Lura River Retention Basins

Italy

In Milan’s metropolitan area, the Lura River Retention Basins address the growing challenge of climate-induced flooding. By transforming a once mono-functional agricultural space and low-value wooded areas between Lomazzo, Cadorago, and Bregnano within Lura Park, we’ve crafted flood mitigation basins and new riverbanks using nature-based solutions.

In Milan’s metropolitan area, the Lura River Retention Basins address the growing challenge of climate-induced flooding. By transforming a once mono-functional agricultural space and low-value wooded areas between Lomazzo, Cadorago, and Bregnano within Lura Park, we’ve crafted flood mitigation basins and new riverbanks using nature-based solutions.

The project was conceived to mitigate the flooding affecting Milan’s metropolitan area during heavy rains, which are becoming increasingly frequent and extreme due to climate change.

The Lura River Retention Basin stands out for its innovative approach, transforming a mono-functional agricultural area and wooded strips with low ecological value into a sustainable solution. Located between the municipalities of Lomazzo, Cadorago, and Bregnano within Lura Park, the project involved the construction, using naturalistic engineering techniques, of new banks and flood lamination basins along the course of the Lura River.

The project is part of a supra-regional strategy of hydro-geological risk reduction. It is an application of the Lura Stream Subbasin Project promoted by the Interregional Agency for the Po River (AIPO) and the Lombardy Region, which co-financed the work.

Thanks to two basins designed to collect water from the stream in the event of flooding and to the adjacent pond fed with groundwater, a permanent wetland with hygrophilous vegetation has been created. This aims to create an ideal habitat for the settlement of various animal species, such as the little bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) and the white heron (Ardea alba), which have appeared due to the intervention.

The basins’ hydraulic functioning is based on the principle of gravity. This factor has made it possible to avoid impacting land consumption by constructing particularly bulky engineering works such as pumping stations.

Native species have been used for reforestation to increase the area’s ecological value.

The participatory and multi-sectoral approach has been an essential component in the multi-year process of this project. On the one hand, it has represented an example of territorial solidarity since the inhabitants of the municipalities involved have seen an infrastructure being built on their territory to serve communities downstream of the intervention site; on the other hand, the consensus among institutions and residents has been motivated by the participatory process led by a local NGO. The work’s great benefit was receiving a practical and easily usable hydraulic, ecological and social infrastructure on their territory. The involvement of local stakeholders has also led to the creation of virtuous dynamics at the management level. The farmers to whom the agricultural land has been expropriated have been involved in the park’s maintenance through periodic timber removal and brushwood cutting.

The value of the area has leveraged the territorial character of Lura Park, managed by a consortium of 12 municipalities. Still, it has been animated by a vision inspired by sustainability, which has privileged slow mobility as the only form of accessibility to the area and has promoted the divulgation of green infrastructure such as this one through a square that illustrates the functioning of the basins, various birdwatching stations and a direct connection with the nearby Biodiversity Center, managed by the Lura Park.

Paths and rest areas guarantee usability by integrating it with the restored natural environment.

Therefore, we are proud to see how our work has directly contributed to the achievement of five of the seventeen Goals for sustainable development provided by the United Nations Agenda 2030. These include Goal 4.7, Goal 6.6, Goal 9.1, Goals 11.5 and 11, and finally Goals 15.1, 15.3, 15, and 15,9. This alignment with global sustainability goals is a testament to our commitment and dedication to creating a better future.

Vegetation

3171 trees
20146 shrubs

River rehabilitation

6900 m2

SDG's

Goal 4.7,
Goal 6.6,
Goal 9.1,
Goals 11.5, 11.a
Goals 15.1, 15.3, 15,5 and 15,9

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