Urban Green and Environmental Processes: Towards a Multifunctional Landscape Design

  • Raffaele Pelorosso Tuscia University
  • Federica Gobattoni Tuscia University
  • Nicola Lopez Nationa Reserch Council of Italy - IRSA
  • Antonio Leone Tuscia University
Keywords: BMPs, multifunctional landscape, urban planning


Urbanisation phenomena, associated with soil sealing, can lead to an increase in surface runoff, environmental pollution and ecosystems degradation with risks to human health and economic losses by floods. Then, new urban development strategies and land management models are essential. The European Union Water Framework Directive (2000) requires Member States to draw up efficient measures to ensure sustainable use of water resources. Several Best Management Practices (BMPs) were developed at this aim. BMPs are usually multifunctional structures (e.g. wetland and green roofs) that can provide suitable Habitat for species and bring to the maintenance of biodiversity, allow climate regulation by evaporation and adsorption of solar radiation together with aesthetic/amenity, recreational and educational benefits, enhancing the urban quality of life and social interaction.

However, especially in Italy, the full integration of BMPs in territorial planning and urban (re-) design is not fully realized yet. The control of water quality and quantity has often been realized by isolated and localized interventions (e.g. detention/infiltration basins) without a “smart” and systemic project based on a holistic environmental sustainability concept.

Through an application of a synthetic index for urban permeability assessment (RIE Index), this paper presents a systemic approach to urban green planning to reduce surface runoff in a pilot area of Bari city, increasing soil permeability and reducing hydraulic risk. This green and sustainable stormwater management approach would be able to furnish environmental benefits and services to the citizens, enhancing quality of life in urban contexts.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Raffaele Pelorosso, Tuscia University
DAFNE department - Researcher in Landscape and Urban Planning at the University of Tuscia. He holds a PhD in “Science and Technology for the Forest and Environmental Management” at University of Tuscia. Lecturer in Ecology, Cartography and Planning. His research activity is mainly focused on landscape planning, analysis of landscape dynamics, land cover and land use change. Associate Editor of International Journal of Sustainable Land Use and Urban Planning. He is author of more than 50 scientific papers and peer reviewer for many international journals such as: Land Use Policy, Landscape and Urban Planning, Environmental Management, Journal of Environmental Engineering and Management, Advanced in Space Research, Science of the Total Environment.
Federica Gobattoni, Tuscia University
DAFNE department - Post-doctoral researcher. Master Degree in Environmental Engineering at University of Perugia, PhD in “Science and Technology for the Forest and Environmental Management”, and she’s a post-doctoral researcher at University of Tuscia. Her research activity is mainly concerned with landscape dynamics, environmental modelling in GIS environment, decision support systems for planning and management of natural resources, development of mathematical models for landscape evolution and equilibrium scenarios assessment. She was Convener of the “Landscape functionality and conservation management” session at European Geosciences Union General Assembly of 2010, 2011 and 2012. She is peer reviewer for many international journals as: Journal of Water and Climate, Ecological Complexity, Water, Air and Soil Pollution, Chemical Engineering and Technology.
Nicola Lopez, Nationa Reserch Council of Italy - IRSA
Water Research Institute of CNR - Researcher on contract. Master Degree in Electronic Engineering and, actually, he’s a PhD student in “Science and Technology for the Forest and Environmental Management” at University of Tuscia. He currently works at the Water Research Insitute-National Research Council (IRSA-CNR, Istituto di Ricerca sulle Acque) in Bari. Among work experiences: Implementation of maps and WEBGIS associated with the Hydrogeological Basin Plan. Implementation of a Territorial Information System in GIS for the Municipality of Grottaglie. GIS Specialist for the Technical Secretariat Department of Ecology Department of Parks and Nature Reserves. Responsible for IT Services of Cartography and GIS for the Executive Officer of the Basin Authority of Puglia. GIS implementation for Urban Plan of Ceglie Municipality. Expert in GIS and WebGIS based technologies for the Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani. Teaching course support at Politecnico di Bari on Land Planning.
Antonio Leone, Tuscia University
DAFNE department - Full professor of Land Engineering at University of Tuscia, Industrial Engineering course. Member of the Teaching College of the PhD course on “Land and Urban Planning” at Politecnico di Bari and on “Environment and landscape design and planning” at Sapienza University of Rome. Participant and responsible in several projects financed by the European Union within 5th Framework Programme, Interreg IIIB Research Program, COST-actions, LIFE programme and other national and regional research programs (e.g. Nature 2000 sites). Member of Scientific International Committee for Metropolitan Strategic Master Plan “Terra di Bari”. Member of Scientific Committee for University Consortium for Socio-economic and Environment Research (CURSA). Author of more than 100 scientific papers in the area of landscape and environmental planning with particular reference to impact assessment of plans, non-point sources of pollution, management of rural areas.


