European Topic Centre on Urban, Land and Soil Systems (ETC ULS)

The European Topic Centre on Urban, Land and Soil systems, ETC/ULS, is supporting the European Environment Agency (EEA) in supporting monitoring of urban development in Europe, creating seamless European wide spatial reference data and develop and analyse various land related indicators.

Urban areas are home for most of the EU population and driver for economic growth and innovation, but their further sustainable growth represents a challenge both for internal management and planning as well as for the surrounding environment (land, soil, biodiversity).

Urban, land and soil systems is therefore a new strategic line of the EEA MAWP 2014-2018 reflecting an evolution towards a more integrated approach to environmental issues, including societal challenges mirrored on the inclusion of urban areas.

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Noise activities

Interfase-UAB, inside the ETC/ACM consortium, is responsible for the provision of support to EEA, the Member States and the EEA member countries on the environmental noise field: mainly supporting the collection and quality checking of noise data, assessing it and disseminating the main figures at European and country level.

The Environmental Noise Directive (END) entered into force in 2002, and based on the information compiled since that date, the first noise assessment report at EU level was developed and published together with the EEA, in December 2014.

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European Topic Centre on Air Pollution and Climate Change Mitigation (ETC/ACM)

The European Topic Centre on Air Pollution and Climate Change Mitigation (ETC/ACM) is a consortium of 14 partner organisations in 10 European countries that supports the European Environment Agency (EEA) in Copenhagen.

The main task of ETC/ACM is to assist EEA in supporting EU environmental policy and legislative frameworks and to allow for adequate responses to emerging needs. Such support involves improving the reporting of monitoring and inventory data, information dissemination, and integrated assessments. To this end ETC/ACM analyses in a balanced way the causality chain of environmental policy making: Driving forces, Pressures, State, Impacts and Responses (DPSIR).

The ETC/ACM activities focus on following main policy processes and frameworks:

  • Climate change mitigation and energy pollution (with reference to EU’s Climate Action)
  • Air pollution, transport and noise
  • Industrial pollution

More information about the ETC/ACM can be found in: http://acm.eionet.europa.eu/about_etcacc

Interfase-UAB  is one of the 14 partner organizations, and it is responsible of the provision of support to EEA, the Member States and the EEA member countries under the Eionet network and collaborating countries on the environmental noise field.

The main tasks consist in supporting the collection of noise data reported under the Environmental Noise Directive (END) and its quality checking for further assessment and dissemination.

COASTGAP Project: Coastal Governance and Adaptation Policies in the Mediterranean

 

 

 

Brief Description:

The Mediterranean coastal zones are among the most threatened by Climate Change effects, also considering their environmental and infrastructural value and concomitant strains like erosion, salt water intrusion, littoralization, etc.. The project COASTGAP was born after more than 10 years of shared experiences in this field, among many Mediterranean coastal Administrations and Institutions, which established the cluster FACECOAST (www.facecoast.eu) in 2011. COASTGAP aimed to capitalize 12 best practices from 9 projects of the cluster (from MED and other programmes), to produce governance and adaptation policies aimed to reduce risk along coastal zones and foster their sustainable development (there were 15 institutions involved). In order to provide an operational and coherent strategy for the 2014-2020 financial period, supported by multi-level agreements among coastal Administrations, COASTGAP aimed to design, characterize and prepare to launch the Joint Action Plan on Adaptations to Climate Changes in MED Basin.

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Copernicus Land: improving the road network within Functional Urban Areas

The European Copernicus programme, previously known as Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) is an EU-wide programme that aims to support policymakers, business, and citizens with improved environmental information. Copernicus integrates satellite and in-situ data with modeling to provide user-focused information services.

UAB is leading the Copernicus task EEA/IDM/15/010 under the ETC-ULS consortium including partners from Luxembourg (Space4Environment) and Hungary (FÖMI).

The aim and name of the task is to “Assess the completeness, up to datedness and accessibility to existing road network databases within a selection of Functional Urban Areas of Urban Atlas 2012.

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Innovative Ecosystem-Based Governance Strategies for Resilient Coasts (INN-COASTS)

Brief description:

The INN-COASTS project proposes a very innovative ecosystem-based integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) conceptual framework and associated tools for decision making. It is analyzing the state and evolution of the Mediterranean Spanish coast, its ecosystems, urban settlements, protected and non protected areas, making assessments and providing guidance for coastal resilient planning and management, understood in this proposal as the capacity of being flexible adapting to social-environmental changes in a sustainable way.

