‘Daylighting’- the new trend transforming cities

Towns in Europe, Asia and Australasia are breaking open culverts to reveal hidden urban rivers. Image: REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

Waterways were once the beating hearts of our cities.

They bore the boats laden with the goods, tradesmen and settlers that transformed inlets and backwaters into hubs of humanity.

However, all that changed 200 years ago with the advent of the industrial revolution: as cities became crowded, rivers were polluted with human and industrial waste, becoming sources of disease; at the same time the development of the railways meant waterways were no longer the essential mode of transport they once were.

The result was that all across the world cities covered over their rivers, forcing them into culverts or tunnels below the metropolis.

Today, waterways across the world are fighting back.

Seeing daylight

In a trend known as “daylighting”, towns in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia are breaking open culverts to reveal the hidden rivers that have always been at their heart.

The two most active cities by far have been London and Zurich. As a result, despite being famous for the River Thames, dozens of London’s rivers were covered over or converted into sewers […]

More about rivers, innovation, and valuation:

WWF Report Explores Rivers’ Less Valued Benefits

Rivers cover lots more of the Earth than we thought

Could water utilities transform the way the electric sector did?

California Court Finds Public Trust Doctrine Applies to State Groundwater Resources

I Am Water – Penelope Cruz

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‘Daylighting’- the new trend transforming cities
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‘Daylighting’- the new trend transforming cities
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In a trend known as daylighting, towns in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia are breaking open culverts to reveal the hidden rivers at their heart.
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World Economic Forum
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