Water Urbanism- Integrating Urban Wetlands into Urban Landscape for Sustainable Development
Currently, cities across the world account for around 80% of global economy. The obvious result of this exponential growth is the expansion of urban areas to accommodate increasing demographic shift. Owing to the changing lifestyles, most of the urban areas, transition areas and ru-urban fringe areas are witnessing steady increase in the unscientific and unplanned consumption of natural resources (land, water, minerals and vegetation) leading to degradation of the natural environment of the urban areas in turn impacting negatively the wellbeing of the urban communities. Among all the natural resources, urban areas and water share a vital relationship. In this context, the paper discusses the interconnected demand and supply of ecosystem services especially related to water in an urban environment. Further, urban wetlands provide a vital resource to adequately cope with the growing water demands in urban areas. Water supply and waste water as well as storm water management systems are impacted by planning decisions.Hence, integrating wetlands into urban landscape through scientific urban planning is need of the hour for promoting sustained development. In this regard, the urban planners need to closely collaborate and communicate with the hydrologists, policy makers, developers and the local community at large to understand the physical as well as socio-economic systems of the region in order to formulate a comprehensive urban development plan that strongly considers environmental resource -impact relationships.Against this background, the paperdiscusses prominent case study examples that involve innovative strategies and proposes recommendationsat various levels for developing integrated urban and wetland planning for urban areas.