Los Angeles on Greening Urban Riverbanks

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Los Angeles and Rotterdam Join Forces on Greening Urban Riverbanks

The meeting followed up on an earlier workshop in 2013 when US and Dutch experts engaged on Dutch innovative projects as 'Room for the river' and 'Building with nature'.

During this year's visit the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti and the mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, signed a River agreement to continue the cooperation on greening their rivers, the LA river in Los Angeles and the Rotte in Rotterdam.

Floodable river forelands

Chief resilience officer Arnoud Molenaar of Rotterdam explaines that both cities face a similar challenge with their urban rivers. "We exchanged experiences with best practices in river restoration. Both cities are involved in projects greening their riverbanks by combining flood control and urban development."

According to Molenaar the workshop concentrated on projects that slow down the flow of the river and restore the river's natural capacity for flood control.

"We talked about floodable forelands in the river, using recycled materials such as mulch and wood. This has several advantages. It not only slows down the river flow, but also restores the river's natural habitat and improves the water quality".

In a densly populated urban environment with many stakeholders this is a big challeng, Molenaar assures. "That makes it interesting for us to exchange our experiences, as was agreed by both mayors."

Capture storm water

The LA officials have become more interested in river restoration because of the serious drought in Southern California. Bone-dry periods raised the awareness for better collection of storm water.

Last month the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) presented an interim Storm Water Capture Master Plan, as was explained by its Senior assistant general manager Marty Adams (on top photo) during the workshop.

The plan is to contribute to the city's goal to reduce the amount of imported water by half over the next 10 years.

Source: Dutch Water Sector

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