Urban River Restoration in Tehran: Challenges and Opportunities
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
The typical treatment of urban river streams in Tehran has been limited channelization over the last 30 years. Changes in stream hydrology resulting from urbanization causes a widening gap between river and neighborhoods that results in the ecological and visual division between built and natural environments. To address these problems, a new management perspective in Tehran municipality seeks creating a sequence of thematic green spaces which serve as meeting points for adjacent neighborhoods. Implementation of pilot projects has proved that restoration of urban rivers requires a holistic approach with a range of technologies and tools that contribute to the goal of integrated planning. Currently, our team is working on Darband and Darabad catchments in north east Tehran,to provide opportunities for restoration of natural life in order to improve the amenity, ecology and sustainability of an urban river environment based on 4 key planning principles of: Demonstrating characteristics of the city’s unique relationship to the river in the riverfront design; Knowing the river ecosystem and planning for a scale larger than the river front; minimizing new floodplain development; and Providing public access, connections, and recreational uses. This presentation will discuss the process of developing a new integrated GIS-based catchment planning system which helped the City shape its strategic plan for two catchments for the 2015-2030 period through multi-objective and multi-criteria optimization. The strategic plan is expected to enable the city to project the effects of introducing any future development in the catchment area on the river system, helping it to prevent such development activities which can have unintended long-term impacts.