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Hedlund, Johanna, 2015. Transforming delta terrains : research and design for a site in a telecoupled river system. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)



In this study, telecoupled and local impacts on flooding in the Paraná River Delta in
Argentina are analysed and described. A sustainable design strategy is then proposed for a
newly developed site in the delta.
Land systems are not only affected by their direct surroundings, but also by
interconnections with distant areas. The accelerating pace of globalisation and new
anthropogenic drivers produce novel relationships between previously disparate
geographical places. This situation can be observed in the lower Paraná River Delta, north
of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Characteric for the delta is it being a heterogeneric area where
a number of different human and natural pressures converge. The drivers behind these
pressures are direct and indirect interactions, couplings, from local and distant places in
the connected river system. Research on upstream and local events reveals changes in the
conditions of the river system. Telecoupled and local impacts are historically major forces
which form and govern the delta processes, but as the impacts are amplified, new challenges
in the form of large environmental transformations are currently emerging in the delta.
Growing urbanisation in the delta makes it clear that the area is increasingly becoming
a part of the urban conurbation of Buenos Aires. Since the expanding delta front is
expected to reach the city, this could result in major challenges in adapting to changes
in flooding and sedimentation. The analysis in this study shows that, in order to manage
the telecoupled and local impacts, the delta needs to function as an open system rather
than as a landscape in isolation. Many current local interventions, such as new private
developments, run counter to this principle. While the traditional human lifestyles were
previously able to coexist with the natural environment and hydrodynamics of the delta,
human and natural processes are today increasingly beginning to collide. This thesis sets out
to explore the possibility of conducting design interventions that are in line with the natural
processes of the delta, as an alternative to the many unsustainable actions that are taking
place in the area at the moment. A recently developed site on one of the most fragile islands
along the delta front, the Colony Park project, serves as a case in point and exemplifies
the transformation from natural wetlands into a closed, private settlement constructed on
embankments. The site has therefore been selected as an area of focus in this study.
The results of this work are the implementation of a research approach based on
interconnectedness, as well as a case study involving a design strategy which relates
the theoretical findings to design practice. It concludes that taking into account
interconnectedness in the physical construction and in new integrated design solutions
has the potential of generating benefits for this problematic, closed site. Creating a more
open system can help to decrease vulnerability in the delta, as well as to support its future

Main title:Transforming delta terrains
Subtitle:research and design for a site in a telecoupled river system
Authors:Hedlund, Johanna
Supervisor:Diedrich, Lisa and Janches, Flavio and Olsson, Henrik
Examiner:Kylin, Maria and Sepulveda, Diego
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2015
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LY002 Landscape Architecture Programme, Alnarp 300 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)
Keywords:delta, telecoupling, river system, Paraná Delta, land systems, transformation, delta design, indirect impacts, flooding SLU, Swedish University
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Landscape architecture
Deposited On:03 May 2016 10:06
Metadata Last Modified:03 May 2016 10:06

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