Urban green spaces in resilient cities

Title of the research project

ECO.G.U.S. - ECOsystem services for resilient and sustainable cities: an ecohydrological approach for Green Urban Spaces

Scientific area

Water management, ecohydrology, resilient cities

Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow

Roberto Revelli


Under the framework of socio-ecohydrology, ECO.G.U.S. goal is to develop scientific tools to quantify the Green Urban Spaces sustainability and their provision of ecosystem services. To this extent, the stochastic ecohydrological approach and the complex systems theory are applied in the urban context.

Description of the research project

For the first time in recorded history the majority of people live in cities and the increasing urbanization modifies their mass, momentum, and energy budgets: in the next decades redevelopment, densification, population increase and demographic shift, as well as climate change will potentially impact the production and consumption of urban ecosystem services. ECO.G.U.S. focuses on green urban spaces, their connection with urban hydrologic cycle, their ability to provide ecosystem services and their importance for people well-being at short, medium and long temporal scales.

The project main goal has been achieved in two steps. In the first research period (developed at the Pratt School of Engineering - DUKE University - Durham - NC - US) a dynamical stochastic ecohydrological model has been adapted to the urban context at the single tree scale. The model results can be used to estimate the potential for ecosystem services like tree cooling effects, soil carbon sequestration or storm-water management. In the second research phase (performed at DIATI - Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering ,Politecnico di Torino) the dynamical systems theory has been applied to the problem. The result is a mathematical model able to capture, in a wide and general sense, the complex feedbacks between the presence of green infrastructures, their provision of ecosystem services and the population that enjoys and benefits from them.

Impact on fellow career and on society 

Environmental infrastructures must increase their resilience and their management needs to face important challenges generated by a world that is constantly changing both in environmental, economic and social sense. We need tools able to understand future implications of current choices: ECO.G.U.S. proposed scientific tools should generate guidelines and best management practices with the aim of improving the Green Urban Spaces quality and quantity as well as the current environmental governance.

Short CV of Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow

Roberto Revelli, Master degree in Civil Engineering and Ph.D. in Hydraulic Engineering, is Full Professor in Hydraulics. He was Deputy Director of DIATI, coordinator of the II Level Specializing Master Program “Water Engineering for Drinking and Industrial Use” and visiting associate professor at Duke University (NC-USA). He is author of books and more than 70 papers in ISI journals. He currently teaches “Hydraulics” and “Environmental hydraulics”. His main research interests are related to fluid mechanics, transport processes in streams, ecohydrology, renewable energy and historic hydraulics.


Pierluigi Claps,  DIATI - Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering, Politecnico di Torino

Amilcare Porporato, Pratt School of Engineering - DUKE University - Durham (NC - US)

Project Partner Organisation

Pratt School of Engineering - DUKE University - Durham (NC - US)

ECO.G.U.S. project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 701914

  • Budget: 197.720 euro
  • Start date: 15/08/2016
  • End date: 14/11/2018