Circular City + Living Systems Lab

June 1, 2020

Liberating Rivers

Niccolò Piacentini, MArch/LArch 2020

Niccolò Piacentini, MArch/LArch 2020


Holistic approaches suggest that a resilient way to manage rivers is by giving them enough room to fulfill their hydrogeomorphological processes. In the Pacific Northwest, a major barrier to the implementation of holistic river management is the agricultural use of floodplains, which is still largely reliant on bank stabilization and channelization to control flooding and erosion. To reconcile these two seemingly opposing demands, it will be necessary to change agricultural methods so that they become compatible with functioning river ecologies. However, these methods will require more testing to determine their economic viability before they can be implemented at a regional scale. This thesis explores using Peri-urban areas, such as the Sammamish River Valley in Washington State, as test sites for agricultural methods compatible with functioning floodplains. The objective of this study is to demonstrate that the ecological demands of floodplains can be compatible with an agriculturally productive landscape.

Thesis Committee

Gundula Proksch
Ken Yocom