Water History

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 191–207 | Cite as

Historical flooding of the Pedieos River in Nicosia, Cyprus

  • Katerina Charalambous
  • Adriana Bruggeman
  • Nikolas Bakirtzis
  • Manfred A. Lange
Article

Abstract

Rivers have been the backbone for the development of cities, yet they have also been the cause of destruction and human loss as they often flood the urban environments they cross. The ephemeral Pedieos River has been closely linked with the flourishing of the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, ever since the existence of a settlement in the area during the Archaic period (750–485 BC). However, flooding of the river has been the reason for the city’s inundation on several occasions as records since the 14th century show. This paper examines the historical flooding of urban Nicosia caused by the Pedieos River and the mitigation measures adopted throughout the city’s history. Gaining a historical perspective of Pedieos’ flooding provides valuable lessons with local and regional implications, as the case of Nicosia offers an instructive example for similar phenomena in the Mediterranean basin. Historical records showed prayers and other religious rituals as flood management measures in the 14th century, while technical measures such as stormwater drainage networks and dam construction prevailed in the 20th and 21st century. As flooding issues still persist and become more complex with the rapid development of the city, integrated planning and informed policy implementation that makes good use of the lessons of history can be of critical importance.

Keywords

Flooding Urban environment Ephemeral River Stormwater management Urban planning 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katerina Charalambous
    • 1
  • Adriana Bruggeman
    • 1
  • Nikolas Bakirtzis
    • 2
  • Manfred A. Lange
    • 1
  1. 1.Energy, Environment and Water Research CenterThe Cyprus InstituteNicosiaCyprus
  2. 2.Science and Technology in Archaeology Research CenterThe Cyprus InstituteNicosiaCyprus

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