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Hands-On Geography

Urban waterways – quality and management

Over the past 20 years there has been considerable public debate over the quality of New Zealand’s rivers, and how we effectively manage our waterways. Much of this debate has focused on rural water quality, but some of the poorest water quality continues to be observed in urban waterways. Why are our urban waterways so undervalued?

In this project we will use a variety of techniques to understand what makes a healthy waterway, and how urban planning and management can be used to transform urban water ways.

We will use the Water of Leith as a case study, examining its water quality, geomorphology, and riparian uses using both natural upstream examples, and critically examine how development of the urban Leith has been progressed through the University campus.  We will also consider how natural design features can be used to re-establish social and cultural connection to waterways, provide habitats and ensure sustainable flood protection.

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