Three Spanish coastal case studies have been chosen in order to carry out the project: 1) the South Metropolitan area of Barcelona (Llobregat Delta – Garraf coast) (Catalonia); 2) the Ebro Delta (Catalonia); and 3) the Eastern coast of Almería (Andalusia), to work in each of them together with managers and decision makers, in a participative governance, sharing concepts, visions, data and results and identifying drivers and potential responses in terms of ICZM, with the aim of bridging science and decision making.

The project proposes to build an inventory of the coastal and marine ecosystems in the pilot sites, with criteria to identify and mapping them through different methods and assess their state and trends, identifying degradation hotspots but also networks of healthy ecosystems that should be taken into account for improving the planning and management of the coast. Guidance for ecosystem-based management are being written having in mind the anthropic but also global (including climate) change pressures on these ecosystems and their future.

Financing institution: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Spanish Government)

Duration of the project: 01-01-2013/31-12-2015

Budget: 47.034 €

UAB role: The INTERFASE team from UAB is the lead partner and the main staff provider of the project and is coordinating Activity 1: Ecosystem-based approach guidance for the ICZM in Spanish Mediterranean coasts, Activity 2: Development of a coastal ecosystem accounting methodology / blue green inventory for the Mediterranean Spanish coasts, Activity 3: Resilient coasts at the face of climate change adaptation: new challenges for urban adaptive planning and governances, Activity 4: Sustainable tourism in coastal areas: state of the art and challenges, Activity 5: ICZM governance platform in coastal areas and  Activity 6: Project coordination and dissemination.

EAGLE – Harmonising European Land Monitoring

The EAGLE group (Eionet Action Group on Land monitoring in Europe) was set up in 2009 by members of EIONET NRCs on land cover as a response to the growing need to discuss solutions for a better integration and harmonization of national mapping activities with European land monitoring initiatives (i.e. CLC) at technical level, independently from any political or industry preferences, following the concept of a bottom-up approach.

The EAGLE concept …

  • can be a useful framework for the integration of LC / LU information from various data sets in one single data model.
  • is applicable on both national and EU level.
  • is a vehicle for comparison and semantic translation between different LC/LU nomenclatures, and facilitates data exchange.
  • is open to be implemented as a LC / LU data collection standard for national land monitoring initiatives.
  • can be a coherent common data framework for several single GMES products (CLC, HRLs, Urban Atlas).

Welcome to the INTERFASE Team

The INTERFASE team (Research Group on Inclusive Governance and Territorial and Coastal-Marine Sustainability) is a collaborative transdisciplinary team of researchers and external collaborators from different academic disciplines, whose core is at the Geography Department of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)The activities of the group started in 1992 by Dr. Françoise Breton. The group has a long established reputation for delivering excellent research, particularly with regard to studies on coastal management and environmental issues. The group has closely collaborated with institutions such as the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the UNEP/MAP. One of its main achievements has been the coordination of the FP7 PEGASO project, which designed integrated policies for the coastal, marine and maritime realms of the Mediterranean and Black Sea Basins.

Currently, the research team is cordinated by two principal investigators: Antònia Casellas, with research experience in Johns Hopkins University, University of Toronto and Indiana University among others, she has a PhD on Urban Planning and Policy Development from the Rutgers University of USA; and Eduard Ariza, with a Fulbright post-doc in the Florida International University, he is a Ramón y Cajal researcher with a PhD in Marine Sciences from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

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The INTERFASE promotes researches in analysis, planning and integrated management of coastal zones, natural resources and open areas (protected and rural areas, etc.) from the study of socio-environmental changes in space and time and the sustainability of environmental and spatial policies. Since its foundation, the research group develops an intense work of supporting to administrations and stakeholders in the study and integrated assessment of spatial problems in areas of contact or interface between society and environment: analysis and management of coastal and marine zones, socio-environmental problems linked to human activities and processes of land use change, planning and social adaptation to climate change, land and ecosystems accounting, ecosystem services, cooperation networks in regional, trans-statal and cross-border areas, spatial processes of migrations and climate change.

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