Urban rivers and channelization policies

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Fagundes, Beatriz [UNESP]

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Editora da Universidade Federal de Uberlândia - EDUFU


Most of the watercourses in the city of Presidente Prudente, state of São Paulo, Brazil, are channeled, and many others are inaccessible to the population. The city’s watercourses are degraded with silted beds, intense erosive processes, garbage accumulation on their banks and alongside the streams. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate how the interventions and actions of public authorities have affected the urban streams of Presidente Prudente over time, as well as the relevant protection laws and their enforcement during the urban expansion process. The study comprised fieldwork, interviews with city dwellers, Google Earth satellite image analysis, research on environmental issues and on urban space production, as well as the examination of various documents. The results showed that the city’s urban planning favored the real estate sector, without consideration of the legal framework protecting the city’s watercourses. In structuring the city, its waters were led to flow through concrete channels, with subsequent construction of public leisure spaces as an immediate solution to the environmental problems caused in the valley floors. This process, coupled with a lack of urban spaces valuing the presence of waters in the landscape, contributed to the population accepting channelization as the final fate of urban waters.



Presidente Prudente, Urban streams, Channelization

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Sociedade & Natureza. Editora da Universidade Federal de Uberlândia - EDUFU, v. 32, p. 396-406, 2022.