Volume XVI |

The impact of the urban expansion on the Jiu floodplain. Case study –Craiova, Romania

Abstract: The urban expansion of any settlement implies changing natural environment and gradually transforming it into an anthropogenic one to assure the needs of the community. A first step in urban planning is to identify the changes that have been made, and this study reconstructs the anthropogenic changes induced to the Jiu floodplain in the last 150 years, through multi-temporal spatial comparisons, geomorphological characteristics and anthropological and environmental transformation indicators. The processing of historical cartographic materials and current satellite imagery highlights the dynamics of the wetlands and the built-up area in the Jiu floodplain between 1864 and 2017. The urban expansion required flood protection works that were carried out along the canals and lakes resulting from the drainage of the ponds and marshlands. On the course of the Jiu hydro-technical works of straightening, embankment and regularization were achieved, which led to the transformation of the course from a highly meandered one as it was in the second half of the 19th century into a sinuous one in 2017. The study is a useful tool in urban planning, by centralizing the changes in the floodplain, the anthropogenic works carried out and the changes of the Jiu course within the analyzed sector.