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Due to the increasing demand for its water resources, the changes in land use and the fast urban sprawl, the river Tinto became the mass of surface water of the river Douro´s watershed with lower physicochemical and biological quality. Taking into account its scale and urban context, the severity of the pollution level and the periodic flooding problem, became urgent to accomplish priority solutions for its riverside landscape, based on natural recovery principles and flood protection.

The purpose of this paper is to stress the contribution of the integrated approach of landscape design in the improvement of the life quality and safety assurance of the local population, taking into account information and proposals from previous projects, plans and programmes, bioengineering technical knowledge and the national legal mechanisms related to water resources management. It was intended to rehabilitate a stretch of the river Tinto with the creation of a riverside urban park – Meiral Park. This project’s aim was to extend and qualify the public space, ensuring the river resilience and enhancing the hydraulic connectivity of its ecosystems and the multiple functionality of the place, through the integration of different uses – production, protection and recreation.

With this project, it became obvious that landscape planners can take a more active and valid role in the management of water resources, through a multidisciplinary and intersectoral collaboration exercise. Indeed, it is believed that in the current political and economic context, incorporated into the guidelines of the Water Framework Directive, landscape design will gain a new dimension in the sustainable management of water resources.



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