Establishing Dynamic Equilibrium in an Urban Stream
Lucas, W. Drew
Ferguson, Bruce K.
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Channelization of urban streams has reduced infiltration and riparian habitat, increased flooding and isolated urban residents from natural processes. One possible way to restore environmental integrity of channeled streams is to re-establish dynamic equilibrium, where outflows of sediment and water are equal to those entering upstream. This paper describes a design methodology to guide reestablishment of dynamic equilibrium in channelized urban streams. In a hypothetical landscape design, dynamic equilibrium is reestablished for a prominent Atlanta channeled urban stream. Three main aspects of dynamic equilibrium were considered in the design: 1) fluvial geomorphology, 2) riparian habitat and 3) human use of the stream. This paper affirms that the principle of dynamic equilibrium can be used as a guide for establishing urban channel forms and associated riparian habitat zones. Human use and site specific exigencies can be integrated into the stream with restored form and function through landscape design.