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Geomorphological Landscape Research and Flood Management in a Heavily Modified Tyrrhenian Catchment

Piana, Pietro; Faccini, Francesco; Luino, Fabio; Paliaga, Guido; Sacchini, Alessandro; Watkins, Charles

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Pietro Piana

Francesco Faccini

Fabio Luino

Guido Paliaga

Alessandro Sacchini


Since the nineteenth century, most urban catchments in Europe have been subject to significant landscape variations. These modifications have been caused by population change and the transition through rural, industrial and post-industrial economies. Land use and rainfall regime changes, together with land use variations, are frequently associated with flood hazard increase. This paper examines geomorphological landscape changes from the nineteenth century to the present day in the Bisagno Valley, Genoa metropolitan area. The Valley is internationally known for its recurring floods: the last events with fatalities occurred in 2011 and 2014. The extent of landscape change and the history of floods were examined by combining scientific data and information from historical maps, written accounts, topographical drawings and photographs. Historical–geographical and geomorphological analyses were used to reconstruct the runoff for three different periods since 1850. Our results demonstrate that geomorphological landscape variations, including modifications of the river bed, and the abandonment of the countryside and terraces are not sustainable and have progressively allowed an increase in flooding, making it necessary to implement sustainable management policies. In particular, specific spatial urban planning and management measures are necessary in order to mitigate flood hazard and vulnerability.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 21, 2019
Online Publication Date Aug 23, 2019
Publication Date Sep 1, 2019
Deposit Date Sep 26, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 26, 2019
Journal Sustainability
Electronic ISSN 2071-1050
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 17
Article Number 4594
Keywords Geomorphological landscape; Land use change; Runoff; Sustainable landscape planning; Tyrrhenian catchment
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