The International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD) is delighted to announce the publication of their latest study, The Connecticut River Basin: Integrating Water Quality Improvements with Regional Land Use Plans. Published in October 2011, this detailed case study builds on the ICLRD’s recent report on river basin management and its (inter)relationship with spatial planning policy and practice. This U.S. case study demonstrates how one watershed applied both regulatory and non-regulatory measures to integrate water quality improvements with regional land-use plans. It argues that regional partnerships and, in particular collaboration with civic society, is instrumental to managing river basins that span multiple jurisdictions. It notes that while Directives and legislation are important in setting the regulatory parameters, individual river basins need champions to drive regional partnerships that bring together officials, politicians, civil society, recreational users, environmental organisations, land owners and the private sector to improve water quality and enhance opportunities for (re)connecting with the river through recreational uses. This combination of regional partnerships and persistent leadership can sustain integrated watershed planning in the face of changing political and funding priorities.
This U.S. case study builds on the overview provided on the Connecticut river Watershed in ICLRD’s larger study, Responding to the Environmental Challenge? Spatial Planning, Cross-Border Cooperation and River Basin Management. Published in September 2011, this report recognises that environmental assets do not adhere to man-made boundaries and considers the challenges and opportunities in integrating environmental management and development strategies at national, regional and local-policy level. It builds on the recognition that the environment is increasingly lying at the heart of European thinking; with the need to protect and conserve the environment referenced in numerous Directives, not least the Water Framework Directive (WFD). For cross-border communities, this necessitates a commitment to cross-sectoral, cross-departmental and inter-jurisdictional collaboration as many of these assets transcend the Irish border.