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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Allemagne → 2016 → An integrative approach to assess urban riparian greenways potential : The case of Mapocho River in Santiago de Chile

Universität Leipzig (2016)

An integrative approach to assess urban riparian greenways potential : The case of Mapocho River in Santiago de Chile

Vásquez, Alexis

Titre : An integrative approach to assess urban riparian greenways potential : The case of Mapocho River in Santiago de Chile

Auteur : Vásquez, Alexis

Université de soutenance : Universität Leipzig

Grade : Doctor rerum naturalium Dr. rer. nat. 2016

Résumé partiel
Santiago is the 7th largest major city of Latin America with almost 8 million inhabitants and is situated in a fairly closed watershed, surrounded on the eastern side by the high Andean mountain chain with altitudes of 5,000 m. From the Andean mountains, the Mapocho River and a set of large and small streams transport -often torrentially- water and sediment. In thirty years, Santiago has increased its size two fold, replacing previous agricultural lands, native forests and shrubs with urban land uses, and occupying rivers beds and streams. These land use and cover changes have had dramatic environmental consequences. The mentioned urban dynamic has produced a city in constant collision with the natural system. This structural disarticulation produces many environmental problems such as an increase in city’s surface and air temperatures, an accelerated disappearance of vegetation, a major interruption in wind, sediment and water flows, and finally, increasing people’s exposure to environmental hazards. Since streams, canals and rivers are structural components of Santiago’s landscape, they can function as key links between the urban-social and natural system and provide multiple ecosystem services, helping to reduce environmental problems and ensure long-term urban sustainability. Traditionally, the analysis of river and streamsides has been focused on rural and natural landscapes as well as on environmental protection and nature conservation. Nowadays, there is an increasing interest and necessity to understand the environmental status, functions and possibilities of riparian zones in urban environments in order to delineate and plan greenways, which provide social and ecological benefits. Green infrastructure such as urban greenways is a key component of sustainable cities. Few studies have been conducted to evaluate the socio-ecological status of urban riparian zones and even fewer to assess these areas in terms of their potential as multifunctional greenways. New efforts should be conducted to develop analytical application-oriented frameworks in the green infrastructure field. This research elaborates and proposes a transferable conceptual-methodological framework for evaluating the potential for multifunctional riparian greenway development. An analytical application-oriented framework to assess the potential for multifunctional green infrastructure development is proposed by articulating and improving three analyses hitherto used separately : multicriteria, least cost path and opportunities-challenges. The Mapocho River was selected for the application and testing of the proposed conceptual-methodological framework to contribute to multifunctional green infrastructure planning in Santiago as a city representative of the structure and processes of megacities in Latin America. First, the main ecological and social characteristics of the Mapocho’s riparian zone are analyzed, making a synthesis of the socio-ecological status. Second, the suitability to provide multiple ecosystem services of the riparian zone is spatially explicitly modelled, first separately, as mono-functional suitability, and then, integrated into a multifunctional suitability evaluation. Third, the opportunities and challenges perceived by government actors are identified and analyzed as well as those derived from an institutional and regulatory analysis. Finally, the assessment phase concludes with a discussion on the main potential for the development of a greenway, resulting from the synthesis and integration of the most relevant findings of the suitability and opportunities analysis The socio-ecological status of the riparian zones is characterized by being highly altered in ecological terms, diverse in social terms, and highly used by the metropolitan transport infrastructure with a concentration of green areas in a few municipalities. This means that the riparian zone provides limited physical support for important social and ecological functions characteristic of these zones in urban environments : habitat, aesthetic, cooling, transport route and flood mitigation. The results reveal a significant east-west gradient in the socio-ecological status of riparian zone, which gradually decreases from east to west. The riparian zone of the Mapocho River in Santiago has good suitability as a wind corridor, providing a cooling effect and to mitigate flood hazards.

Mots clés  : Urban greenways, multifunctional green infrastructure, ecosystem services, Santiago de Chile — Flussuferzonen, Santiago de Chile, Sozio-ökologische Analyse, Grüne Infrastruktur

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