THE PROBLEM Urban river corridor areas are often subject to damaging use and to increasing pressure from conflicting uses. The main issue is the need to utilise the characteristics of a river and its margins within a city while integrating it into the city's life and preserving its ecological functions. The aim of the thesis is to develop a planning framework to address this issue. Information from various disciplines contribute to the River Corridor Planning Framework. The main areas researched are landscape aesthetics, ecology, recreation styles and public participation in planning. The study of landscape aesthetics reveals universally valued natural landscape features, and in part justifies concern for, and planning action in, river margin areas. The potential for river corridor areas to host significant ecological functions is shown in the ecological study, and brings an additional aspect to the urban planning situation. The significance of provision for informal recreation, the most common type, also influences the Planning Framework. Integral to the Planning Framework is a strong belief in, and justification of, the need to include public participation in all phases of the planning process. The River Corridor Planning Framework developed is applied to part of the Whanganui River in the city of Wanganui, which is in some ways typical of medium sized cities with rivers in New Zealand. It is suggested that the River Corridor Planning Framework may have application in other cities with similar situations.