An urban watershed regeneration project: The Costa/Couros river case study

  • Paulo J. Ramísio
Conference paper
Part of the Alliance for Global Sustainability Bookseries book series (AGSB, volume 19)


During the last decades, the City of Guimarães was subject to heavy anthropogenic pressure due to increasing urban and industrial occupation, giving rise to the visible deterioration of existing buildings and the environmental degradation of the Costa/Couros River.

Beside project Campurbis, a urban regeneration project with strategic investment in knowledge, technology and innovation, supporting “Guimarães, European Capital of Culture 2012”, a specific project is promoting the revitalization and regeneration of the Costa/Couros river as an enhancement and an essential complement to this plan of urban intervention.

This river has been part of the population’s life and a vital element for the development of the former leather industry. Through several decades this river has been subjected to severe pressure from the leather industry that, associated with high urban growth, led to high level of pollution and contamination in the river and the need to control the effects of floods that frequently affect the historic center of Guimarães.

The rehabilitation of water resources in urban environments has an added complexity not only because the multidisciplinary approaches needed but also due to the strong history constraints, the lack of space for the implementation of structural measures and the high value of the available land.

A field survey was realized in order to understand and detail the river characteristics and related infrastructures. Based on these elements, the following objectives where defined for this study: Minimizing the flooding of the urban center; Mitigation of the effects of artificiality conduit of various reaches of the river; Stabilization of the banks with risk of erosion; Creation of recreational areas; Elimination of point source pollution and control of diffuse pollution.

This paper presents the main tasks associated with the characterization and diagnosis of the existing infrastructures in the Costa/Couros river, and the preliminary results of the hydrological and hydrodynamic studies.


Army Corps Urban Runoff Leather Industry Urban Watershed Hydrologic Engineer 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil Engineering DepartmentUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.BragaPortugal

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