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The Berkeley Urban Rivers Symposium
12 May 2021
10am-1245pm Pacific Standard Time (online)
This symposium begins with a keynote talk on ‘Restoring ecological processes in an urban river: the Isar in Munich’, presented by Dr Aude Zingraff-Hamed (Technical University of Munich). The Isar shows how an important urban river can be restored to yield ecological and social benefits, and is an example from which we can learn in approaching our urban rivers elsewhere. Next graduate student research projects explore riparian vegetation along Tassajara Creek, Dublin, 20 years post-restoration; the Alhambra Wash in Los Angeles; the restored Yitong River waterfront in Changchun, China; encampments in waterways around the San Francisco Bay; and flood risk management and the ‘levee effect’ in West Sacramento, California. A panel including Professor Joe McBride (Berkeley) and Amanda Booth (City of San Pablo) discuss issues raised in the research. More information here.
The symposium is free and open to the public, but preregistration is required to obtain a link.
Keynote: Restoring ecological processes in an urban river: the Isar in Munich
The transboundary Isar River flows from the Bavarian Alps into one of the last free-flowing sections of the Danube. The Isar was fundamental to the establishment of Munich and other cities located on its banks, and underwent morphological changes from human activity since the 18th century, but especially with the boom in hydro-electrical production after the First World War. Starting in the late 20th century, years of collaborative planning, pressure from civil society, changes in government institutions, and strong partnerships among non-government organizations, the river management approach changed from a traditional grey infrastructure-based approach to nature-based practices. The restoration of the Isar in Munich demonstrates that socio-ecological restorations are possible even in metropolitan city centers. Ultimately, the Isar River is an example of how civil society’s perception of ecosystem losses can lead to positive changes in water governance.