EGU22-2049, updated on 27 Dec 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

What locals want: (mapping) citizen preferences and priorities for an alpine river landscape

Chiara Scaini1, Ana Stritih2, Constance Brouillet3, and Anna Scaini4,5
Chiara Scaini et al.
  • 1National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics, Udine, Italy
  • 2Ecosystem Dynamics and Forest Management Group, School of Life Sciences, Technical University of Munich, Freising, Germany
  • 3ETH Zürich, Planning of Landscape and Urban Systems (PLUS), Institute for Landscape and Spatial Development, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 4Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 5Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Sustainable river management frameworks are based on the connection between citizens and nature. So far, though, the relationship between rivers and local populations has played a marginal role in river management. We present a blueprint questionnaire to characterize the perception of cultural ecosystem services and flood risk by locals, and how preferences change across the river landscape. We investigate how locals value the river and whether their preferences are affected by characteristics such as place of residence, age, frequency of visits and relation to the river. The approach is tested on the Tagliamento river, the last major free-flowing river in the Alps, which is characterized by debates on flood protection, flood management and ecological conservation. The questionnaire was filled in by more than 4000 respondents, demonstrating huge interest and willingness to contribute with their opinion on this topic. A participatory map of favorite places shows that most of the river is valued/appreciated by locals, with a high preference for the landscape of the braided middle course. River conservation is the main priority for most respondents across different stakeholder groups, highlighting the need for nature-based solutions in flood-risk management and demonstrating the mismatch between management choices and citizens´ values and priorities. Land-use planning is identified as a factor that can increase flood risk. The results highlight the necessity to tackle conservation, risk management and land-use planning together in order to develop risk-oriented river management strategies. More generally, this work points out that any river intervention should be pondered carefully accounting for its environmental impact also in terms of loss of cultural ecosystem services.

How to cite: Scaini, C., Stritih, A., Brouillet, C., and Scaini, A.: What locals want: (mapping) citizen preferences and priorities for an alpine river landscape, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2049,, 2022.