Ahiablame L.M., Engel B.A., Chaubey I. (2012) “Effectiveness of Low Impact Development Practices: Literature Review and Suggestions for Future Research”, Water Air Soil Pollut, 223:4253–4273.

Akbari H. (2009) “Cooling Our Communities, A Guidebook on Tree Planting And Light-Colored Surfacing”, Laurance Berkeley National Library, http://escholarship.org/uc/item/98z8p10x#page-1.

Akbari H., S. Konopacki (2006) “Calculating energy-saving potentials of heat-island reduction strategies”, Energy Policy, 33, 721-756.

Akbari H., S. Menon (2009) “Global Cooling: Increasing World-wide Urban Albedos to Offset CO2”, Climatic Change, 94, 275-286.

Barbosa A.E., Fernandes J.N., David L.M. (2012) “Key issues for sustainable urban storm water management”, Water Research, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2012.05.029.

Borri D., Di Santo A., Iacobellis V. (2002) “Bari: la piena del 1926”, Continuità - Rassegna tecnica pugliese, n. 3/4.

CIRIA (2007). “The SuDS Manual. CIRIA”, London.

Crane R., J. Landis (2010) “Planning for Climate Change: Assessing Progress and Challenges”, Journal of the American Planning Association, 76 (4), 389-401.

Dahlenburg J. and Birtles P. (2012) “All roads lead to WSUD: exploring the biodiversity, human health and social benefits of WSUD”. 7th International Conference on Water Sensitive Urban Design, February 2012, Melbourne, Australia.

Edgar L. Villarreal, Annette Semadeni-Davies Lars Bengtsson (2004) “Inner city stormwater control using a combination of best management practices”, Ecological Engineering, 22, 279–298.

Ellis J.B. & Revitt D.M. (2008) “Quantifying Diffuse Pollution Sources and Loads For Environmental Quality Standards in Urban Catchments”, Water Air Soil Pollut: Focus, 8, 577–585.

Ellis J.B., Revitt D.M., Lundy L. (2012) “An impact assessment methodology for urban surface runoff quality following best practice treatment”, Science of the Total Environment”, 416, 172–179.

European Union Water Framework Directive (WFD) (2000) “Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for community action in the field of water policy”, 2000/60/EC.

Fioretti R., Palla A., Lanza L.G., Principi P. (2010) “Green roof energy and water related performance in the Mediterranean climate”, Building and Environment, 45, 1890-1904.

Fistola R. (2011) “The unsustainable city. Urban entropy and social capital: the needing of a new urban planning”, Procedia Engineering, 21, 976 – 984.

Gerundo R., Fasolino I., Grimaldi M., Siniscalco A. (2010) “L’indice di sostenibilità”, Urbanistica Informazioni, 233/234, 12-14.

Gobattoni F., Pelorosso R., Lauro G., Leone A., Monaco R. (2011) “A procedure for mathematical analysis of landscape evolution and equilibrium scenarios assessment” Landscape and Urban Planning, 103, 289-302.

