence of REURIS project was to implement strategies and activities aimed at the reconstruction of natural and cultural resources and the management of urban river spaces. The projects approach required the transfer of knowledge and know-how that involved formal and informal connections between various central European regions. REURIS project consisted of a theoretical part and of six pilot actions, four of which implied pilot investments. Thus, there was a link between research and practice. Planning methods were not only developed, but also applied and tested. It was demonstrated in practice, through implementation of pilot actions, that integrated revitalization in urban areas means the partial reconstruction of natural and cultural landscape resources oriented both towards the improvement of natural habitats in river valleys, and towards improvement in all kinds of public access and use in urban areas and their surroundings. Investment pilot actions included: - in Katowice: revitalisation of part of Ślepiotka River valley; - in Bydgoszcz: Degraded part of the Park along the Old Bydgoszcz Canal; - in Stuttgart: revitalisation of the Feuerbach Stream on a former sports field next to Zazenhausen; - in Leipzig: Thostbach in Grimma – Ecology and Flood Protection. And there were 2 non investment actions: - creation of green corridor along artificial river fork in post-industrial area: Old Ponavka in Brno, - establishment of local biocentre in riverside as an element of future ecological network of the city in Plzen. More than real effects of investments, the major outcome is a manual addressed to people involved in river space revitalization. "REURIS Manual for Urban River Revitalisation" provides a detailed insight into the project results. Detailed guidelines were developed which refer to main principles with regard to river revitalization, based on REURIS experience. In separate handbook (Urban Rivers – Vital Spaces. Guide for Urban River Revitalisation) there were described all lessons from REURIS implementation, especially from pilot actions. Elaboration of trans-regionally valid solutions integrating environmental, social, economic and spatial aspects of revitalization is the main contribution to the goals of CE programme. The activities realised within the project allow future generations to take advantage of river valleys, as those activities were aimed directly at increasing the attractiveness of the environment as well as development of cities and regions. The main success factor for the project was real involvement of local stakeholders and professionals. The REURIS team managed to overcome formal and procedural problems concerning implementation of pilot investment in urban river valley. The obstacle was a consequence of initial lack of good practices in implementation of such innovative solutions.
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