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New special issue in Land Use Policy journal

A new special issue titled "Market-based land-use tools for ecosystem services supply in urban and peri-urban areas" is available in Land Use Policy journal. Dr. Enzo Falco and Dr. Davide Geneletti are the guest editors.

This Virtual Special Issue aims to cover empirical applications of tools and practices such as Transfer of Development Rights, Purchase of Development Rights and other market-based land use tools (e.g. land value capture, voluntary land-readjustment, swapping of development rights) that are adopted to explicitly plan and implement nature-based solutions in urban and peri-urban areas in order to increase the supply of different ecosystem services: e.g. micro-climate regulation (urban heat island, run-off mitigation), recreational and cultural services (open and green spaces).

Tentative timeline and deadlines are:
Abstract Submission: June 30th, 2021.
Abstract Selection: July 20th, 2021.
First Deadline for article submission: December 20th, 2021.
Final deadline for article submission: February 28th, 2022.

More information can be found here.

Davide Geneletti receives Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Davide Geneletti has received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for his research work in the area of landscape planning. The prizes are awarded every year to internationally renowned academics in recognition of their accomplishments in research. The independent body that selects the award winners is comprised of around 22 academics from all disciplines. 

Award winners are also invited to conduct a research project of their choice at a research institution in Germany in cooperation with specialist colleagues there, to promote international scientific cooperation. Davide Geneletti has been invited to chair the Opening Ceremony of the Annual Assembly of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation on 23 June, which will also be attended by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and by the 2020 Nobel Prize Laureate for Chemistry, Emmanuelle Charpentier.

For more information visit the website of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Davide Geneletti is among the three winner of the "City Innovative Thinker Award"

Davide Geneletti, Associate professor of the University of Trento, is among the three winners of the “City Innovative Thinker Award”, promoted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Pandemic Response CoLab, in the framework of The Post-COVID-19 City challenge. The challenge aimed at driving multidisciplinary thinking and collaboration around urban design for the post-COVID-19 city. The Pandemic Response CoLab of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence help individuals and groups work together to solve practical problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic. More information can be found here.

New PhD positions available

Interested in interdisciplinary research on Ecosystem Services, Nature-based Solutions, Sustainability Assessment, Urban Planning?

Apply to our new PhD Programme “Sustainability: Economics, Environment, Management and Society” (
Deadline for applications: 26 May 2021.


Post-doc fellowship available

Post-doc fellowship to work in a research project on Ecosystem services and Nature-based solutions for pandemic and climate-resilient cities.
Apply here by May 13: 



Older News

Upcoming events

Malta (online), 14-16 September 2020

ReNature 5th Training Course

The Fifth ReNature Training Course will be held online from the 14 to 16 September 2020 and will focus on collaborations across the science-policy interface for nature-based solutions. This training course will be held completely online and will also be livestreamed on YouTube.

The ‘Nature-based solutions and the science-policy interface’ training will bring together experts who through research or practice are working across the science-policy interface to mainstream and implement nature-based solutions. More information and registration form can be found here.

June 2020

Fully funded PhD opportunity on Nature-based Solutions

New PhD opportunity in our lab: Regulatory Planning for Nature-based Solutions implementation in cities. Info: (see PDF file “open and reserved topic scholarships"). Apply by July 23, 2020.

April 2020

New PhD positions available

Interested in interdisciplinary research on Ecosystem Services/Nature-based Solutions/Sustainability Assessment/Urban Planning?
Apply to our new PhD Programme "Sustainability: Economics, Environment, Management and Society":

Deadline for applications: June 3, 2020.

26 March 2020

Relaxation, Happiness, Health – Why We Need Urban Ecosystems

The importance of green spaces is increasingly acknowledged as an important aspect in urban development, calling on urban planners to properly understand the relationships between ecosystems and residents to make the most efficient use of ecosystem services. In this piece for the Urbanet, Davide Geneletti explains why we need urban ecosystems.

Malta, 24-25 February 2020

ReNature 4th Training Course

The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) organizes the ReNature 4th Training Course, a two-day training course on Nature-based Solutions in Rural Landscapes. The course aims to provide participants with a basic
understanding of the state of the art on the implementation of nature-based solutions in rural landscapes, with a focus on the Mediterranean region. The course includes speakers from the ReNature consortium and the research and practice community within which it is embedded. The ReNature team considers this training as an opportunity for capacity-building and networking opportunity that researchers and practitioners working towards the sustainability of rural landscapes in Malta and the Mediterranean region. More information can be found here.

Trento, 8 February 2020

ReNature 3rd Training Course has been a success!

Over 40 students and experts came to Trento, Italy, for the third ReNature training course "Nature-based solutions in urban planning". On 5, 6 and 7 February 2020 participants gathered at the University of Trento to learn how to mainstream nature-based solutions into urban planning. Training participants represented many countries including Bulgaria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and UK. More information about the activities carried out during the course can be found here.

Trento, 5 - 7 February 2020

ReNature 3rd Training Course: Nature-based Solutions in Urban Planning

The University of Trento organizes the ReNature 3rd Training Course, a three-day training course on Nature-based Solutions in Urban Planning. The course, organized within the ReNature project, will upskill participants in: understanding the ecological foundations of NBS, assessing their impacts on ecosystem services and their socio-economic implications, identifying planning barriers and opportunities, applying key principles for NBS design.

This training course is open to external participants and is aimed at PhD students, post-doc and research fellows, practitioners, and public officers interested in planning and designing NBS to address urban challenges.

More information about the course and the form for the registration can be accessed from here.

