Towards a Method of Participatory Planning in an Emerging Metropolitan Delta in the Context of Climate Change – new PhD thesis

Urbanizing deltas are subjected to pressures related to urban growth and climate change, within a context of uncertainty and unpredictability. Those pressures interact at multiple scales and temporalities, affecting the components of the systems, as well as the relations between them and with the environment. This complexity reveals the need for the society (including governments, institutions, civil organizations, academia, etc.) to enhance the adaptability of the system of the delta, in order to cope with changes without losing their substantial characteristics. The PhD thesis of Verónica Zagare is focused on the study of the complexity of self-organizing processes that emerge in metropolitan areas located in (or near) delta territories, in order to link climate adaptation with urban development from an actor-oriented perspective.

2018.10.17 Zagare.200The Parana River is the third largest river in the American continent, after the Mississippi and the Amazon. Instead of flowing directly to the sea, it flows to the Rio de la Plata (located between Argentina and Uruguay) through a complex delta system. This delta is a large and heterogeneous territory that spreads over three provinces of Argentina and that is characterized by different dichotomies along its extension. On the one hand, the islands of the delta are young alluvial lands in constant transformation due to the processes of sedimentation, and are subjected to pulses of floods influenced by the Paraná River streamflow, droughts, precipitations and strong southeastern winds coming from the Atlantic Ocean. Although these alluvial territories seem to be pristine, they have been moderately altered as a result of the development of economic activities. On the other hand, along the edges of the delta, we find the older territories of the mainland, created in the Pleistocene and less dynamic. Here is a network of cities of dissimilar sizes, that establishes the wealthiest corridor of the country. This delta shows a contrast between the wild and dynamic condition of the islands and the more stable but strongly urbanized edges. There are oppositions regarding economic, policy and social realms, expressed through a polarized, unsustainable and unplanned land use, which turns the area into a vulnerable place, given the uncertain context of climate change.


acrobat icon Towards a Method of Participatory Planning in an Emerging Metropolitan Delta in the
     Context of  Climate Change – The Case of Lower Paraná Delta, Argentina