Mountains demo site

Valle dei Laghi area, IT

{{ group }}

{{ }}
{{ }} {{ object.subheader }} {{ icon.replace(/^icon_/, '') }}


The Valle dei Laghi area is in the Province of Trento in the Italian Alps. A mosaic of mountain valleys, the area has an abundant water supply and a very fragmented population, with few cities, small villages and most municipalities having fewer than 5000 inhabitants.

Agriculture and food / wine production, hydropower production, forestry for wood fuel, slow tourism and winter ski tourism are the main economic activities. The Alps, and mountains in general, are recognised hotspots for climate change, with temperatures raising far beyond the average.


Rapid climate change impacts will exacerbate existing conflicts in water and land usage: participatory approaches must be used to ensure rapid transition to sustainable and integrated water management, biodiversity conservation and disaster risk reduction.

Contact this team | Contatta questa squadra | Kontaktieren Sie dieses Team  :

  • Valentina D’Alonzo – valentina.dalonzo[@]


Water use

Land use

Economic impacts

Ambitions within IMPETUS:

Harmonise and build on existing solutions and initiatives

to develop a multi-sectorial / multi-systems innovation package for the region.

Use operational climate services and products

such as satellite data, seasonal forecasts, climate projections.

Prioritise according to vulnerability

among water, agriculture, food production, renewable energy production and biodiversity protection.

Ensure local community ‘ownership’ of risk management solutions

integrating risk analyses and management approaches with participation, communication, co-creation.

Promote innovation package uptake and transfer to other mountain communities

engaging with national and international stakeholders, using cultural heritage and societal responsibility to increase acceptance.

Demonstrate and test the innovation package for wider uptake

at provincial and higher levels as part of a Provincial Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation.

to pave the way for:

Demonstrations of the mountains innovation package to be replicated across Europe.

Development and adoption of co-created medium to long-term plans

for water usage, risk management, etc., using IMPETUS tools and data-driven policy making.

Long-term and large-scale engagement of stakeholders and citizens

for climate and social resilience e.g. by sustaining use of the Resilience Knowledge Booster.

Active support for demo site by stakeholders from other mountain regions

facilitating collection of best practices and demonstration of solutions in those other contexts.

Transfer of methods and results developed for cultural heritage

to other bio-geographical regions.

Test solutions:

Innovative insurance products for agriculture, forestry and hydropower energy production

Parametric or index-based insurance products – offering pre-specified pay-outs on the basis of climate change triggered events – would provide passive protection measures or sustainable financing instruments to invest in active protections such as hail nets, drip or top crown irrigation.


  • Design and test such an insurance system to protect agricultural crops, forest stands and hydropower energy plants against climate-related economic losses;
  • Involve stakeholders and experts from agricultural insurance consortia and ethical banking;
  • Support the design of insurance and financing models with tailor-made climate risk assessment tools that exploit existing data platforms providing seasonal forecasts and climate projections (e.g., Copernicus, Geo Mountains), enriched by local-scale data, and impact models;
  • Allow the economic evaluations to be based on assessment of future return periods for adverse climate events, such as hail, storms, floods, droughts, forest fires, etc.

Activate cultural heritage to enhance climate resilience

In the context of global climate change, mountains are predominantly facing an increase of already existing, locally occurring natural hazards of reversible risks. Although their potential to cause damage is high, they are well known to the resident communities, who have been dealing with such threats for decades or centuries. Therefore, at local and regional level, a thorough understanding of how to cope with these risks has evolved.


  • Tap into the regional endogenous knowledge, revealing how culture, values and beliefs influence risk perceptions and enable or impede climate adaptation measures;
  • Identify, research and test relevant cultural practices regarding their potential for further development, upscaling and transferability, compiling a ‘template of protection facilities’ to enable secure and contemporary living in mountain sites;
  • Identify and exploit the interconnected intangible and tangible components of cultural heritage that are an essential part of local identities and shared values, to detect triggers of behavioural change that can be applied in innovative climate change adaptation pathways;
  • Develop tools to foster societal awareness and facilitate win-win solutions for adaptation and implementation of low-carbon measures for historic buildings.