November 2019

Davide Geneletti receives the José María Sarriegi Research Award

Davide Geneletti is one of the 30 co-authors of the scientific study “How are cities planning to respond to climate change? Assessment of local climate plans from 885 cities in the EU-28”, which has been awarded the José María Sarriegi Major Catastrophe Research Award. The award was created by the Fundación Aon España and the Catastrophe Observatory to recognize the best academic research work on disaster management that was published in the two years prior to the award in a specialized journal. This year's topic is climate change.
The study analysed local climate action plans in 885 cities in the 28 member states of the European Union. The authors have explained that “progress is concentrated in big cities and also in northern Europe. 66% of cities have a mitigation plan and / or an adaptation plan. Mitigation plans are more popular than adaptation plans, which are only present in half of the cities analysed”. Analysing the progress in climate policy by cities is essential, since much of the responsibility, both in reducing emissions and in adapting to the impacts of climate change, relies on them. This large-scale study contributes to the generation of a reference baseline of local policies and plans at European level. 
The ceremony was delivered at the Symposium of the Catastrophe Observatory, under the honorary presidency of Her Majesty the Queen, on November 7 at the Postgraduate Campus of the University of Navarra, in Madrid.
To access the award-winning original scientific article, please visit:

Malta, 30 September - 04 October 2019

Renaturing Cities: Interdisciplinary Summer School

The ‘Renaturing Cities – Interdisciplinary Summer School’ is being organised by the Horizon 2020 ReNature project and the COST Action Circular City. The summer school aims to provide learners with an understanding of the features and dimensions of cultural landscapes in the context of the holistic approach towards landscape sustainability. Learners will carry field-based work and actively engage in discussions for selected case-studies in order to obtain important first-hand experience in this field and understand how ecosystem service knowledge can be applied in planning and design-making to support the design of nature-based solutions. Moreover, learners will be trained in communicating scientific content in an engaging and impactful way and will, during oral presentations and science communication sessions, test different approaches to communicate concepts and key information about nature-based solutions and sustainability. More information about the summer school can be accessed from here.

09 August - 06 September 2019

We are hiring!

One post-doc position on Forest Ecosystem Services.

Application details can be found here:

Deadline for online applications: September 6, 2019.

Venice, 9-13 July 2019

PLANES at the AESOP annual congress

PLANES is taking part to the AESOP annual congress in Venice. Davide Longato gives a talk about "Nature-based solutions: new tasks and challenges for urban planning" as part of the session "Planning and designing green infrastructures" scheduled on the 10th of July from 2 to 7 PM. More information and the detailed programme are available on the conference website.

16-18 September 2019

ABM2019 - course on Agent-based modeling for geographical applications (2nd edition)

Dr. Francesco Orsi holds a course on 'Agent-based modeling for geographical applications' at the University of Trento. The course (20 hours) provides an introduction to the concepts of agent-based modeling, a space for discussion about using this technique to investigate geographical problems and an opportunity to learn how to build and test agent-based models with the NetLogo programming language. The target audience is represented by doctoral students, researchers, practitioners and public officers dealing with a variety of geographical problems.

Registration deadline: August 25th, 2019. For more information and enrollments visit the webpage on the university website.

15 June - 10 July 2019

ReNature Summer School. Applications are open until the 10th July!

The call for the ReNature Summer School has just started! You are being invited to take part in research carried out within the project ReNature. "Renaturing Cities: Interdisciplinary Summer School" aims to provide participants with an understanding of the features and potential of nature-based solutions in the context of a holistic approach towards landscape sustainability. All participants will have the chance to interact and share experiences and activities with international experts. The summer school will include "problem-based" learning sessions, aimed at stimulating professional development and further networking between participantsalso in the aftermaths. Detailed information about the Summer School is available in the Summer School Flyer.

More information and the application form can be found in the ReNature website.

Milan, 1-5 July 2019

PLANES at the IALE 10th World Congress

PLANES researchers are presenting their work at the IALE 10th World Congress in Milan. Francesco Orsi gives a talk about "Agent-based simulation as an innovative approach to the design of green compact cities" as part of the session "The design of the contemporary cities through a green and blue infrastructure for Ecosystem services provision" scheduled on the 2nd of July from 4 to 5.20 PM, and a talk about "Identification of hotspots and bundles of forest ecosystem services in Europe" as part of the session "Biophysical Methods for the Quantification, Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystem Services" scheduled on the 5th of July from 2 to 3.15 PM. Chiara Cortinovis gives a talk about "From strategic to operational: innovative approaches to integrate ecosystem service knowledge in urban planning" as part of the session "Addressing the challenges of the Anthropocene with strategic planning: novel ways to couple ecological sciences and territorial governance" scheduled on the 2nd of July from 10.30 to 12.30 AM, and presents a poster titled "Enhancing tree health and urban biodiversity along with citizen wellbeing: analyzing tree functional traits to support urban forest planning and management in Padova (Italy)" in the poster session. Maria Susana Orta Ortiz gives a talk about "Exploring Co-Benefits, Negative Externalities and Impact Pathways of Nature-based Solutions in Urban Areas" as part of the session "Planning with nature for sustainable landscape development: lessons-learned from around the world" scheduled on the 5th of July from 10.30 to 12.30 AM, and presents a poster titled "Assessing Mismatches in the Provision of Urban Ecosystem Services: a Methodological Approach to Support the Design of Green Infrastructure" in the poster session. More information and the detailed programme are available on the conference website.

Dublin (IE), 11-13 June 2019

ReNature 2nd Training Course

The Trinity College Dublin organizes the ReNature 2nd Training Course, a three-day training course on mainstreaming nature-based solutions in planning and policy-making. This training course is aimed at early career practitioners and postgraduates, and it will upskill participants in nature-based solution understanding and their implications in practice. The aim of the course is to transfer knowledge from those who are at the interface between research and practice, practice and policy, and research and policy.

