Chapter 6 - Urban wetlands and water bodies

Elsevier, Managing Urban Rivers: from Planning to Practice, Volume , 1 January 2023
Ribbe L., Dekker G., Thapak G.

Urban river management is not only about managing the river but also its associated features such as wetlands and water bodies (e.g., lakes, natural or constructed wetlands, and floodplains). These aquatic systems fulfill important functions in the urban environment that can range from food supply to recreation to coping with climate extremes. Unfortunately, in most cities, they are the most neglected elements and often have to make way for settlements, as the low-lying areas such as floodplains and delta regions are preferred areas for urban expansion. This chapter elaborates on the values added by water bodies and wetlands to cities, and how they can be harnessed in the context of urban water management. Furthermore, various concepts for urban wetland and water body management that have emerged globally are compared, and finally, contemporary tools for the different stages (inventorization, protection, remediation and rejuvenation, monitoring, planning and construction, recreation, and sustainable use) of their management are introduced. Different case examples provide the application of concepts and tools and illustrate that reaching a good status of urban wetlands and water bodies continues to be a challenging task. Degradation, pollution, and destruction of wetlands remain common; therefore, strong governance frameworks as well as practical management guidelines and further research are necessary to conserve and restore urban wetlands and water bodies for the resilient cities of our future.