Articles | Volume 12, issue 4
Research article
12 Apr 2012
Research article |  | 12 Apr 2012

Geo-hydrological risk management for civil protection purposes in the urban area of Genoa (Liguria, NW Italy)

P. Brandolini, A. Cevasco, M. Firpo, A. Robbiano, and A. Sacchini

Abstract. Over the past century the municipal area of Genoa has been affected by recurring flood events and several landslides that have caused severe damage to urbanized areas on both the coastal-fluvial plains and surrounding slopes, sometimes involving human casualties. The analysis of past events' annual distribution indicates that these phenomena have occurred with rising frequency in the last seventy years, following the main land use change due to the development of harbour, industrial, and residential areas, which has strongly impacted geomorphological processes. Consequently, in Genoa, civil protection activities are taking on an increasing importance for geo-hydrological risk mitigation. The current legislative framework assigns a key role in disaster prevention to municipalities, emergency plan development, as well as response action coordination in disaster situations. In view of the geomorphological and environmental complexity of the study area and referring to environmental laws, geo-hydrological risk mitigation strategies adopted by local administrators for civil protection purposes are presented as examples of current land/urban management related to geo-hydrological hazards. Adopted measures have proven to be effective on several levels (planning, management, structure, understanding, and publication) in different cases. Nevertheless, the last flooding event (4 November 2011) has shown that communication and public information concerning the perception of geo-hydrological hazard can be improved.