May 2019

The book "Multicriteria Analysis for Environmental Decision-Making" has been published

The new book "Multicriteria Analysis for Environmental Decision-Making", edited by Davide Geneletti, has just been published by Anthem Press publisher.

The aim of this book is to provide an overview of the principles of multicriteria analysis (MCA), and a series of case studies that illustrate its application to a variety of environmental decision-making problems, ranging from the siting of facilities with critical environmental effects to Natural Park planning, and from the prioritisation of environmental restoration interventions to the assessment of the impact of tourism infrastructures.

More information and a closer look at the contents of the book can be accessed from here.

Las Palmas de Gran Canarias, 27-29 May 2019

MOVE Project - General Assembly and 1st Workshop

In this workshop we are discussing advancements and selecting case studies for Mapping and Assessing Ecosystem Services in Europe's outermost regions and overseas countries and territories. The electronic Forum, co-developed by PLANES researchers, will be also launched.

Paola (MT), 7-9 May 2019

ReNature 1st Training Course

The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) organizes the ReNature 1st Training Course, a three-day training course on using techniques and methods in biodiversity and land monitoring. The course aims to provide participants with an understanding of ecosystem services and green infrastructure, to give an overview of the main green infrastructure elements in urban areas in the Maltese Islands, and to identify methods that may be used for an assessment of the ecosystem services provided by green infrastructure. The ReNature 1st Training Course will be delivered by speakers from the ReNature consortium, and the research community within which it is embedded. More information about the course and the abstracts for each lecture can be accessed from here.

Bern (CH), 24-26 April 2019

PLANES at the 4th Open Science Meeting of the Global Land Programme

PLANES researchers are presenting their work at the 4th Open Science Meeting of the Global Land Programme in Bern. Francesco Orsi gives a talk about "Identification of spatial bundles of forest ecosystem services at the European level for governance" as part of the session "Transformative adaptation for land systems: ecosystem services in pathways of adaptation to global change", scheduled on the 24th of April from 2 to 3.30 PM. Chiara Cortinovis presents the recently-published paper titled "Is urban spatial development on the right track? Comparing strategies and trends in the European Union" in the session "The role of policy and planning in urban land change: conceptualizations and evidence" held on the 25th of April from 3:15 to 4:45 PM. More information and the detailed programme are available on the conference website.

Trento (IT), 30 October 2018

ReNature presented at H2020 infoday

The project ReNature (Promoting research excellence in nature-based solutions for innovation, sustainable economic growth and human well-being in Malta) is presented at the Info day on the H2020 "Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation" program organised in Trento by Fondazione Bruno Kessler and APRE. The project is presented as an example of proposal succesfully submitted in the “Twinning” stream of the previous call. The agenda of the infoday is available here.

Trento (IT), 28 October – 1 November 2018

Students from TUM meeting PLANES

Students from the Technical University of Munich visited Trento as part of the activities of the course on Strategic Landscape Planning and Management held by Prof. Stephan Pauleit and Ing. Martina van Lierop. This semester, students will engage with a green infrastructure project in Trento North, organised in collaboration with local partners from the LOS_DAMA! Interreg project. Among the activities during the excursion, the seventeen bachelor and master students had the opportunity to meet local experts providing insights on a variety of topics related with the project area, including climate change, urban development, biodiversity, health and well-being. PLANES were asked to contribute with a guest lecture on ecosystem services and nature-based solution in Trento, during which Chiara Cortinovis presented recent research results and ongoing studies on mapping and assessing ecosystem services to support urban planning in Trento.

Trento (IT), 28-31 October 2018

InnoForESt 1st Consortium Assembly

PLANES hosted the 1st Consortium Assembly of InnoForESt, an EU-funded H2020 Innovation Action about “Smart information, governance and business innovations for sustainable supply and payment mechanisms for forest ecosystem services”. InnoForESt aims to foster a transformation of the European forest sector by steering policies towards cross sectoral coordination, to establish new alliances among key policy, management and business stakeholders in the forestry sector, and to demonstrate the viability of alternative income streams from forest ecosystem services.

On 28-31 October 2018, the 1st Consortium Assembly of InnoForESt has been an opportunity for project partners to (i) verify the status and challenges of the project with the Steering Committee, (ii) share project updates among all partners, and (iii) visit Primiero, one of the project’s case study areas. Here is the detailed programme of the meeting.

Malta (MT), 25-26 October 2018

ReNature Malta kick-off meeting

The EU funded H2020 twinning project ReNature (Promoting research excellence in nature-based solutions for innovation, sustainable economic growth and human well-being in Malta) has been officially launched with a meeting of its partners at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST).

ReNature establishes twinning between the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), and international research institutions to stimulate knowledge exchange and nurture a new generation of scientists and practitioners around an emerging nature-based solutions cluster for Malta. ReNature builds on the early successes of the research team at MCAST, and aims to position Malta as a front-runner country in research and innovation (R&I) in the development of nature-based solutions for sustainable development.

ReNature will establish and implement a nature-based solutions research strategy for Malta with a vision to promote research and innovation and develop solutions in a pursuit of economic growth, whilst at the same time improving human well-being and tackling environmental challenges. The strategy will be complemented by a newly-developed research cluster to act on it, with a vision to stimulate both scientific excellence and innovation capacity towards achieving the goals of sustainable development. In particular, challenges that can be addressed through nature-based solutions are those associated with the attainment of sustainable urbanisation through the design of cities that support communities, promote public health, cultural identity and social cohesion. Simultaneously, nature-based solutions provide new opportunities for climate change.

More info is available on the project website.

