10th International Conference on Geomorphology
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The urban geomorphological survey and mapping as a support to risk assessment and communication tools, through the enhancement of the geological heritage.

Alessia Pica1 and the AIGeo working group on Urban Geomorphology*
Alessia Pica and the AIGeo working group on Urban Geomorphology
  • 1Earth Science Department, Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) (alessia.pica@uniroma1.it)
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

The increasing scientific interest in urban geomorphological survey and mapping is recently demonstrated by the number of case studies which can be found in literature. It is due to the support the discipline brings to the knowledge of the effects of urban growth on geomorphological processes and landforms and vice versa, and to the analysis of urban geological risks. In addition, the dissemination of cultural geoheritage in urban areas represents an effective communication tool, both for the landscape historical evolution storytelling and the knowledge of anthropogenic impact on urban sustainability.

This work highlights the contribution to the discipline of the working group on Urban Geomorphology within the Italian Association of Physical Geography and Geomorphology (AIGeo), considering the importance of urban geomorphological analysis in Europe and in Italy especially, where the cities were founded in historical times, expanded in the Middle Ages and progressively entered a period of uncontrolled urban sprawl in the 20th century.

Examples from several Italian urban areas are presented: Rome, Milan, Palermo, Genoa, Venice, Perugia, Rimini, Cagliari, Pescara, Pesaro, Pozzuoli (Naples), Potenza, Fano, Benevento, Chieti, Senigallia, Vasto, Sulmona, together with two international experiences in collaboration: Patras (Greece) and São João da Barra (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

The geomorphological survey was performed in all the cities involved in this work, moreover each one is representative for geomorphological applications:

Mapping – research groups in Rome, Palermo, Genova, Naples, Rimini and Cagliari, published the geomorphological map of the city.

Risk analyses – it is the main application of urban geomorphological studies here reported. The studies allowed in the different cities the assessment of the hydrogeological risk conditions (e.g. Benevento, Patras and many other cities), linked to the progressive valley filling of pre-urbanization rivers flowing; the landslides, floods and flash floods occurrence, the last two also related to the sewerage system efficiency (e.g. Milan); the analysis of hazards related to rockfalls, sinkholes, coastal (sea level rise, erosion, interventions in the watershed system upstream the city, e.g. São João da Barra) and anthropic processes; the geomorphological approach for seismic hazard analysis (e.g. Sulmona); the bradyseismic phenomena management.

Paleomorphology and Historical Landscape reconstruction –  the studies are characterized by different kind of data collection and processing: database of borehole stratigraphies, which allowed the reconstruction of buried paleomorphologies (e.g. Potenza); preurbanization morphological setting of the historical city centers ; historical and recent evolution of drainage networks; environmental transformations of canals and salt marshes, also in relation to historical river diversions (e.g. Venice); historical changes of the shoreline and of the rivers' mouths, determining the urban architectural cities' evolution (i.e. Pesaro).

Urban Geoheritage - The urban environment is a perfect laboratory for opening the scientific topics to a broad audience, our studies represent a tool to communicate the cities anthropogenic landscape evolution and the related impacts.  Most of the cities here listed experienced geoheritage inventory and valorisation based on geomorphological survey. In example a geological exhibition was organized in the city of Perugia using interactive tools, laboratories and trekking tours, other examples are the geotourist itineraries in Rome.

AIGeo working group on Urban Geomorphology:

Brandolini P.2, Melelli L.3, Agnesi V.4, Burnelli M.3, Bondesan A.5, Bosino A.6, Cappadonia C.4, De Amicis M. 6, Deiana G.7, Del Monte M.1, Donadio C.8, Faccini F.2, Guerra V.9, Lämmle L.8,10, Lazzari M.11, Mandarino A.2, Melis R.7, Miccadei E.12, Nesci O.9, Paglia G.12, Perez Filho A.10, Perriello Zampelli S.8, Russo F.13, Stamatopoulos L.14, Valente A.13; 1Earth Science Department, Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) 2 DISTAV, University of Genoa (Italy) 3 Department of Physics and Geology, University of Perugia (Italy) 4 DISTEM, University of Palermo (Italy) 5 DISSGeA, Università di Padova (Italy) 6 Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, University of Milano - Bicocca (Italy) 7 DSCG, University of Cagliari (Italy) 8 DiSTAR, University of Naples “Federico II” (Italy) 9 University of Urbino "Carlo Bo" (Italy) 10Institute of Geosciences, University of Campinas - UNICAMP (Brazil) 11 CNR ISPC - University of Basilicata (Italy) 12 INGEO Department, Università degli Studi "G. d'Annunzio" Chieti-Pescara (Italy) 13 (Department of Sciences and Technologies, University of Sannio (Italy) 14 Department of Geology, University of Patras (Greece)

How to cite: Pica, A. and the AIGeo working group on Urban Geomorphology: The urban geomorphological survey and mapping as a support to risk assessment and communication tools, through the enhancement of the geological heritage., 10th International Conference on Geomorphology, Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 Sep 2022, ICG2022-310, https://doi.org/10.5194/icg2022-310, 2022.