232 pages, 18 illus
Today's urban riverfronts are changing. The decline of river commerce and riverside industry has made riverfront land once used for warehouses, factories, and loading docks available for open space, parks, housing, and nonindustrial uses. Urban rivers, which once functioned as open sewers for cities, are now seen as part of larger watershed ecosystems. Rivertown examines urban river restoration efforts across the United States, presenting case studies from Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; Detroit; Chicago; Salt Lake City; and San Jose. It also analyzes the roles of the federal government (in particular, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) and citizen activism in urban river politics. A postscript places New Orleans's experience with Hurricane Katrina in the broader context of the national riverside land-use debate.
Each case study in Rivertown considers the critical questions of who makes decisions about our urban rivers, who pays to implement these decisions, and who ultimately benefits or suffers from these decisions. In Los Angeles, for example, local nonprofit and academic research groups played crucial roles, whereas Chicago relied on a series of engineering interventions. In each case, authors evaluate the ecological issues and consider urban river restoration projects in relation to other urban economic and environmental initiatives in the region.
Rivertown is a significant and original contribution to the literature on the restoration of urban rivers. Itoffers multiple case studies and viewpoints. Although all the contributors are strong advocates for river restoration in some form, they differ in their experiences, their ultimate goals, their levels of satisfaction with recent accomplishments, and their suggested approaches to the problem of wounded (or buried) waterways in our cities. - Dr. Patrick Malone, Department of American Civilization, and Urban Studies, Brown University"
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