October 2018

PLANES host three sessions at ESP Europe 2018 regional conference

PLANES hosted three sessions at ESP Europe 2018 regional conference. Davide Geneletti, together with Daniele la Rosa (University of Catania), hosted session G1 on “Impact Assessment of Nature-based solutions”. The aim of the session was to share experiences on the impact assessment of Nature-based solutions, by i) discussing criteria and indicator frameworks that can be used to assess the impacts of Nature-based solutions, and ii) presenting results from empirical evaluations, conducted using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Particularly, it focuses on various dimensions related to the performance of Nature-based solutions: cost-effectiveness; distributional and procedural equity; evidence on provided benefits; impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services; trade-offs and synergies among different ecosystem services; and innovative urban and environmental policies. An overview of the session including the abstracts is available here, while the presentations are available at the following link.

Blal Adem Esmail, together with Kremena Burkhard and Paulina Guerrero (Institute of Environmental Planning, Leibniz Universität Hannover), hosted session S5 on “Promoting sustainability through water-related concepts, approaches and tools for quantifying ES” related to ESP Sectoral Working Groups on ES in water management. The aim of the session was to share experience in relation to the application of water-related concepts and approaches for quantification of ES, investigating to what extent such concepts and approaches have contributed to building sustainable water management. An overview of the session including the abstracts is available here, while the presentations are available at the following link.

Chiara Cortinovis, together with Christian Albert (Leibniz Universität Hannover) and Andrea Arcidiacono (Polytechnic University of Milan), hosted session T14c on “Bottlenecks and opportunities for applying ecosystem services in spatial planning”, related to ESP Thematic Working Group on Application of ES in planning and management. The aim of the session was to to identify recurring bottlenecks in the application of ecosystem services in spatial planning, and to explore possible solutions for overcoming these challenges in practice. An overview of the session including the abstracts is available here, while the presentations are available at the following link. A joint discussion paper summarising the results of the session is under preparation.

July 2018

We are hiring!

Two PhD positions in the field of Nature-based solutions:  "Planning for NbS in urban areas" and "Impact Assessment of NbS". Application details can be found here (NbS grants belong to Curriculum D): 

Deadline for online application: August 22.

Brussels (BE), 11-13 June 2018

ESMERALDA final event: Mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services across Europe and beyond

More than three years of dedicated work within the EU Horizon 2020 project ESMERALDA will culminate with the project’s final event - 11 to 13 June 2018, Brussels, Belgium. At the event, ESMERALDA will present its key outcomes, including: the project’s flexible methodology for mapping and assessment of ecosystem services, a useful and user-friendly online guidance resource, and the project’s open access publications including a textbook and a special issue in One Ecosystem.

Each of the three days of the Conference is dedicated to the specific needs of respectively scientists, politicians and decision makers, as well as practitioners, to ensure smooth intake of ESMERALDA's methodology at all stakeholder levels. About 100 delegates from 27 EU Member states, 6 other European countries, EU outermost
regions, from various European Commission’s bodies and institutions have registered for the event.

More on the event and on the outcomes of the project on ESMERALDA dedicated website.

Follow live tweets and discussions from the event at: #ESMERALDAfinal
Follow ESMERALDA on Twitter @ESMERALDA_H2020.

Milan (IT), 5 June 2018

PLANES at the international workshop on "Nature-based solutions for urban resilience"

Davide Geneletti discusses the role of nature-based solutions for urban resilience with a panel of international experts at the workshop organized by the Centre for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy (IEFE) - Bocconi University.

The aim of the workshop is to analyze and compare applications of planning, evaluation and management approaches to Nature-Based Solutions at the urban scale and to assess their impacts in terms of economic development, environmental conservation, improved social cohesion and stakeholder engagement.

Further details on the event and the programme of the workshop can be found at this link.

Azores (PT), 28-30 May 2018

MOVE project kick-off

The EU funded collaborative project MOVE (Facilitating MAES to support regional policy in OVerseas Europe: mobilizing stakeholders and pooling resources) has been officially launched with a meeting of its partners at the University of the Azores in Ponta Delgada.

The aim of the project is the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 in the outermost regions and overseas countries and territories of the EU. In particular, this involves the Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES Initiative) and the establishment of a stakeholder network of actors in the regions. At the kick-off meeting, a total of 20 project partners from the Azores, the Canary Islands, La Réunion, Martinique, French Guiana, Spain, Italy, the Netherland, France, Great Britain and Germany participated.

Brussels (BE), 23 May 2018

Davide Geneletti invited speaker at #EUGREENWEEK - EU Green Cities Summit Conference

Prof. Davide Geneletti is guest speaker in session 3.1 "Nature in the city".

Moderated by Humberto Delgado Rosa, the Director for Natural Capital of European Commission's DG Environment, the session will showcase different ways in which nature can thrive in our cities providing solutions to urban challenges and increasing citizens' quality of life. It will present how access to biodiversity-rich green areas and Natura 2000 sites deliver a wide range of health & social benefits. It will put in the spotlight cities that work with nature like those in the EnRoute project and show how wise investments in green infrastructure can bring multiple benefits, including economic returns. It will illustrate how successful approaches protecting and restoring urban biodiversity help nature and people within and beyond city boundaries.

More info about the conference, including the programme and the video streaming, can be found at this link.

April 2018

PLANES receives Horizon2020 funding to research Nature-based solutions

PLANES is a partner of the newly-funded Coordination and Support Action "Re-Nature: Promoting research excellence in Nature-based Solutions for innovation, sustainable economic growth and human well-being in Malta". The project, led by the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, will kickoff during Summer 2018.

April 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Chiara Cortinovis!

Our colleague Chiara Cortinovis successfully defended her PhD thesis ​"Integrating ecosystem services in urban planning". Congratulations Chiara!