Bio-districts to address altitudinal shifts of crops

Rising temperatures change the growing conditions for crop species and affect where they can best be cultivated. A geographical area where farmers, the public, tourist operators, associations and public authorities can enter into agreement for the sustainable management of local resources, based on organic principles and practices is known as a ‘bio-district’.


  • With Valle dei Laghi as a test-case bio-district, apply organic agriculture practices, cultivation of alternative vine varieties and engagement of socio-economic stakeholders & local community members to address challenges posed by the altitudinal shift of crops due to rising temperatures;
  • Monitor vineyards at different altitudes for their micro-climate conditions, vine productivity, grape quality parameters and vulnerability to pests;
  • Develop future scenarios for local climate, hydrology, water availability and land use, based on climate projections downscaled to the local context and observed land-use trends;
  • Use innovative participatory activities to co-create and co-design multifunctional farming plans to manage future water and land use conflicts in a sustainable and integrated way.

Impact Chains

Technology Readiness Level 8-9

Impact Chains (IC) provide a structured graphical and conceptual narrative of causal relationships between adverse impacts and the components that drive and constitute them. The IC approach has been widely applied to better understand vulnerability and risk related to climate change, notably by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and has been used for risk assessment in climate change adaptation planning at local / national level in more than 10 countries. Step-by-step guidelines on how to adopt the IC methodology are available and internationally acknowledged.


  • Involve local experts in the Mountains demo site in a participatory process;
  • Combine Impact Chains with Rapid Risk Appraisal, to break down risks into exposure, vulnerability and climate hazard factors;
  • Pinpoint in which field adaptation measures need to be taken;
  • Use the results to foster behavioural change and increase communities’ awareness and adaptive capacity.

This work is linked with:

  • National vulnerability assessments for Germany and Burundi

Rapid Risk Appraisal

Technology Readiness Level 7-8

Developed in the INTERREG project GreenRisk4Alps, the Rapid Risk Appraisal (RRA) approach mainly focused on gravity-induced natural hazards, such as avalanches, landslides, rockfalls. RRA was then used in participatory processes in six different Alpine study areas before being adapted by the Alpine Convention Platform for Natural Hazards (PLANALP) for (online) workshops in Alpine Convention member countries, to improve the connection between contingency planning and emergency management.


  • Expand the RRA approach to include additional climate-related hazards, especially those connected with hydrological impacts;
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in the management of risks connected to drought and floods;
  • Co-create an integrated risk management strategy for the area;
  • Replicate this activity in other mountainous areas to foster mutual learning and exchange of best practices.

This work is linked with:

  • INTERREG Alpine Space GreenRisk4Alps project
  • Natural Hazard Platform of the Alpine Convention (PLANALP)
  • Union Civil Protection Mechanism

Digital twin for seasonal hydrological forecasts

Technology Readiness Level 4-6

Seasonal hydrological forecasts are a rather new climate service, essential for anticipating the occurrence of droughts and floods and for managing water use conflicts. The digital twin uses a hybrid approach combining physically based hydrological models and machine learning to create these forecasts.


  • Use seasonal hydrological forecasts to feed a participatory Decision Support System (DSS) for the integrated and sustainable management of concurrent water uses;
  • Ensure this happens in the framework of the WEFE (Water Energy Food Ecosystems) nexus approach and takes into account environmental, economic and political constraints;
  • Use the DSS to identify drought water usage strategy and monitor snow availability in upstream catchments for Spring-time hydropower production.

This work is linked with:

Economic impact assessment of physical climate risk

Technology Readiness Level 4-5

Socio-Economic tools and risk projections enable the assessment of climate risks and the establishment of projections and metrics regarding future investments.


  • Identify highly vulnerable hot-spots using open datasets for Copernicus services and satellite-derived variables;
  • Transform this knowledge into a specific regional model and include this in the Resilience Knowledge Booster;
  • Use the RKB and regional model to elaborate economic assessment metrics to aid decision making about investments and future mitigation plans.

This work is linked with:

  • European Investment Bank
  • European Central Bank

High temperatures

Record-breaking summertime temperatures have been recorded in the Netherlands in recent years. With global temperatures rising, such extreme weather events will occur more often, and for longer periods. Prolonged high temperatures, with warm nights as well as hot days, can cause heat stress* and related health issues, particularly among city populations.

