LANDSUPPORT hits the news!

Check our freshly selected selection of articles following the project Press Conference held in Brussels on July 3rd:

Throwback on the press conference in Brussels

A press conference on 3 July presented the project and allowed attendees to get hands-on with some of the web-based tools at its core. Comments and input came from agriculture and soil experts from LANDSUPPORT, the European Council of Spatial Planners (ECTP), the Istituto Nazionale di Urbanistica (INU), and the Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA).

To encourage better policy decisions and protect against land degradation, the project created the Land Take tool – one component of a web-based, open access GeoSpatial Decision Support System (S-DSS) – the LANDSUPPORT S-DSS platform. It employs a combination of data, modelling, and on-the-fly calculations to analyse, monitor and mitigate land take for the entire European territory.

The tool has a number of potential applications – aiding National Public Authorities who require ongoing monitoring of land take in their territory; assisting planning at a regional or provincial level where planning guidelines need to be adopted; and informing decisions at an administrative level where final land take decisions are made.

General Assembly 2019 in Balatongyörök in Hungary

The LANDSUPPORT General Assembly 2019 was held in Balatongyörök, Hungary, hosted by project local partners University of Pannonia and Zala County.

All LANDSUPPORT partners from all corners of the world (Europe, North Africa and Malaysia) met for the first time after the Kickoff meeting in Naples, in May 2018. Thus, a full project year has already passed by, and the GA was the occasion to get together, present the results of the different work packages and work together on the next steps.

During the GA, the LANDSUPPORT consortium launched the Land-Take tool and its Graphical User Interface. It is the first of a series of tools which will compose the LANDSUPPORT DSS platform, and it specifically addresses land take issues, whereas other LANDSUPPORT tools which will be launched throughout the project will address different issues linked to land use, agriculture, forestry and environment.

Activities during the GA included plenary sessions, working group discussions and even a full-day field trip, where participants could put their hands on practical soil and land management issues in the beautiful setting of the lake Balaton and the surrounding Zala County. A video troupe followed the event for the three days, and the videos will be released soon – stay tuned if you don’t want to miss them!

Launch the first version of the DSS Web Platform!

#breakingnews LANDSUPPORT Consortium launches the first version of the DSS Web Platform!

Ariespace  of the WP5 for the Implementation of the LANDSUPPORT Geospatial Cyberinfrastructure announced the launch of alpha version of the Graphical User Interface. