On October 26th and 27th, 2023, at the GHAJN National Water Conservation Centre in Rabat, Malta, a GREEN LAB was held, organized by the Energy Water Agency – EWA of Malta, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A) of the University of Catania.
The GREEN LAB is part of the activities of the GIFLUID Project (Green Infrastructures to mitigate FLood risks in Urban and sub-urban areas and to Improve the quality of rainwater Discharges), included in the INTERREG VA Italy-Malta Program 2014-2020. The Di3A of the University of Catania leads the GIFLUID project, with the collaboration of various partners, including the Energy Water Agency of Malta, the Regional Technical Department of the Sicilian Region, the Rabat Local Council of Malta, and the municipality of Aci Castello. The main goal of the project is to promote sustainable strategies for managing rainwater in urban and suburban areas. This is achieved through the use of nature-based solutions, such as green roofs, rain gardens, and permeable pavements.
The purpose of the GREEN LAB was to create a meeting point for technicians and professionals from the cross-border territories of Malta and Sicily. This included representatives from the Energy and Water Agency, the University of Catania, the University of Malta, the American University of Beirut, Nature Trust Malta, among others. The goal was to identify shared strategies for managing runoff in urban and suburban areas using nature-inspired solutions. Particular attention was paid to specific urban areas of Malta and the metropolitan area of Catania.
During the event, various experts presented their research and shared their expertise. On the first day, Julian Mamo from the University of Malta discussed the main features of urban green infrastructures. Feliciana Licciardello and Liviana Sciuto, both from the University of Catania, explored the hydrological invariance of green infrastructures and the modeling of flood risks in the metropolitan area of Catania. Aaron Cutajar from EWA showcased the innovative design of the green roof, which includes sensors and integrations with photovoltaic panels, built at the GHAJN National Water Conservation Centre. Marzio Melis and Angela Ingegnio, also from EWA, explained how these infrastructures can be integrated into flood risk modeling, using the Rabat area in Malta as an example. Finally, Giuseppe Cirelli from the University of Catania and Annibale Sicurella from the LaborArch studio presented the design and construction phases of a green roof at the Di3A, highlighting the different technologies used. On the second day, Amanda Zahra from EWA introduced the social role of the GHAJN Centre. Yaser Abunassr from the American University of Beirut discussed the integration of urban green infrastructures in urban development planning. Francesco Martinico from the University of Catania discussed urban planning to mitigate hydraulic risks. Lastly, Nicholas Ellul from the Energy Water Agency and Jonathan Spiteri from the University of Malta explored the concept of CBA applied to urban green infrastructures.
This event was an important opportunity for exchange and sharing of knowledge among experts in the field, with the aim of promoting sustainable and innovative solutions for urban areas.
At the GREEN LAB held in Malta, a total of 50 researchers and professionals from Italy and Malta participated. Specifically, 9 researchers and professors from the Di3A of the University of Catania were present. Additionally, 12 young professionals or recent graduates, including engineers, architects, and agronomists, all under 35, were selected by the Di3A through a public tender to participate in the event.
Before departure, a technical meeting was organized to introduce the Italian participants of the GREEN LAB to the green roof built at the Bioscientific Hub in Via Santa Sofia, funded by the GIFLUID project.
During the event, participants were offered the opportunity to visit the green roof of the Għajn National Water Conservation Centre in Rabat, Malta, one of the green infrastructures built as part of the GIFLUID project.
We also invite you to browse the photo gallery related to the event.