Gómez F, Jabaloyes J., Montero L., De Vicente V., Valcuende M. (2011) “Green Areas, the Most Significant Indicator of the Sustainability of Cities: Research on Their Utility for Urban Planning”, Journal of Urban Planning and Development, 137(3), 311-328.

Kristin L. Getter K.L., D. Bradley Rowe (2006) “The Role of Extensive Green Roofs in Sustainable Development”, Hortscience 41(5), 1276–1285.

La Rocca R.A. (2011) “Mobilità sostenibile e stili di vita”, TeMA, 4(2), 29-42.

Leone A., Ripa M.N., Boccia L., Lo Porto A. (2008) ”Phosphorus export from agricultural land: a simple approach”, Biosystems Engineering, 101, 270–280.

Leone A. (2009) “Riflessioni sul paesaggio”, Aracne Editrice.

Leone A. (2011) “Ambiente e pianificazione. Analisi, processi, sostenibilità”, Franco Angeli Ed.

Lundy L., Wade R. (2011) “Integrating sciences to sustain urban ecosystem services”, Progress in Physical Geography, 35(5), 653-699.

Mitchell G. (2005) “Mapping hazard from urban non-point pollution: a screening model to support sustainable urban drainage planning”, Journal of Environmental Management, 74, 1–9.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) “Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis”, Island Press, Washington, DC.

Mossa M. (2007) “The floods in Bari: What history should have taught”, Journal of Hydraulic Research, 45( )5, 579–594.

Murgante B., Borruso G., Lapucci A. (2011) “Sustainable Development: Concepts and Methods for its Application in Urban and Environmental Planning”, Geocomputation, Sustainability and Environmental Planning, SCI, 348, 1-15.

Oberndorfer E.C., Lundholm J.T., Bass B., Coffman R., Doshi H., Dunnett N., Gaffin S., Köhler M., Liu K., Rowe B. (2007) “Green roofs as urban ecosystems: ecological structures, functions and services”, BioScience, 57(10), 823–833.

Pelorosso R., Leone A., Boccia L. (2009) “Land cover and land use change in the Italian central Apennines: A comparison of assessment methods”, Applied Geography, 29, 35–48.

Pelorosso R., Gobattoni F., Lauro G., Monaco R., Leone A. (2012) “Pandora: modello per l’analisi di scenario a supporto delle pianificazioni”, Urbanistica, 149, 129-138.

Puglisi S., Arciuli E., Milillo F. (1991) “Il ruolo primario delle sistemazioni idraulico-forestali nella difesa di Bari dalle inondazioni”, Monti e Boschi, XLII, 1.

Ripa M.N., Leone A., Garnier M., Lo Porto A. (2006) “Agricultural Land Use and Best Management Practices to Control Nonpoint Water Pollution”, Environmental Management, 38(2), 253–266.

Sholz M. and Kazemi Yadzi S. (2009) “Treatment of Road Runoff by a Combined Storm Water Treatment, Detention and Infiltration System”, Water Air Soil Pollut, 198, 55–64.

Turpin N., Bontems P., Rotillon G., Barlund I., Kaljonen M., Tattari S., Feichtinger F., Strauss P., Haverkamp R., Garnier M., Lo Porto A., Benigni G., Leone A., Ripa M.N., Eklo O.M., Romstad E., Bordenave P., Bioteau T., Birgand F., Laplana R., Piet L., Lescot J.M. (2005) “AgriBMPWater: systems approach to environmentally acceptable farming”, Environmental Modelling and Software, 20, 187–196.

UN, United Nations (2009) “World urbanisation prospects: The 2009 revision”, http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/Documents/WUP2009_Highlights_Final.pdf.

How to Cite
Pelorosso, R., Gobattoni, F., Lopez, N., & Leone, A. (2013). Urban Green and Environmental Processes: Towards a Multifunctional Landscape Design. Tema - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 6(1), 95-111. https://doi.org/10.6092/1970-9870/1418