The revitalizing and restoration of rivers, creeks and streams is a major focus of urban conservation activity throughout North America and Europe. This book presents models and examples for organizing multiple stakeholders for purposes of waterway revitalization—if not restoration—within a context of fairness and environmental justice.
After decades of neglect and misuse the challenge of cleaning up urban rivers and streams is shown to be complex and truly daunting. Urban river cleanup typically involves multiple agendas and stakeholders, as well as complicated technical issues. It is also often the situation that the most affected have the least voice in what happens. The authors present social process models for maximum inclusion of various stakeholders in decision-making for urban waterway regeneration. A range of examples is presented, drawn principally from North America and Europe.
1. Introduction: Urban Waterway History and Planning Context 2. History of Urban River Restoration in Europe 3. The Big Picture—Framing Environmental Justice, Political Ecology and Stream Restoration 4. Environmental Justice Leadership and Intergenerational Continuity 5. Public Engagement Process 6. Restoring Streams and Relationships 7. Community Engagement and Mapping 8. Urban Waterways as Green Infrastructure 9. Creative Engagements with Waterway Restoration and Environmental Justice 10. Summary and Streams of Revitalization Practice
"Importantly, as this book stresses, reviving urban waterways is about restoring relationships and community building. In so doing, the authors argue persuasively that there is real potential to tackle issues of environmental justice." - taken from the Foreword, Professor Judith Petts, CBE, University of Plymouth, UK
"Richard C. Smardon, Sharon Moran and April Karen Baptiste have delivered an invaluable handbook on urban stream restoration for professional practitioners, policy makers and planners, community-based scientists and activists, and university faculty and students. The distribution of urban water quality problems has long been a critical environmental justice issue, with deep political economic, geographic, and social roots. Revitalizing Urban Waterway Communities: Streams of Environmental Justice provides a wealth of scientific evidence and case studies (with especially instructive examples from Europe) that serve as a best-practice guide to those aiming to clean up their waterways and at the same time, avoid the pitfalls of green gentrification. Particularly innovative are the book’s approach to engagement via arts and culture, and how stream restoration can serve as a way to improve the physical landscape and water quality while at the same time repairing social relationships. It is required reading for urban environmentalists and social justice activists." - Jennifer Wolch, William W. Wurster Dean, College of Environmental Design University of California, Berkeley, USA
"From the nation’s capital to the East Bay, from Syracuse to Milwaukee to Chattanooga, Smardon and his colleagues have embraced the rich diversity of experience in revitalizing urban watersheds and waterfronts—a truly collaborative process which will survive the ups and downs of federal environmental policies." - Rutherford H. Platt, Emeritus Professor of Geography, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA