Dealing with Fluvial Dynamics: A Long-Term, Interdisciplinary Study of Vienna and the Danube
Which insights can be gained from a long-term study for river management today? Vienna’s layout and city budget are still influenced by interventions undertaken in the 19th century or even earlier. This introduction to a thematic issue on the Viennese Danube’s environmental history from 1500 to 1890 offers a short overview of important events in Vienna’s and the Danube’s intertwined histories as well as an overview of the study’s conceptual basis and summarizes the main results, ranging from method development and floodplain evolution reconstruction to the histories of settlement, sewage and regulation. Today, Vienna is a city with almost 2 million inhabitants, the capital of a small, landlocked country. Since the great regulation of the 1870s, the Danube river has flowed straight through it. A second, parallel river bed was designed in the 1970s to build a retention basin big enough to cope even with major floods. The path leading to this arrangement was both long and winding. To understand the complex interaction between urbanites and the river, one must look beyond the water-filled channel and take the entire floodplain into account. To do this, our interdisciplinary group of researchers synthesized results from river morphology and history into a long-term perspective.
Winiwarter, Verena; Schmid, Martin; Dressel, Gert; and Arnold, Ellen, "Dealing with Fluvial Dynamics: A Long-Term, Interdisciplinary Study of Vienna and the Danube" (2013). History Faculty Work. 1.
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