*Heat stress occurs when the human body cannot get rid of excess heat and can impact wellbeing through conditions such as heat stroke, exhaustion, cramps and rashes.

"We want to enable municipality decision makers who are working on spatial developments to identify heat stress 'hot spots' and cool areas, analyse the future effects of climate change, and model the effect of different heat stress-reducing measures. The tool must provide them with an easy starting point to integrate heat stress risks in their projects."


Despite the cooling effect of the sea in the region of Zeeland, the growing risk of heat stress has become a concern.

Elderly and other vulnerable people are more impacted by the effects of prolonged heat, which can cause headaches, dizziness, insomnia and other health issues – even death. Excess temperatures also affect general comfort and liveability of cities. Water quality can be reduced, both for drinking and swimming, and infrastructure can be affected. Buildings and concrete surfaces trap heat, potentially leading to damage, and release it during the night, keeping temperatures warm.

During heat waves, it is important that everyone has access to a cool and comfortable place. Appropriate spatial planning can help to decrease and deal with heat stress. Environmental factors like water bodies, trees, and shade have a major impact on stress caused by high temperatures. Therefore, planting trees, removing concrete surfaces, creating green roofs and cool spaces can improve our comfort and health. The IMPETUS Atlantic team is developing a digital tool to support regional decision making for city planning to address these needs.


Flood risk

By 2050, sea-level within this region is predicted to rise by 15-40 cm, with more frequent extreme weather and more (severe) storms triggered by climate change. These changes will exacerbate the natural risk of flooding in the IMPETUS ‘Atlantic’ region, because it is surrounded by rivers and the sea, and is below sea level.

*Risk takes into account two aspects; the chance that an event will occur and the negative impact of such an event once it occurs. When there is a low chance that an event will occur, but its impacts are huge, the risk is still significant.

“In the Netherlands, an extensive system of dikes protects us against sea and river flooding. We have always put our faith in this defence and focused almost solely on flood prevention. However, pressure on our system will increase with climate change and rising sea levels. To adapt and maintain a safe living environment, we should develop other safety measures, like more robust spatial planning and contingency plans."


Rotterdam city, is located in Rijnmond – ‘mouth of the Rhine’. The Rhine river flows through this densely populated area and characterises the region. Protections such as sea dikes and storm surge barriers have been constructed to protect the region, but flooding still occurs.

People living in the city are accustomed to seeing smaller floods. The changing climate affects the interplay between rainfall, river levels and sea storms, increasing the flooding risk. Water levels could rise by a few metres, even in populated areas, with potentially massive impacts. 

Mitigation measures such as storm surge barriers reduce the chance that high water reaches the city, but to minimise the impact of floods when they do occur, adaptation strategies are also needed. A city that can adapt to be safe from floods must be carefully designed. How best to design such an adaptive city?

Critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and evacuation routes, must be accessible at all times. Planning how to best protect them, homes and lives is complex. Flood water behaves in a complex way and flood risks show strong spatial variations. The IMPETUS Atlantic team is developing a digital tool to support regional decision making for adaptive city planning. 


Energy and waste water

To become climate-neutral by 2050, climate mitigation* efforts are crucial in our strategy for how to deal with climate change. Reducing our energy consumption is a significant mitigation step. In the Netherlands, 15% of energy is consumed in the Rijnmond area around the port of Rotterdam, in large part by a major petrochemical industry cluster.

*Climate mitigation encompasses measures such as technologies, processes, or practices that reduce carbon emissions or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.


The Rotterdam port petrochemical industry cluster is Europe’s largest. It consumes 70% of the Rijnmond region’s energy. A large part of this energy is wasted (64%, 203 petajoules). More than half of that energy is lost with wastewater. In addition, most energy processes within these industries rely on fossil fuels, which has a significant impact on the climate.

Energy use must be minimised and fossil fuels should be replaced by renewable sources if climate change is to be mitigated. Electrification of processes opens up the possibility to use more renewable energy and can greatly impact decarbonisation. Recovering wasted heat would significantly reduce energy consumption and is a first step towards a more circular industry. 

Supporting industries in a transition towards climate-neutrality depends on identifying how best to reduce their carbon footprint without sacrificing production or performance. The IMPETUS Atlantic team is creating a digital tool that supports decision making about pathways towards an effective energy transition for EU industry.