April 2018

PLANES receives European Commission (DG Environment) Grant to map and assess ecosystem services

PLANES is a partner of the project "MOVE: Facilitating MAES to support regional policies in overseas Europe". The objective of the project is to build a collaborative network of local agents from a significant number of outermost regions and overseas countries and territories and mainland Europe teams, in order to identify local priorities for ecosystem services mapping and assessment.

April 2018

Call for abstracts: Impact assessment of Nature-based solutions

PLANES hosts a session on the environmental, social and economic impact assessment of Nature-based Solutions at the European Conference of the Ecosystem Services Partnership.


The Call for Abstracts is open until June 11.

12-14 September 2018

ABM2018 - course on Agent-based modeling

Dr. Francesco Orsi holds a course on 'Agent-based modeling for geographical applications' at the University of Trento. The course (20 hours) provides an introduction to the concepts of agent-based modeling, a space for discussion about using this technique to investigate geographical problems and an opportunity to learn how to build and test agent-based models with the NetLogo programming language. The target audience is represented by doctoral students, researchers, practitioners and public officers dealing with a variety of geographical problems.

Registration deadline: July 12th, 2018. For more information and enrolments visit the webpage on the university website.

April 2018

Call for papers: Land sharing vs Land sparing

Papers are sought for a JEAPM special issue on 'Sustainable land management: looking beyond the land sharing vs land sparing debate. Guest Editors: Lorenzo Sallustio (CREA Research Centre for Forestry and Wood, Italy), Michele Munafò (Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, Italy) and Davide Geneletti (University of Trento, Italy).

Submission deadline: October 5, 2018. More info in the dedicated page on JEAPM website.

March 2018

Applications of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis in Nature Conservation Research

When making Nature Conservation decisions feels like comparing apples and oranges, Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis comes to the rescue. A post by Davide Geneletti and Blal Adem Esmail on explains how based on their recently-published paper 'Multi‐criteria decision analysis for nature conservation: A review of 20 years of applications'.

Trento (IT), 22-25 January 2018


Funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, ESMERALDA is delivering a "flexible methodology” and tiered approach for mapping, valuation, accounting and assessment of ecosystem services (ES), as well as for the integration of different value dimensions.

The ESMERALDA workshop in Trento aims at testing the final version of the flexible methodology in policy and
decision-making in real-world case studies focusing on ES for urban planning. It continues the work of previous workshops in Prague (September 2016), Amsterdam (January 2017), Madrid (May 2017), and Plovdiv (October 2017). An additional objective of the workshops is to contribute to build stakeholders capacity in understanding the variety of existing methods for ES mapping and assessment, and the results that can be expected from their application.

The Workshop is organized by PLANES, in collaboration with the Flemish Institute for Technological Research VITO.

The workshop programme can be found here.

January 2018

Special Feature in Methods in Ecology and Evolution

A Special Issue on "Qualitative methods for eliciting judgements for decision making" has just been published in Volume 9 of Methods in Ecology and Evolution. PLANES contributions include a review of 20 years of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis applications for nature conservation by Blal Adem Esmail and Davide Geneletti. The article takes stock of existing studies and suggests key elements of successful MCDA applications.

Here the press release of the Special Issue.

December 2017

Congratulations to Blal Adem!

Our colleague Dr. Blal Adem was awarded the CeTAmb LAB - Fondazione SIPEC award for his PhD thesis on "Ecosystem Services for watershed management and planning". The CeTAmb LAB - Fondazione SIPEC award is conferred to theses related to engineering and technical experiences applied to resource-scarce contexts. The award ceremony will be part of the XIV CeTAmb LAB International Conference (University of Brescia, 20th December 2017). Congratulations Blal!

December 2017

PLANES proposal selected for Trento CLIMATE-KIC Urban Challenge Initiative

PLANES proposal to the Call for Solutions "Trento smart infrastructures - Blue and green solutions in the Alpine regions" has been selected to participate to the CLIMATE-KIC Urban Challenge Initiative. The aim of the call was to find new ideas and services to support local administrations in planning and realising blue and green infrastructures, specifically focusing on the natural and cultural assets of marginal landscapes.

PLANES proposal focuses on a smart and flexible monitoring platform that collects data from multiple sources and supports the assessment of the multiple ecosystem services provided by these areas, thus unveiling their hidden values. By involving both the public administration and the citizens, the platform serves as a common ground to raise awareness and promote participation, thus stimulating a continuous social-learning process.

Blal Adem and Susana Orta, authors of the proposal, are invited to present their idea in the boot-camp and pitching event (registration at this page) that will be held in Trento within the framework of the CLIMATE-KIC Urban Challenge Initiative (5-7 December 2017). Congratulations!

Berlin (DE), 27-28 November 2017

InnoForESt kick-off meeting

PLANES participate to the kick-off meeting of the new H2020 project InnoForESt-Smart information, governance and business innovations for sustainable supply and payment mechanisms for forest ecosystem services. The project aims to formulate, assess, test, and demonstrate policy and business innovations for the sustainable supply and financing of forest ecosystem services. To this aim, the project will work in six case study regions across Europe, involving networks with experience in successful ecosystem service governance innovations.


More info about the project in the dedicated page on our website.

November 2017

Impact assessment framework for nature-based solutions reaches the EU Parliament

European Parliament Briefing on Nature-bases Solutions covers the Impact assessment framework co-authored by PLANES researchers. Read the post on the EU Parliament Think Tank website at this link, or download the policy brief.

