The influence of rainwater drainage related to legislation in the configuration of the urban landscape in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Teixeira, Maria Cristina and Costa, Stäel and Andrade, Elisabete and Lopes, Giovanna and Ferreira, Rogério and Teixeira, Henrique and Costa, Aline and Maciel, Laiza; (2022) The influence of rainwater drainage related to legislation in the configuration of the urban landscape in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 1558-1566. ISBN 9781914241161

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Master plans and land use, occupation and subdivision laws are some of the main instruments responsible for shaping and directing urban development. In relation to this, legislation has a fundamental role in consolidating effective rainwater drainage strategies, such as the establishment of minimum permeability rates, environmental protection zones and tax incentives over the installation of compensatory storage and drainage systems. In the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the expansion of urban occupation has taken place inappropriately with regards to the existing hydric resources, with little consideration for natural water courses and reflecting developmentalist and unsustainable thinking, which has resulted in the occupation of the river sides and the rectification of water courses in a counterproductive manner. In addition, the city has been late in addressing the issues and legislation regarding rainwater management. This has led to a series of problems in dealing with urban drainage, resulting in recurring and damaging floods throughout the periods of high rainfall over the hydrographic basin of the River Arrudas, and at the expense of extensive social, economic and structural damage to the city. This paper seeks, through a critical review and analysis of the evolution of the municipal urban drainage laws from 1930 to the present, to evaluate the applicability of urban planning instruments adopted in the central area of the city and their effectiveness as mechanisms of landscape transformation and environmental improvement.

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