Politecnico di Milano, May 30, 2017: Land protection and planning: interdisciplinary experiences from ten years of projects from a lesser known area of Southern Tuscany.

On May 30, at 10.30AM, I will give a lecture at the Politecnico di Milano (the third since 2011). We will meet in the Aula Rossa, building 4A of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, campus Leonardo. If you can’t make it, I will be in town from May 29 to May 31st, and there will probably be another outreach event in the evening of May 30, so there will be options to meet.

The presentation will provide highlights of a track record of projects started in 2006, where technicians and experts in geosciences and geotechnologies started a set of independent promotion and protection projects centered in a lesser know part of Southern Tuscany (the Farma Valley), including residents of the area in research and technology transfer projects.

These experiences were started in relation to little-known aspects of the region, not exactly at the core of environmental disciplines, such as ancient games, gradually making contact with topics which are more in the environmental engineering and land planning “mainstream”. This led the group to addressing renewable energy and energy efficiency, light pollution -with the peculiarity of the Farma Valley being at the centre of one of the darkest areas in Italy- optimization of alien species mitigation, environmental monitoring, and rural development.

The outcome of such an effort, which has not been made simple various factors, starting from the difficulty for many stakeholders to acknowledge the “out of the box” composition of the working group, has gradually showed and obtained recognition from different directions. From a research standpoint, we have activated collaborations on various EU-funded programs (FP7, COST and HORIZON2020), plus collaborations with Universities plus the Italian Research Council. Relevant results have also been obtained in the area of outreach and dissemination -with recurring coverage by national media- and education and training, with internships for various levels of students. Last but not least, these project have generated actual technology transfer and a positive socio-economic impact on the interested communities.

In addition to an overall summary of the projects, the presentation will outline the dissemination and citizen science program for the coming months, where it will be possible to participate both as tourists, possibly during the Summer season, but preferably as students or researchers, with the possibility of collaborating with ongoing activities and proposing new topics.

Andrea Giacomelli, MS in environmental engineering (Politecnico di Milano, 1993) and PhD in Hydrology (Politecnico di Milano, 1997), specialized in geographic information systems and environmental data management. He has 23 years of professional experience, spread across different sectors: university, applied research and technology transfer, consulting, and project management in corporate environments. Since 2011 he operates as a freelancer, based in Southern Tuscany. In 2006 he started a series of projects focused on the protection and promotion of lesser known resources in the fields of culture, environment, and open innovation, including a significant component of community engagement elements (participatory processes, events, communication) and a strong level of “contamination” with arts, collaborating also with photographers and musicians, including live events.