Milan (IT), 13 November 2017

Open lecture on green infrastructures and spatial planning

​Davide Geneletti is invited speaker at the open lecture "Green infrastructures and spatial planning: recent experiences and innovative approaches" organised by Andrea Arcidiacono and Stefano Di Vita at the Polytechnic University of Milan. For detailed information see the poster of the event.

October 2017

Call for papers: Innovative Decision Support Tools and Technique for Impact Assessment

Papers are sought for a JEAPM special issue on 'Innovative Decision Support Tools and Technique for Impact Assessment'. Submission deadline: January 15, 2018. Info in the dedicated webpage.

October 2017

PLANES receives new funding from Horizon 2020

PLANES researchers will be engaged in research on innovative planning and governance mechanism for forest ecosystem services in the Horizon 2020 project InnoForESt (Smart information, governance and business innovations for sustainable supply and payment mechanisms for forest ecosystem services). Activities start on November 1 2017.

September 2017

New JEAPM issue published

The September 2017 issue of the Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management is now on-line. All journal content will be free to access for the month of October.

Trento (IT), 6-8 September 2017

REGISTRATIONS ARE OPEN! - V Edition of the course on Spatial multi-criteria analysis for environmental decision-making, held by Davide Geneletti and Valentina Ferretti. The course is hosted by the University of Trento. For more information and enrolments visit the webpage on the university website.

August 2017

Congratulations to Chiara Cortinovis

Our PhD student Chiara Cortinovis was awarded the LAND Young Scientist Award for her work titled "Ecosystem services in urban planning: state, challenges, and ways forward, with a focus on urban regulating services" submitted to the IUFRO LE 2017 conference (website).

April 2017

Prof. Taubøll visiting PLANES

Prof. Steinar Taubøll from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) will visit PLANES lab during of his research visit in Italy. Steinar is a lawyer and professor at the Institute of Law and Property. His main research field is in the legal aspects of climate change adaptation. He will be in Trento and Bolzano for a comparative analysis of the key mechanisms for dealing with natural hazards in relation to land use planning.

Trento (IT), 21 April 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Linda Zardo!

Our colleague Linda Zardo successfully defended her PhD thesis ​"Analyzing ecosystem services and green urban infrastructures to support urban planning". Congratulations!

Rome (IT), 8 March 2017

EnRoute project kick-off

The EU project EnRoute - Enhancing Resilience Of Urban Ecosystems through Green Infrastructure, leaded by the JRC, starts with a meeting in Rome, hosted by the Sapienza University.


Following the MAES Urban Pilot, the project involves a group of EU cities that will further develop framework and indicators to map and assess urban ecosystem services. The aim is to operationalize MAES findings improving the science-policy interface on urban green infrastructures, towards a more effective implementation in planning. PLANES is responsible for the scientific support to the cities of Trento and Padua.

March 2017

EKLIPSE report on Impact Assessment of Nature-Based Solutions

PLANES contributes to the first Eklipse report "An impact evaluation framework to support planning and evaluation of nature-based solutions projects". The report answers a request from the European Commission DG Research and Innovation to develop an assessment framework to evaluate the multiple benefits, disservices, trade-offs and synergies of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS). The main purpose is to apply this framework to H2020-funded NBS demonstration projects for increasing urban resilience to climate change.


The report has just been released and can be downloaded following this link.

January 2017

Davide Geneletti @ Murdoch University

Davide Geneletti has been appointed Visiting Researcher at the Murdoch University (Western Australia). In the next months, he will join the Environmental Assessment Unit to collaborate with Australian colleagues on ongoing research projects. Good luck Davide!

December 2016

JEAPM issue out

The December 2016 issue of the Journal of Environmental Assessment and Project Appraisal (vol.18 n.4) has been released. Featuring papers on SEA applications, ecosystem service bundles, e-waste management, assessment of policies related to clean air, and the Common Fishery Policy. Visit the website.

Trento (IT), 20 December 2016

Seminar by Dr. Raffaele Pelorosso

PLANES hosts Dr. Raffaele Pelorosso from DAFNE - Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Tuscia University (IT), who holds a seminar on "Urban stormwater management: a modellistic approach for planning nature-based solutions". Raffaele will present an approach developed to integrate nature-based solution to stormwater management in planning urban green infrastructures, and to assess their effectiveness.

October 2016

Prof. Morrison-Saunders visiting PLANES

Prof. Angus Morrison-Saunders from Murdoch University (Australia) will be in Trento visiting PLANES until November, 2. Dr. Morrison-Saunders is Associate Professor in Environmental Assessment at Murdoch University, Australia; Extraordinary Professor in Environmental Sciences and Management at North West University, South Africa; and Senior Associate of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. He is currently an Associate Editor of Environmental Impact Assessment Review journal, and has been Co-Editor of Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal journal for six years.

His research focuses on the effectiveness of environmental impact assessment (EIA) and its derivatives such as strategic environmental assessment and sustainability assessment. Other research interests include effective teaching in higher education (especially writing and research skills), sustainable tourism and environmental education.

A warm welcome back to Trento from all PLANES!

Trento (IT), 3 October 2016

PLANES lunch seminar

Dr. Jenny Pope from North-West University (South Africa) holds a lunch seminar on "Applying systems thinking in impact assessment". The seminar summarizes the key concepts of systems, systems thinking and systems concepts, reviews the arguments for systems thinking in impact assessment and introduces computational systems analysis, and the specific tool of system dynamics for IA.

Dr Jenny Pope is Director of the Western Australian consultancy firm Integral Sustainability, which provides consultancy services to Government and industry on the integration of sustainability concepts into decision-making processes, with a focus on delivering positive sustainability outcomes from major projects.

September 2016

JEAPM issue out

The September 2016 issue of the Journal of Environmental Assessment and Project Appraisal (vol.18 n.3) has been released. Featuring papers on health impact assessment, wind energy development, cumulative effects and public participation in environmental assessment. Visit the website.

