EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Results by the Open-Air Laboratory Italy 

Paolo Ruggieri1 and the The OAL-Italy*
Paolo Ruggieri and the The OAL-Italy
  • 1University of Bologna, DIFA, Bologna, Italy (
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

The Open-Air Laboratory, a novel concept developed by the EU-funded Operandum project(OPEn-air laboRAtories for Nature baseD solutions to Manage Environmental risk) to co-design,implement and assess the effectiveness of Nature-Based Solutions (NBSs), has been introduced at the EGU General Assembly 2021  (Ruggieri, P. and the OAL-Italy: The Open-Air Laboratory Italy, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9495,, 2021.). In this work we present the results obtained in the framework of the Open-Air Laboratory Italy (OAL-Italy) related to innovative NBSs to mitigate the impact of hydrometeorological hazards in present and future climate. The results are multidisciplinary and involve novel modelling strategies, laboratory measurements and targeted monitoring open-field campaigns in three operational sites, where NBSs are implemented to mitigate a range of hydrometeorological hazards such as coastal erosion, flooding, storm surge and salt wedge intrusion. Innovative NBSs tested and developed by the OAL include deep-rooted plants installed on a river embankment to prevent levee failures, special plants that can live in high salt concentration and remove salt from the river mouth water, an artificial dune and marine seagrass to mitigate the impact of storm surges and coastal erosion. The three sites where these NBS are implemented are located in the Emilia Romagna region, in Northern Italy and they involve the Panaro river, a tributary of the Po river, a branch in the Po river delta and a beach in the north Adriatic sea close to the delta Po river. The innovative approaches to tackle the mentioned hazards are described and results in terms of monitoring campaign results in combination with modelling results are presented. We discuss the innovative approach proposed to test and validate the efficacy of the NBS in present and future climate, in order to evaluate the replicability and the upscaling of the NBSs. We confirm that the OAL constitutes an unprecedented holistic effort towards sustainable land management, adaptation to climate change and the acceptance of Nature-Based Solutions.

The OAL-Italy:

Pulvirenti B., Aguzzi M., Alessandri J., Aragao L., Bizzarri D., Bucchignani E, Cacciamani C., Carlone T., De Nigris N., Leo L.S., Löchner A., Mannocchi M., Morelli M., Pinardi N., Porcù F., Rianna G., Robello P., Sorolla A., Tavaroli F., Toth E., Umesh P. A., Unguendoli S., Valentini A., Verri G., Di Sabatino S.

How to cite: Ruggieri, P. and the The OAL-Italy: Results by the Open-Air Laboratory Italy , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7440,, 2022.