Near to the RISC-KIT Case Study in Emilia – Romagna, a LIFE+ “LIFE RINASCE” project has been implemented in 2014 to improve some of Emilia - Romagna drainage channels in the Po floodplain. Project leader is the Emilia Centrale Land Reclamation Consortium, in collaboration with the Emilia -Romagna Region. The project was started in 2014 and will run the end of 2018 with a total budget of almost 2.1 million €.
Based on the project information from LIFE+
The project aim is to reduce the risk of flooding and achieve good ecological status of the waters in the Po floodplain through ecological restoration of the channel network and vegetation management. It aims at demonstrating the feasibility and environmental and socio-economic benefits of such measures on a large floodplain area.
The project plans to develop an integrated restoration programme for floodplain channels using river restoration methods and protocols for sustainable management of aquatic and riparian vegetation. Planned interventions will aim to restore hydraulic functions of the floodplain, reduce the risk of flooding and improve the ecology.
One measure among others will include the lowering of the floodplain and thereby creating an arboreal strip of plants and shrubs. Other measures include the creation of a wetland, the enlargement of a natural channel. These measures are aimed to mitigate flood risks through water retention. Other benefits will be the improvement of drainage, purification of water, and improved ecological status.
It is foreseen that seven kilometer of canals will be restored by the end of the project by the creation and/or the lowering of three hectares of floodplain areas and vegetation. Additionally two hectare wetland should be created by then.
The Participatory process
The project used a participatory process to involve local actors, stakeholders and citizens in the strategic choices regarding the transformation of the territory and to collect ideas and proposals for the design of the rehabilitation interventions. Information, communication, consultation and listening to participants played an important role for the first steps in the project. The process was split into two main plenary sessions, six discussion meetings and a follow-up meeting for the technical and regulatory aspects hosted. These meetings involved a total of 189 participants coming from associations, organizations, companies and citizens. In parallel, the participatory process was supported by a dedicated web space.