WEQUAL: A Research Project to Support Green Infrastructure
Recently environmental regulations have been growing worldwide, showing a need of biodiversity, health and sustainability. Due to this trend, the ecological role of river stabilization structures has become a priority.
Depending on many complex factors, river engineering solutions can support or hinder the development of ecosystems. Understanding and managing these factors are not necessarily straightforward.
In this context, the WEQUAL research project creates a simple methodology and a user-friendly tool supported by a web-platform. The main purpose is to support designers and technicians in developing solutions that are not only technically effective but also able to enhance ecosystems.
The WEQUAL project, currently under development and funded by the South-Tyrol ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), is proposing a practical tool to assess the current level of environmental quality of rivers and to forecast the long-term status of different design alternatives. The methodology has a quantitative approach and is based on 15 indicators and a large database of river stabilization and restoration solutions.
North American and European case studies where the methodology was applied will be presented. Aspects that distance rivers from their natural condition will be discussed together with possible ways to bridge the gap and support the diffusion of green infrastructures.
1. Understand how river stabilization structures influence ecosystem quality based on North American and European case studies.
2. Use a simple approach to assess the environmental quality of watercourses and understand the features and the advantages of a user-friendly tool that implements this methodology.
3. Learn the use of a web-platform to compare different river stabilization design scenarios and support the decision-making process.
ABOUT THE PRESENTERS
Anna Paris provides technical and marketing support at Maccaferri Canada Ltd. after being part of the technical department in Italy. She has been working on many projects concerning slope reinforcement, erosion control, drainage, flood control and river restoration.
She got her MSc in Environmental and Land Engineering at the University of Trento (Italy) and had been a visiting scientist at CSU in Fort Collins (USA) working on sediment transport and river hydraulics projects.
Nadia Zorzi is an Environmental Engineer working at the Maccaferri Innovation Center in Bolzano, Italy. Currently, Nadia is working on the development of WEQUAL, a research project aimed at creating a web platform for river ecomorphological-quality assessment.
She received a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Trento (Italy), with a thesis surrounding hydraulic modelling, sediment-transport complexity and hazard assessment. Nadia also holds a MSc in Environmental and Land Engineering.
She has been involved in developing decision-support systems and flood control, river engineering and green infrastructure projects. Nadia is also a teaching fellow in the Fluid Mechanics course at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering of the University of Trento.