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River Basin and Water Circulation in the Transition to an Urban-Industrial Society: the Po Drainage Basin, 1860-2000 (WATER AND TRANSITION)
Start date: Aug 16, 2013, End date: Aug 15, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The research proposed aims at retracing the historical transformation of river basins and water circulation in the urban-industrial age, by integrating social and environmental sciences. The empirical case study will be the Po river basin, which hosts one of the most developed urban-industrial region in the EU, and which is surprisingly lacking of a comprehensive historical reconstruction. I will fill that void, retracing the genealogy of the present condition by looking at the interplays of social and environmental processes over the last two centuries.I will achieve this goal by:1. retracing the historical development of agricultural, urban, and industrial uses of Po basin water; as well as the main actors, projects, and phases of the transformation;2. mapping the changing geographies of water metabolic circulation in the Po river basin, related to the historical transformation of water uses in the transition to the urban-industrial society;3. studying the impact of the transformation in water uses and circulation on the river basin hydro-ecosystem, and the consequences of this on the various set of human activities over time;4. identifying the most relevant characteristics that can qualify the transformation in water socio-ecological metabolism in the transition to the urban-industrial society.This research will provide a comprehensive historical account of the Po river basin transformation from an environmental point of view. It will also implement an interdisciplinary analytical framework on river systems transformations and metabolic exchanges with urban-industrial societies: a crucial issue for European research and policies. The project will be carried out in the US and in Austria, under the guidance of the leading scholars Craig E. Colten (LSU), Fridolin Krausmann (AAU-SEC) and Verena Winiwarter (AAU-ZUG), ensuring a high-profile international and interdisciplinary career development for the fellow.
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