During my stay in the Netherlands, I encountered an extremely interesting water project, Room for the river, which at first glance, seemed a philanthropic project executed by the Dutch government for the enjoyment of nature. Digging deeper, the project was driven by a powerful economical incentive- safety from flooding, in addition to public green space.
the river was given more room to be able to manage higher water levels. At more than 30 locations, measures were taken that give the river space to flood safely. Moreover, the measures were designed in such a way that they improve the quality of the immediate surroundings. the result was safer and more attractive river landscapes.
In the context of developing countries that cannot afford the creation of green spaces just for the sake of recreation and wellbeing, the project was a powerful lesson of ecological economy and how to incentivize the creation of public green space by coupling different roles of water landscapes; so they deliver functional services while becoming civic green spaces.
Similar approach could be used for example to restore canalized rivers of the lebanese coastal river system, while coupling river restoration with water reclamation and harvesting. More on that later.