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UBC Theses and Dissertations

People and water : a resource book for applying community-based watershed management to informal settlements Harstone, Michael D. A.

Abstract

The already rapid pace of urbanization in developing countries is exacerbated in informal settlements. These unplanned areas typically have twice the growth rates o f the city region and account for the majority of organic pollutants within Third World Cities. Conditions in and around these areas are deteriorating and alarmingly unhealthy: Many observers cite these areas as the most polluted and disease ridden habitats on the planet. Planners and urban managers are struggling with finding new ways to cope with these unregulated areas, as traditional urban management approaches have failed. One of the most recent arrivals is community-based watershed management (CBWM). Unfortunately, there is little guidance from the developmental field on how CBWM can be applied; the information that is available is inconsistent as there is wide disagreement in practice for the scope and nature of its activities. This thesis provides decision-makers, urban managers, planners and international agencies with ideas and resources for applying CBWM strategies to the urban environment and informal settlements. Integrating information from participatory development, integrated watershed management, and urban environmental management, this thesis has taken the form of a Resource Book to better illustrate a process, and associated principles, methods, and tools for CBWM. Beginning with an overview of the challenges and opportunities for CBWM, this document continues by developing a municipal planning framework that identifies the main concepts and potential activities for CBWM and organizes them in a logical format. This framework is supplemented with a menu (or toolbox) of specific strategies available to carryout CBWM according to the institutional, social, and environmental systems. The final section of this document concludes with three appendices which provide users with additional resources and reference points to more specific information. This Resource Book is based on meta-research: drawing from the documented experiences of other researchers and collating the information into a useful and comprehensive format. While it attempts to reach as wide an audience as possible, its current format is perhaps most appropriately targeted at the professional level. It is, therefore, considered a first step (or one component) towards a community-level resource book that is more applicable to all stakeholders.

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