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Rivers or drains? Management of urban rivers with reference to the Heathcote

Bostwick, Glenda
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::050205 Environmental Management , ANZSRC::1205 Urban and Regional Planning
Rivers and settlements belong together; there are few urban areas without at least one significant watercourse flowing through them. Urban rivers, and in particular the Heathcote River, are the subject of this dissertation. Discussion centres on their significance and vulnerability, and on management options for their protection and enhancement. Part One is concerned with the broad-scale issues of rivers in urban areas. It summarizes the natural forces and processes at work in a river. It considers the importance of an urban river, its role in a developing city, and the typical pressures it is subject to. Finally the laws and authorities as they relate to the urban river in New Zealand are outlined. Close attention is paid to the local situation in Christchurch, as well as the potential of management plans in river administration. The Heathcote River is used as a case study of an urban river under pressure in Part Two. Its significance to Christchurch is described and illustrated. Ways of resolving the inherent conflicts of its use and management are discussed, and recommendations for catchment management are proposed.
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