Peter Nause is one of Madison's most creative landscape architects. He's noted for gardens incorporating natural elements, including natural stone. He tells me there's a movement afoot to keep streams uncovered, and to create watershed parks.
Peter has been working to promote "watershed parks in city parks or the kind of neglected city open spaces this current debate is focusing on. There are lots of precedents for the idea of a watershed park. Here's a link to one excellent example--an environmental artist's work." http://lornajordan.com/artist.asp?ArtistID=20609&AKey=2C782FMS
"Her Waterworks Garden received a lot of attention in my profession. Her garden combines aesthetics, open space preservation, environmental preservation, and new stormwater thinking."
In Seattle, they restored a stream with natural curves and vegetation, and used it to treat runoff from a nearby freeway. http://www.svrdesign.com/tcwqc.html
Also in Seattle, they just finished a public "charette," where children had a chance to be urban stream designers. Link for a slide show: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34170419@N07/sets/72157621598393814/show/
On the photo sharing site flickr, there is a group devoted to urban streams: "There are many ways that we have decided to address waterways in the urban fabric throughout the world, from simply burying them in culverts and pipes, to using them as open sewers, to celebrating and revering water as a source of life and beauty. This group is for us to examine the range of treatments, and perhaps inspire us to imagine new possibilities." http://www.flickr.com/groups/urbanstreams/