URSULA: Integrating multiple facets of river corridor development
17–18 November 2011
St Mercure St Paul’s Hotel, Sheffield
The Urban Rivers and SUstainable Living Agendas (URSULA) project investigates the sustainable development of urban river corridors. Its final conference will disseminate research outputs within the external context of river corridor development.
Full details are now available in the conference brochure, available to download from the conference webpage.
“The conference has plenty to interest anyone involved in urban river corridor environments and development, such as local authority officers involved with planning, regeneration and development, professional working with flooding in the urban environment, and ecologists working on quality and biodiversity. And of course, it is for all those people who live, work or play in a city with a river corridor!”
URSULA is unique in that it tackles river corridor issues holistically by treating the river and its urban setting as a system. Throughout the project, URSULA develops innovations, tools and knowledge to help guide the regeneration of urban river corridors worldwide.
Rivers have historically been at the heart of many cities. These potentially attractive and ecologically interesting urban spaces are now prime targets for redevelopment, offering the opportunity to create mixed use, high-density and high-quality communities.
URSULA’s research aims to test the hypothesis that:
“there are significant social, economic and environmental gains to be made by integrated and innovative interventions in urban river corridors”.
The project uses the River Don in the centre of Sheffield as a case study, to demonstrate such diverse topics as:
- Quantifying the cooling effect of the river;
- Mapping and analysing patterns of biodiversity;
- Investigating perception of biodiversity and people’s wellbeing;
- Exploring the impact of alternative urban designs on costs and values;
- Understanding how people and users influence river corridor development.
A key part of the project has been an integrated assessment of alternative master plan designs of a specific site on the River to develop a knowledge-based model, which can then be applied to other scenarios to aid design choice. The project has combined issues of town planning and landscape, ecology, economics and other disciplines to produce different designs for the site. Visualisation methods have played a key part, and the team has developed a variety of methods using different media which have proved extremely successful.
The programme will include sessions on issues in river corridors, decision-making, and integrated assessment in addition to technical sessions.
Keynote speakers include:
- Professor Matt Kondolf, Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (LAEP), University of California, Berkeley;
- Dr Jon Robinson, URS Scott Wilson;
- Simon Ogden, Head of Development, Sheffield City Council.
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