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    Urban River Restoration 2010

    March 7 – 10, 2010
    Boston Marriott Cambridge
    Boston, Massachusetts, USA

    Technical Program

    Please visit the links below for the most up to date technical session information.

    Joint Opening General Session

    Monday, March 8 | 8:30 am – 11:45 am

    This combined session will unite the attendees from both conferences in an exciting and informative start to these two new WEF conferences. Attendees will have the opportunity to listen to industry experts address Cities of the Future, water integration, landscape architecture and climate change. Following the keynote addresses the speakers will join an interactive panel composed of public agency, utility, and government agency representatives.

    Keynote Speakers:

    • Paul Brown, AICP, Executive Vice President, Global Market Development, KIOTOMY
      Technical Director, Neysadurai Centre for Integrated Water Resources and Urban Planning, Singapore
    • Michael Van Valkenburgh, Principal, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.
      Charles Eliot Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design
      Lead Principal, Lower Don Lands Urban Design Plan and Don River Park, Toronto 

    Conference Workshops
    This year in Boston, we are very pleased to be hosting six pre-conference workshops and one tour.


    Workshop A (URR) – A Changing Community Climate for Dam Removal
    Sunday, March 7, 2010 | 8:30am – 12:00pm

    Urban rivers shoulder an enormous burden. These streams, the backbone on which our nation was built, flow through our communities often ignored or seen as an impediment to overcome. However, in this day and age as government and municipal officials face increasing pressure to trim budgets, grow the local economy and create a community where people want to live, urban rivers are once again being seen as a vital key to our nation’s future. Deteriorating and obsolete dams are plaguing many urban streams, impacting the health and quality of the river, and creating a financial hardship for communities liable for dam safety and repair. This interactive workshop focuses on motivating and giving attendees the right tools to address dam removal as an economic and environmental solution for their urban river. Speakers will lay out the economic and ecological case for dam removal. Case studies will explain how dam removal can reduce a city’s liability, control localized flooding and improve water quality, all while using the restored river to attract new business and improve recreational opportunities. This workshop will provide participants with the tools to take a project from start to finish, including funding considerations and working with public. Open discussion sessions with public officials and planners who have completed such projects will allow participants the opportunity to interact with their peers who have faced these very same issues.

    Workshop B (COTF) – Concepts and Designs of Water/Used Water Management in Ecocities To Reach One Planet Living Criteria
    Sunday, March 7, 2010 | 8:30am – 12:00pm

    The concepts of the new paradigm of sustainable water centric ecocities have been emerging for the last fifteen years. This paradigm is based on the premise that urban waters are the lifeline of cities and the focus of the movement towards more sustainable cities. Water centric sustainable urban developments recognize the ecological value of surface water resources. An ecocity is a city or a part thereof that balances social, economic and environmental factors (triple bottom line) to achieve sustainable development. A water centric ecocity will combine and protect the hydrological and ecological value of the urban landscape with the sustainable development. This workshop will define the ecocities and differentiate them from other urban planning and development concepts such as water‐centric development (e.g., San Antonio); low impact developments (e.g., Seattle); or cities with linear used water management, reclaiming and reusing their used water (Orange County, CA or Singapore). This will be done by presenting case studies ecocity case studies, including Hammarby Sjöstad in Sweden, Tianjin and Qingdao in China, Sonoma Valley and Treasure Island in the USA, Masdar in United Arab Emirates and possibly others. The program will also include presentation or technologies and methods of integrated methods of water conservation, reclamation and reuse considering combined black and gray used water linear and partially closed potable and used water systems as well as considering dual reuse loops. The water/used water management can be regionally integrated or distributed. Distributed integrated resource management (IRM) systems are advantageous when water as well as energy is recovered for reuse by the ecocity (or ecovillage). The concept of cluster or ecoblock for IRM will be introduced and highlighted and also their integration in a community wide management that would be resilient against failure and extreme events. The workshop will also briefly cover energy recovery from water and used water and renewable energy sources in order to achieve zero net carbon (GHG) emissions to meet the OPL criteria.

    Workshop C (COTF & URR) - Chelsea Creek Restoration: Collaboration and Community Buliding
    Sunday, March 7, 2010 | 8:30am – 12:00pm

    This workshop will bring together a unique group of collaborators to describe the process of creating a plan for the restoration of a small urban creek and a densely developed urban neighborhood. The Chelsea Creek is an extremely degraded waterbody in the midst of one of the Boston area’s poorest communities. Yet several community groups, with the help of the Charles River and Mystic River Watershed Associations (CRWA and MyRWA), have worked together to create a vision and build support for implementing a restoration plan that will improve water quality, increase public access to the river, and improve the neighborhood quality of life. This workshop will include presentations from each of the four groups participating in the Chelsea Creek Restoration Project. The presenters will discuss their experiences working together in addition to providing the Action Plan. Audience Feedback and discussion will be sought to strengthen the process as it moves forward.

