Summary: Over the last three decades, the River Guadalquivir within the urban district of Cordoba has improved both in ecological value as well as its image and how the local people view the river. During the 20th Century the river was used basically as a sewer, especially for urban and olive-oil industrial wastes. It took a long time before natural restoration efforts started to be effective. In the 90s, birds such as the Purple gallinule and various species of herons were the most important flagship species. An important recuperation of water quality and riparian galleries was accompanied by increases in bird speciesdiversity and the recent recovery of the otter. This paper summarizes the most important events which have defined the river since the early 80s albeitwith different outcomes: the set up of the water treatment plant in 1991, food availability from unnatural sources such as solid waste, and major urban planning schemes in the 90s and during the first decade of the 21st Century. Nature conservation efforts culminated in the designation of the “Sotos de la Albolafia” as a Natural Monument. Finally it is argued that the local community is increasingly involved in the process-making of the river’s uses.

(Diego Peinazo Amo)