20 September 2016

Short training course at the ESP EU conference

Davide Geneletti offers a short training course on "Ecosystem services in impact assessment for policy support" to 35 delegates of the European Ecosytsem Services Conference.

September 2016

Chiara Cortinovis @ Humboldt University in Berlin

Chiara Cortinovis is visiting the Geography Department at the Humboldt University in Berlin to work with prof. Dagmar Haase and colleagues on urban green space dynamics in European cities.

August 2016

PLANES joins the EKLIPSE network

Davide Geneletti is a member of the EKLIPSE expert network working on nature-based solutions. EKLIPSE - Knowledge & Learning mechanism on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services is a four-years project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon2020 funding stream.The main goal of EKLIPSE is to bring scientists, policy-makers and others together to ensure that decisions that affect the environment are made with the best available knowledge.


Discover the EKLIPSE project and how to participate on the dedicated website.

August 2016

Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management: new editorial board

Davide Geneletti is the new Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management. Chiara Cortinovis is also a member of the new Editorial Board, appointed Editorial Assistant. More info about the Journal at the following link.

July 2016

Time to be CLIMAWARE!

The video presentation of the project CLIMAWARE has just been released! Curious about interdisciplinary approaches to climate change? Discover how researchers at the University of Trento are joining forces between engineering disciplines and social sciences.

June 2016

Handbook on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessment published!

The new Handbook on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessment, edited by Davide Geneletti, has just been published in the Elgar Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series.


The Handbook presents state-of-the-art methodological guidance and discussion of international practice related to the integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in impact assessment, featuring contributions from leading researchers and practitioners the world over. Its multidisciplinary approach covers contributions across five continents to broaden the scope of the field both thematically and geographically.


More information and a closer look at the contents on the publisher's website.

Malta, 16 June 2016

Research seminar on "Nature based solutions for sustainable development"

Davide Geneletti is presenting our research on urban ecosystem services at the seminar "Nature based solutions for sustainable development". The seminar is organized by the Institute of Applied Sciences of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and  is scheduled for Thursday 16th June from 9.30 to 13.30.

For more information and registration, visit the webpage of the event.

June 2016

Linda Zardo working with UN-Habitat @ Addis Ababa

Our colleague Linda Zardo won an internship position at UN-Habitat and is now working on the environmental report for the capital city of Addis Ababa. Congratulations to Linda and good luck for this exciting experience in Ethiopia!

May 2016

ES study in Trento features the 4th MAES report

PLANES research on urban ecosystem services in Trento featured the latest MAES report. The 4th MAES report provides guidance for mapping and assessing urban ecosystems and includes an indicator framework to assess the condition of urban ecosystems and services, which is used at European, Member State and local level. The report is available for download at this link.

Harvard (US), 20-21 May 2016

Davide Geneletti @ Harvard for the Sustainability Science Symposium

Davide Geneletti is presenting on "Tradeoffs between human well-being and the natural environment" at the Sustainability Science Symposium organized by the Harvard Kennedy School. 

Davide is back to Harvard together with more than 70 alumni fellows of the Sustainability Science Program to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the program and the progress in the field, and to outline challenges ahead.

More information on the Sustainability Science Programm are available at this link.

April 2016

Prof. Dagmar Haase visits PLANES lab

Prof. Dagmar Haase (Humboldt University) visits our lab to discuss research on Nature-based solutions in urban areas.

Trento (IT), 8 April 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Blal Adem

Our colleague Blal Adem successfully defended his PhD thesis ​"Ecosystem services for watershed management and planning". Congratulations!

Trento (IT), 17-19 February 2016

IV Edition of the course on Spatial multi-criteria analysis for environmental decision-making, held by Davide Geneletti. The course is hosted by the University of Trento. For more information and enrolments visit the webpage on the university website.

February 2016

One Ecosystem Journal - press release

The press release of the new journal One Ecosystem is now published on Eureka and tweeted! Spread the news across your networks, retweet and share!

December 2015

One Ecosystem. Ecology and Sustainability Data Journal

Davide Geneletti is co-founder of One Ecosystem. One Ecosystem is an innovative Open Access scholarly journal which provides a forum for studies in the field of ecology and sustainability. Learn more about the journal on the dedicated website.

November 2015

-skopìa. Anticipation services

Davide Geneletti is co-founder of the company -skopìa, a start-up company with the University of Trento. A multi-service, for-profit corporation, -skopìa provides strategic intelligence, based on the analysis of changes, risks and opportunities, and consulting services for the development of anticipatory-based skills. 
-skopìa offers counselling to communities, government and businesses through research based on the theory of anticipation. Anticipation includes both forecasts (e.g. extrapolations from time series) and the exploration of possible futures (e.g. scenarios), but its scope is broader than either of them. Visit the website!

Stellenbosch (ZA), 9-13 November 2015

Davide Geneletti is joining the 8th Ecosystem Service Partnership World Conference

Davide Geneletti presents his research on "Nature-based solutions for climate adaptation in urban planning" at the 8th World ESP conference, which will be held in South Africa from 9-13 November 2015. 

The central theme of the conference is ‘Ecosystem Services for Nature, People and Prosperity’. The conference will pay special attention to the public and private sector dialogue on how the ecosystem services concept can be used to support conservation, improve livelihoods and engage the business community. ESP8 will provide an excellent platform to engage with experts who can generate solutions to these challenges and start making a difference in practice.

Trento (IT), 5-7 November 2015

PLANES @ First International Conference on Anticipation

Blal Adem and Davide Geneletti are presenting their research on "Predicting the impacts of multi-purpose watershed management: the case of soil erosion control and poverty alleviation in the Upper Anseba Watershed (Eritrea)" at the First International Conference on Anticipation.