    Workshop D (URR) – The Design Charette: Finding Integrative Solutions in Multiple Stakeholder Environments
    Sunday, March 7, 2010 | 1:30pm – 5:00pm

    Urban rivers and waterfronts are often complex environments with multiple stakeholders, differing agendas, and entrenched problems. The design charette is a structured way to bring together multiple, diverse participants into a discussion that defines objectives, structures a discussion, and allows differing groups and experiences to have an influence on the design of a solution. In this workshop, participants will be given an orientation to the use of the charette, and provided with background materials on several real‐world sites with challenging constraints and significant opportunities. A series of charettes will be conducted to explore site opportunities, making use of the diversity of technical skills and perspectives represented. Break‐out groups will collect at the conclusion of the workshop to compare findings and post‐audit the effectiveness of the charette process.

    Workshop E (COTF) – Masdar City – Catalyst for Change
    Sunday, March 7, 2010 | 1:30pm – 5:00pm

    Masdar Initiative and Masdar City are significant investments by the UAE Leadership to change from a fossil fueled based City Planning approach to a 100% driven renewable energy strategy that also includes zero net carbon emissions and wastes to landfills, while supply a high quality of life experience for residents. The City has been under construction since July 2008 and is designed to be built over 6 development phases in 8 years. This phased development approach allows the City to create a “living laboratory” function and for the world to bring innovations and technologies to help meet the City’s Story. This workshop will show how a green field City can be built to “One Planet Living” standards that incorporate integration between all City Services, Utilities, and Quality of Life needs in one of the most hostile natural environments in the world. This City is planned, designed, and constructed using sustainability triple bottom line strategies, specifications, and policies. All the above targeted groups will get their questions answered by experienced innovators and Masdar Staff. This workshop will require audience participation in a “class room” assignment completed by small working groups and led by a Masdar related person. The assignment will tie the technology social, and economic innovations needed to meet gaps seen in the current Masdar Vision by using simple triple bottom line assessment tools and decision strategies. This assignment will give planners, owners, engineers, and developers insights on how to cost effectively meet sustainability and climate change goals when looking at budget constraints.

    Workshop F (COTF & URR) – Great Green Towns and Cities: How to Fund Urban Restoration and Future Growth
    Sunday, March 7, 2010 | 1:30pm – 5:00pm

    One of the greatest impediments to the integration of green approaches into infrastructure is the lack of knowledge on the opportunities and benefits and the mechanisms that can be used for funding and support. Federal and state programs are accessible and can be integrated into Green Infrastructure programs with the right leveraging. This workshop will highlight the essentials in creating political leadership, staff support, and public and private sector partnerships. This half day workshop will introduce participants to the development of a Great Green Towns approach to help communities meet their 21st Century infrastructure, jobs, and community development needs, while providing for improved stormwater management and environmental protection. This approach is based on the development of watershed approaches that utilize Green Highways, Green Streets, and Green Infrastructure design concepts and applications Participants will gain information on new and valuable resources and programs for greening their towns and cities. The session will provide an in‐depth overview of the potential for this emerging and tested approach to the funding, planning, design, permitting, and construction of green transportation projects. The foundations and resources that are presented in this workshop will help planners, landscape architects, water quality and wastewater professionals, engineers, consultants, and government officials find solutions to increasingly complex regulatory and fiscal challenges. Case studies will be used to illustrate the success of these new and innovative efforts. The participants will learn how to use decentralized stormwater programs and approaches to create integrated watershed based holistic approaches for developing total water management programs.

    Tour (COTF & URR) – LEED Platinum Buildings in Boston
    Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | 1:30pm – 5:00pm

    This tour will visit two highly rated LEED buildings in the Cambridge area. In 2006, the Blackstone Building Office Renovation Project at Harvard University achieved platinum-level certification. 46 Blackstone Street in Cambridge houses Harvard’s University Operations Services, and symbolizes the University’s commitment to sustainability and improving the environment. In 2003, the Genzyme Center opened in Cambridge. The Center is a 12-story, 350,000-square-foot office building that combines innovative design and cutting-edge technology to create an exciting, healthy, and productive workplace. The building is an anchor of an urban revitalization and an example of an environmentally responsible office building.