• hydroecology;
  • river habitat survey;
  • river management;
  • urban rivers


Few habitat survey, classification or assessment methodologies have been developed specifically for urban or heavily engineered rivers, and yet these rivers need careful assessment if management options are to be considered and prioritised in an economically and environmentally effective way. This paper presents a refinement of a previously proposed urban river survey (URS), which is a modification of the Environment Agency's River Habitat Survey. It then describes indices and classifications that have been developed from URS data and that provide a link between the type of engineering applied to a stretch of urban river and its habitat characteristics. Finally, some simple decision trees and scenario-modelling tools are presented that allow (i) newly surveyed urban stretches to be classified and (ii) some simple scenarios of channel management change to be assessed in order to prioritise management options for stretches of urban river across urban catchments.