Flood risk mitigation: from engineering to ecosystem-based measures : The benevento case study

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In the last two decades Europe has faced a strong increase of flooding events. Out of 325 flood events recorded from 1980 to 2012, indeed, more than 200 occurred in the 2000s (EEA, 2012). Among all natural hazards, more than 64% of the damages are due to hydro-meteorological events, namely to floods and landslides, with costs higher than 13 billion euros since 2000 (EEA, 2013a). If on the one hand the increase of heavy downpours can be ascribed to climate change, on the other hand the amount of damage has to be imputed to the significant, and sometimes uncontrolled, urbanization processes (EEA, 2017). Therefore, both of these matters have to be addressed in order to prevent future flood disasters. Climate change, intended as “a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period”, is caused by “internal processes” or by “persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use” (IPCC, 2001). The subversion of natural patterns has led not only to the increase of the sea level and of the mean temperatures but also to “changes in the frequency and magnitude of heavy precipitations” (EEA, 2017) that are expected to become even more frequent over the 21st century. Meanwhile, the population’s strong migration toward cities has enhanced the growth of urban areas with the consequent processes of land take and soil sealing (EC, 2012). In Europe, since the 1950s, the amount of impervious surfaces has registered an increase equal to 78%, with an increase of only 33% of the population (EC, 2012)
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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