Planning the danger zones:
Awareness-raising as a decisive factor

Relationship between man, mountain and technology

The city of Chiusa, in the centre of Valle Isarco, has one of the most beautiful historical centres in Italy. There are two particularly significant natural hazards for the 5,200 inhabitants and businesses in the area: floods and falling rocks. The flood risk depends on Rio Tinne and the Isarco river. In addition to this, there are several critical points for falling rocks. The rocky mass of the Sabiona cliff is very brittle. The danger zone planning is the foundation of all protective measures. According to Mayor Maria Gasser Fink, it is essential to involve all citizens. Her belief: “Ongoing communication and awareness-raising are decisive factors.”

Good Practice:planning the danger zones
of the Municipality of Chiusa

In the municipal territory of Chiusa, houses and other buildings are at risk of falling rocks. Based on the danger zone planning, wide range measures were applied starting in 2014, including - for example - the installation of rock netting. In addition, the Municipality and the geology office aim at monitoring the areas classified as landslide risk sites. The volume of investment for these measures is equal to 2.5 million Euro. In addition, it is necessary to take into account road administration works. Most of these measures will be completed in 2019. As far as flood protection is concerned, at the moment there are intensive plans in action, which should start to be implemented at the beginning of 2019.

The know-how behind the project
The city has involved citizens in planning the danger zones from the very beginning, with town assemblies and individual interviews with people proposing concrete construction plans. The goal was, and is, to create more awareness among citizens on the issue of natural hazards. Coordination with the civil protection service is also considered vitally important. The various control measures cannot offer protection against everything. Here is the motto: “Raise awareness, don’t feed fear”.
The technology
Technological innovation is important to Mayor Maria Gasser Fink. “Innovative projects spark enthusiasm among citizens”. This is exactly what inspired the creation of the movable walls for flood protection. The idea is the fruit of the labour of skilled planners. The Civil Protection Agency and the regional geologist also play an important role, capable of offering new stimuli.

Managing natural hazards in Municipalities:
the potential of innovation

One of the main tasks of the 116 Municipalities in South Tyrol is the management of natural hazards. In this area, attention is aimed at several key areas: firstly, it is necessary to increase awareness of the potential hazards. Another important instrument is planning the hazard areas. To this purpose, monitoring territories at risk is definitely a relevant measure, both for flood protection and in case of falling rocks and avalanches. The application of technical measures like rock netting, avalanche defence structures or anti-flood barriers offer a great contribution in terms of safety of the individual and of the infrastructures.
In all these areas, there is great potential for companies capable of offering and developing innovative solutions on behalf of the Municipalities.

Link: Event “10 years of GZP”

The experts in our network:

  • Mountain-eering
  • Patscheider & Partner Engineers
  • Geology and material testing office
  • Nature, landscape, and territorial development section
  • Forestry section
  • Civil protection agency
  • EURAC – Remote Sensing
  • Order of land surveyors
  • Order of geologists
  • Order of agronomists and forestry experts
  • Order of engineers
  • Order of architects
  • Voluntary firefighting corps

The innoalptec project (FESR1060) is financed by the European Union and by the European regional development fund