cod. 1010485

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - Second semester
- Rossano BOLPAGNI
Academic discipline
Ecologia (BIO/07)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
24 hours
of face-to-face activities
3 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course is offered to students of the master’s degree and it aims to transfer cultural and practical tools for the design of programs/actions based on the Nature-based Solutions. At the end of the course, students will be able to analyze the ecological potential of Nature-based Solutions to reduce the effects of climate change and disaster risks, and to identify possible solutions for different geographical and climatic macro-areas critically.

Five main training objectives are proposed: 1) clarify the meaning of Nature-based Solutions; 2) recall the ecological peculiarities of the target ecosystems; 3) understand their functional mechanisms/dynamics/pressures; 4) explore a set of case studies (external experts); 5) summarize concepts and experiences.


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Course unit content

Starting from the understanding of the specificities of the urban ecosystems, agroecosystems and Nature-based solutions, it will be possible to deepen the theoretical and practical bases of the main practical actions to strengthen and boost ecosystem services and functions - also through dialogue with experts engaged in urban and agricultural regeneration and planning (AdBPO, water authorities, metropolitan areas). Particular attention will be paid to understanding the functional complexity of "urban contexts", small lentic waters, and ecological corridors in agricultural systems.
The course will provide to the students the scientific references of Nature-based Solutions. The student must have as a reference the functional basis of urban and agricultural ecosystems and the multiple relationships between the environment and organisms. The course has a significant practical/experimental character, and is organized in 5 modules, each of 4 hours, supplemented by practical activities, aimed at recovering the materials to be analyzed, review and discussion on the practical activities carried out (4 hours).
- general module: Introduction to Nature-based solutions
- module 2: Nature-based solution & urban contexts;
- module 3: Nature-based solution & agricultural contexts;
- module 4: Role of nature-based solutions in practical mitigation actions
and preparation of action plans based on nature-based solutions;
- module 5: Summary of experiences.

Full programme

Module 1: Introduction to Nature-based Solutions. On the basis of the EEA 2021 reference document "Nature-based solutions in Europe", the different types of NbS will be explored, including those of general and specific-approach type.
Module 2: Introduction to the theme of urban ecosystems and the application of NbS in these contexts. Deepening of case studies, and critical evaluation of the opportunities offered by NbS for adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction.
Module 3: Introduction to the theme of agroecosystems and the application of NbS in these contexts. Deepening of case studies, and critical evaluation of the opportunities offered by NbS for adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction.
Module 4: Insights on a local case study (availability of water resources), with particular reference to the so-called NWRS = Natural Water Retention Measures.
Module 5: Final module of synthesis and critical analysis of the activities carried out during the previous modules.


Lecture notes are available for students for each module, as well as the reference handbooks: EEA 2001 “Nature-based solutions in Europe” and Nature‐based Solutions to Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Areas. The material will be provided by the teacher in electronic format in preparation and during the performance of modules and the possible practical activities.

Teaching methods

The teaching organization consists of lectures both finalized to introduce theory and practical activities, having as their object the general presentation of the course, the performance of the modules and a final review lesson. The laboratory activities are aimed at the characterization of case studies.

Assessment methods and criteria

Attendance at lessons and practical activities is a prerequisite for admission to the final exam as the level of participation in the activities is assessed by the teacher. A maximum of 25% absences (approx. 1 module) is permitted, only for serious reasons to be justified in an adequate manner by students. The evaluation of participation in the activities contributes 30% of the final grade. At the end of the course, the student is asked to prepare a presentation on some of the topics covered in the course. The mark of the presentation and the discussion with the teacher contributes to 70% of the final mark. The final mark is thirty; the minimum is 18, the maximum 30, the possible praise is assigned only to the students who during the course have actively participated in the workshops and practical activities.

Other information

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