Urban Riparian Ecologies

Class: Urban Riparian Ecologies
Professor: David Fletcher
Dates: Fall 2010

The ‘city’ began inbetween rivers in Mesopotamia. Urban rivers and watersheds have largely been subject to the same courses of evolution: point of origin, agricultural resource, industrial resource, urban sewer, and finally sites for ‘revitalization’. Urban rivers, some rehabilitated, some forgotten, will be the focus of this research seminar. This course will look at the role of the urbanized watershed in the context of the many competing interests and agendas: ecological restoration, resource management, and revitalization.The course will begin with mapping and analyzing riparian ecologies and water systems in the Bay Area and delta. Students will also research contemporary urban riparian case studies in cities such as Berlin, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Curatiba, and Seoul in order to understand international approaches to riparian restoration. These approaches will then be related back to the San Francisco bay region. Guest speakers will lecture throughout the semester and the course will also include field trips.

The class research in case studies will result in a publication and an exhibition. The exhibition will be in February at CCA. Each student will be assigned case studies to research throughout the semester, will write and document their research in the form of an exhibition poster.