The presentation is scheduled on Saturday 5 (afternoon) in the session about "Anticipatig Nature/3".

More information on Anticipatory Systems and on the project "Anticipation" at the following link.

More information on the conference are available on the dedicated webpage.

August 2015

Francesco Orsi, our PhD Alumnus, appointed as assistant professor at Kansas State University - Deparment of Geography, US. Good luck Francesco!

June 2015

UN-Habitat publishes Guidelines for Strategic Environmental Assessment of Spatial Plans authored by Davide Geneletti

These Guidelines for Strategic Environmental Assessment of Spatial Plans, are part of a series of guidelines and tools that the Municipal Spatial Planning Support Programme (MuSPP)/UN-Habitat is offering in support to spatial planning and governance processes in Kosovo. All of the guidance and toolkits in this series draw upon the experience and information generated by UN-Habitat’s support to municipal spatial planning. These guidelines are intended to enable local and central level decision makers, Non-Governmental Organisations as well as representatives of the local communities to acquaint themselves with a variety of methodologies most appropriate to their development contexts in support to spatial planning processes. The guidelines are available for download at this link.

May 2015

PhD Alumna as city council member

Marika Ferrari, our PhD Alumna, appointed as city council member in Trento, Italy, for environmental policies and European programs. 

Good luck Marika!




Trento (IT), 26 May 2015

PLANES internal workshop

Azucena Pérez-Vega and Francesco Orsi present their research to the PLANES group during a workshop.
Azucena Pérez-Vega, a visiting researcher from the Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico, presents her work on optimizing forest restoration, using MCA and participatory mapping.
Francesco Orsi's introduces the basics of Agent-based modeling and presents examples of application from his post-doc research on "Combining agent-based modeling and optimization to define access strategies to protected areas: the Dolomites UNESCO heritage"

Ghent (BE), 19-20 May 2015

Linda Zardo presents at the 1st International Conference on "Nature and Urban Wellbeing: Nature-Based Solutions to Societal Challenges" organized by ALTER-Net. She presents in a session on "Green infrastructure for nature-based solutions in urban planning". 

ALTER-Net is a network of partner institutes from 18 European countries. ALTER-Net integrates research capacities across Europe: assessing changes in biodiversity, analysing the effect of those changes on ecosystem services and informing policymakers and the public about this at a European scale.


Copenhagen (DK), 12-14 May 2015

Linda Zardo presents her research on "Nature-based urban planning: enhancing green areas design for local climate regulation " at the ECCA.

The second biennial European Climate Change Adaptation Conference is hosted in Copenhagen in 2015. More than 1000 participants are expected to attend this event.

The conference offers a unique platform for researchers, policy makers, and businesses to share new research results, novel policy developments, and practical implementation experiences regarding climate change impacts and adaptation, as well as highlight opportunities for business innovations aimed at supporting the transition to low carbon societies.

Kiel (DE), 05-07 May 2015

Davide Geneletti and Blal Adem participate in the official kickoff meeting of ESMERALDA, one of the first EU H2020 funded projects. ESMERALDA is among the first EU H2020 funded projects and involves 25 partners, of which UNITN is coordinating one of the six work packages. The aim of ESMERALDA is to deliver a flexible methodology to provide the building blocks for pan-European and regional assessments. The work will ensure the timely delivery to EU member states in relation to Action 5 of the BD Strategy, supporting the needs of assessments in relation to the requirements for planning, agriculture, climate, water and nature policy.

Trento (IT), 28 April 2015

Congratulations to our PhDs

We congratulate our colleagues Parveen Kumar, Paolo Picchi and Mauro Carolli for successfully defending the following PhD theses:

  • Parveen Kumar “Spatial planning to integrate climate change adaptation at local level”
  • Paolo Picchi “Enhancing the relationship between the landscape of energy transition and the ecosystem services”
  • Mauro Carolli “Hydropeaking in Alpine rivers: an ecosystem services approach”

Dresden (DE), 25-27 March 2015

Blal Adem presents a poster on a methodology for optimizing equitable watershed investments in a case study in Sub-Saharan africa, at the Dresden Nexus Conference (DNC). He presents in a session on “Urbanization as an opportunity: Local solutions and urban/peri-urban interlinkages for integrated resource-efficiency in metropolitan regions.”

The DNC 2015 assembles UN organizations, UNU institutes, member states, German ministries, national and international organizations as well as individual researchers and NGOs from around the world under the theme “Global Change, Sustainable Development Goals and the Nexus Approach”.

Florence (IT), 18.19 April 2015

Davide Geneletti holds a course on “Multicriteria analysis for impact assessment: theory and practice” at the IAIA 2015 Conference in Florence, which aims to advance a multidisciplinary discussion on the challenges and opportunities associated with the use of new digital technologies for promoting sustainability.

March 2015

“Sustainable Transportation in Natural and Protected Areas” a book edited by Francesco Orsi is published by Routledge.

Protected areas are at the centre of nature-based tourism, which is increasingly popular across the world. As visitor numbers increase, so does awareness of the harmful effects that large crowds may have on both natural resources and individuals’ recreational experience. This volume considers the challenge of transportation to and within natural and protected areas, the improvement of which has already been recognised as having great potential for mitigating the environmental impacts of ecotourism.

While several books have focused considerable attention to the management of protected areas in general, little has been said about the specific issue of sustainable transport, an emerging trend that is already reshaping visitation patterns in natural settings. This book provides current knowledge on issues associated with the transportation of visitors in natural and protected areas, and a comprehensive overview of the technical and strategic options available to tackle these issues.

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