Wetland, Stream Bank, and Shoreline Restoration
30 Minute Presentation
REQUALIFE: The Web Platform to Build Green Infrastructure in River Works
Recently environmental regulations have been growing worldwide, showing a need of biodiversity, health and sustainability. Due to this trend, the ecological role of river stabilization structures has become a priority. Depending on many complex factors, river engineering solutions can support or hinder the development of ecosystems. Understanding and managing these factors are not necessarily straightforward.
In this context, the REQUALIFE research project creates a simple methodology and a user-friendly tool supported by a web-platform. The main purpose is to support designers and technicians in developing solutions that are not only technically effective but also able to enhance ecosystems. The REQUALIFE project, currently under development and funded by the South-Tyrol ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), is proposing a practical tool to assess the current level of environmental quality of rivers and to forecast the long-term status of different design alternatives.
The methodology has a quantitative approach and is based on 15 indicators and a large database of river stabilization and restoration solutions. North American and European case studies where the methodology was applied will be presented. Aspects that distance rivers from their natural condition will be discussed together with possible ways to bridge the gap and support the diffusion of green infrastructures.
The REQUALIFE project aims at creating a web platform for the environmental-impacts assessment of hydraulic structures. The web platform will be a decision-support tool helping designers and stakeholders in the design phase, supplying the assessment of the environmental condition of a river or a stream, before and after the construction of river training works. In this way, river training works can be designed while respecting the environment, supporting the diffusion of Green Infrastructure.
The 15 indicators used to develop the web-platform are:
1 - Land use
2 - Lateral Continuity
3 - Vertical Continuity
4 - Longitudinal Continuity
5 - Riverbed Morphology
6 - Retention Capability
7 - Water Regime
8 - Chemical Water Quality
9 - Macrobenthic Community
10 - Fish Suitability
11 - Vegetation Riparian Zone / Floodplain
12 - Riparian / Floodplain Vegetation Width
13 - Riparian / Floodplain Vegetation Continuity
14 - Carbon Sequestration
15 - Carbon Footprint
There are five available ecomorphological quality classes for each indicator ( high, good, moderate, poor, bad).
The aim of the project is to compare and assess bank stabilization, design alternatives along with their current and long term ecomorphological impact. This web platform will help and guide the design process towards effective and sustainable river works.