A framework for effective urban stream corridor management : a case study of Pietermaritzburg. Component A.
De Lange, Marthinus Arnoldus.
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Not only does urbanisation have a negative impact on the establishment of natural open space areas but also has serious implications for urban stream corridors (USCs), the focus of this study. For the purpose of this study USCs are defined as the aquatic, the riparian and the terrestrial zone. The principle objective of this study is to develop a set of policies, based on international and local experiences (Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Open Space System) to guide municipalities in implementing effective USC management practices. The literature review lead to the identification of both the value of USCs and the threats thereto. The value of USCs includes habitat and biodiversity, purification, amenity, cultural, recreational and eductional valueas well as flood attenuation value. Conversely, threats to USCs include the impacts of urbanisation on stream hydrology, erosion, decline in water quality, loss of natural open space (NOS), alien infestation, littering and unnatural fence barriers. Urban stream corridor management is subject to specific legislation, municipal capacity and importantly, public involvement, which were also evaluated. This process lee;td to the establishment of a conceptual framework containing the critical considerations associated with USC management such as the value of USCs for nature and man, the need for public involvement, effective implementation structures supported by implementation policies and the integration of use management in urban planning. Key to the success of USC management is public involvement. As a consequence, the methodology included a survey to be undertaken with 40 urban riparian households along two streams in Pietermaritzburg to establish their opinion regarding natural open spaces (NOSs) and USC management. A reconnaissance survey of two streams was undertaken to inform the questionnaire and later debate on the issue. The results from this exercise together with the findings of the interviews with stakeholders in the USC management process will form the basis for the establishment of an USC management policy, which will be contained in a separate report (Component B).