The seminar on “Green Infrastructures for Hydraulic Risk Mitigation in Urban and Suburban Areas” took place on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at the GRAND HOTEL I FARAGLIONI in Acitrezza (Catania) and represented the conclusion of the activities of the GIFLUID Project, which led to the creation of significant green infrastructures in the urban and suburban areas of the Sicilian-Maltese cross-border territories. The seminar was organized by the Municipality of Aci Castello in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A) of the University of Catania, the Order of Agronomists and Foresters of the Province of Catania, the Order of Architects, Planners, Landscape Architects and Conservators of the Province of Catania, and the CSEI Catania. The organizational secretariat was managed by the Research Center for Sustainable Development of the Mediterranean Area – C.Ri.S.A.M., based in Ragusa.
The day began at 09:45 with the registration of participants followed by greetings from the authorities and representatives of professional orders and associations.
Among those present were Dr. Giuseppe Filetti of the Regional Technical Department – Sicily Region, Dr. Aurora Ursino, President of the Order of Agronomists and Foresters of the Province of Catania, and Professor Salvatore Barbagallo, President of CSEI Catania, Honorable Luca Sammartino, Councilor for Agriculture, Rural Development, and Mediterranean Fisheries in Sicily.
During the seminar, various key topics related to sustainable land management and hydraulic risk mitigation in urban and suburban contexts were addressed, with a particular focus on nature-based solutions. Experts and researchers from the University of Catania, including Professor Giuseppe Cirelli, Dr. Salvatore Barresi, Dr. Vincenzo Scavera, and Dr. Emanuela Rita Giuffrida, discussed their research and practical applications in this field.
The session on territorial planning for reducing urban hydraulic risk featured interventions by Professor Francesco Martinico and Dr. Viviana Pappalardo from the University of Catania, as well as Dr. Antonio Marano from the Municipality of Aci Castello, who explored innovative urban planning strategies.
Professor Simona Calvagna from the University of Catania then presented how hydraulic risk mitigation could represent a design opportunity for the development of resilient landscapes, offering an overview of the adaptability of urban spaces to environmental changes. Additionally, guests Dr. André Thomas Balla and Dr. Cesare Costantino shared the project of an educational greenhouse for Radicepura in Giarre.
Subsequently, Professor Feliciana Licciardello and Dr. Liviana Sciuto, also from the University of Catania, illustrated the hydraulic risk assessment in the territory of Aci Castello, highlighting the results achieved thanks to the GIFLUID project.
Finally, Dr. Vincenzo Trovato, together with Dr. Salvatore Passarello and Dr. Filippo Musarra from the Municipality of Aci Castello, shared details of the interventions carried out for hydraulic risk mitigation within the same project, offering a concrete example of the application of such strategies in the local context.
The seminar concluded with a debate and conclusions, followed by a working breakfast at 13:00.