The river as a mediator – the recovery of urban rivers to create new spaces for mediation and intercultural dialogue

“At a basic level, water is an essential part of the human experience. Most of the time, cities are founded where there are rivers. Water and rivers are an important metaphor for describing, recording and celebrating historical and personal narratives. The title of this article is inspired by a persian fairy tale, in which a passionate princess, who needed to know that the man she had fallen in love with was true, spoke to the river and listened to it. The water, symbolized by the river , it is the bearer of life and a connection between people. And yet, in many cities small urban rivers are seen as a problem, something sealed and ignored. Cities rediscovered the importance of the main rivers, but the small tributaries, the streams and streams are covered, deflected or hidden. However, it doesn’t take much to change the focus. Riverside public spaces offer a natural and neutral meeting place for all members of the community, where more the river acts as a physical and metaphorical mediator. Unknown and little-loved spaces can become part of the city’s infrastructure. And more importantly, the inhabitants of the city gain a meeting space that thus becomes known and loved”.

Keywords: Urbanism, river, intercultural, construction of place.

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Paul Chapman