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Urban Stream and Wetland Restoration in the Global South—A DPSIR Analysis

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CNRS UMR 7324 CITERES, University of Tours, 37200 Tours, France
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Nuvelhas, Projeto Manuelzão - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av Antonio Carlos, 6627, Pampulha CEP 30.270-901, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
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Laboratory of Biogeography, University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Dakar BP 5005, Senegal
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Departement d’Aménagement et Environnement, International Master in Urban Planning and Sustainability, PolyTech Tours, 37200 Tours, France
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National Institute of Limnology (INALI; CONICET-UNL), Ciudad Universitaria, 3000 Santa Fe, Argentina
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Laboratório de Ecologia de Bentos, Departamento de Biologia Geral Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais Avenida Antônio Carlos 6627, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270, Brazil
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École d’économie de la Sorbonne (UFR 02), Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, 90 rue de Tolbiac, 75013 Paris, France
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Institute of Geography, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City 04510, Mexico
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Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 215 Moses Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720–2308, USA
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Ponte Ambiental Consultoria e Soluções Ambientais, R. João Moura, 661—Pinheiros, São Paulo 05412-001, Brazil
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Departamento de Geografia, Instituto de Geociências, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av Antonio Carlos, 6627, Pampula CEP 30.270-901, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
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Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences, The Graduate School, and Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science, University of Santo Tomas, España Boulevard, Manila 1015, Philippines
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NGO Ecoyaco, Bogotá 110571, Colombia
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Faculdad de Sciencias Sociales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires C1053ABJ, Argentina
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Research Team 2252 RURALITÉS, University of Poitiers, 86000 Poitiers, France
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EU-PHUSICOS project, Technical University of Munich, Emil-Ramann-Str. 6, 85354 Freising, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4975; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184975
Received: 14 July 2019 / Revised: 7 August 2019 / Accepted: 24 August 2019 / Published: 11 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human–River Interactions in Cities)
In many countries of the Global South, aquatic ecosystems such as streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands are severely impacted by several simultaneous environmental stressors, associated with accelerated urban development, and extreme climate. However, this problem receives little attention. Applying a DPSIR approach (Drivers, Pressures, State, Impacts, Responses), we analyzed the environmental impacts and their effects on urban hydrosystems (including stagnant waters), and suggest possible solutions from a series of case studies worldwide. We find that rivers in the Global South, with their distinctive geographical and socio-political setting, display significant differences from the Urban Stream Syndrome described so far in temperate zones. We introduce the term of ‘Southern Urban Hydrosystem Syndrome’ for the biophysical problems as well as the social interactions, including the perception of water bodies by the urbanites, the interactions of actors (e.g., top-down, bottom-up), and the motivations that drive urban hydrosystem restoration projects of the Global South. Supported by a synthesis of case studies (with a focus on Brazilian restoration projects), this paper summarizes the state of the art, highlights the currently existing lacunae for research, and delivers examples of practical solutions that may inform UNESCO’s North–South–South dialogue to solve these urgent problems. Two elements appear to be specifically important for the success of restoration projects in the Global South, namely the broad acceptance and commitment of local populations beyond merely ‘ecological’ justifications, e.g., healthy living environments and ecosystems with cultural linkages (‘River Culture’). To make it possible implementable/practical solutions must be extended to (often poor) people having settled along river banks and wetlands.
Keywords: rivers; lakes and wetlands; socio-ecosystem; environmental impacts; restoration; urban sprawl; Southern Urban Hydrosystem Syndrome; River Culture; social connectivity; ecosystem services rivers; lakes and wetlands; socio-ecosystem; environmental impacts; restoration; urban sprawl; Southern Urban Hydrosystem Syndrome; River Culture; social connectivity; ecosystem services
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Karl, W.M.; Mascarenhas, A.C.B.; Diaouma, B.S.; Raita, B.; Martín, B.; Marcos, C.; Yixin, C.; Melanie, K.; Mathias, K.G.; Fernandes, L.M.; Rodrigues, M.D.; Obaidulla, M.; Moana, N.; Elfritzson, P.M.; Vincent, R.; Guillermo, R.-D.; Andres, S.; Anna, S.-L.; Jean-Louis, Y.; Aude, Z.-H. Urban Stream and Wetland Restoration in the Global South—A DPSIR Analysis. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4975.

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