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Integrated coastal area Management Application implementing GMES, INspire and sEis data policies (LIFE + IMAGINE)
Start date: Jul 2, 2013, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background Coastal areas are characterised by intense human activity and a complex interchange of physical, biological, social, cultural and economic processes. Changes at any point in any part of the systems can generate chain reactions far from their point of origin, and possibly in a totally different system, which subsequently experience changes in environmental conditions. If not properly managed, social and economic activities in coastal areas will result in the overexploitation of resources, with negative environmental effects, equity problems and a loss of social well being. Indeed, in recent years, extreme rainfall, in combination with growing urbanisation along rivers and coasts, has resulted in a significant increase in the incidence of destructive flooding and landslides in urban areas. These processes have affected the Liguria/Tuscany coast, where the problems of anthropogenic soil sealing, due to extensive urbanisation, and the increase frequency of heavy rainfalls over the past ten years, have increased the possibility of landslides, especially along the steep coastal slope. Objectives The aim of the LIFE+ IMAGINE project is to provide coastal area managers with applications that address two scenarios of relevance to the Liguria/Tuscany coast: soil sealing impacts, and flooding and landslide prediction. The applications will be designed according to the Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) guidelines, following INSPIRE rules, and the process will be interfaced with Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) infrastructure. Specifically, the project aims to: Implement, in a synergetic way, INSPIRE, SEIS and GMES in coastal areas, thereby helping to harmonise heterogeneous spatial information. This will be done using two scenarios that are representative of severe environmental problems affecting coastal areas; Standardise operational workflows foreseen by the European environmental legislation, making them re-usable and easily extendible to other themes and regional/local authorities; Establish a cross-regional monitoring model to be applied in coastal areas, helping to achieve environmental quality targets and to meet several regional obligations; Provide decision makers, planners and stakeholders involved in coastal area risk management with an increased knowledge-base on the implementation of environmental policy and legislation; Increase the local population’s awareness and acceptance of the benefits of protecting coastal areas. Expected results: Demonstration of Open Geospatial Consortium Web Services (OWS) (such as WMS, WFS and CSW) that are integrated into customised systems and/or applications, allowing for environmental data exchange at different spatial scales and across different systems, platforms and applications; An innovative solution, available through of a user-friendly 3D client, whereby the user can visually connect components, encapsulating and parameterising complex geo-processing models; Workflows and SW tools that transform the datasets into landslide and land consumption scenarios, based on the recalculation of risk analysis models of INSPIRE; Monitoring of changes in land cover, land use and related soil sealing; Guidelines, workflows, tools facilitating the very complex process of harmonising and validating datasets/metadata according to technical requirements; A collaborative environment in which stakeholders, officials and environmental experts can share their data and work together.

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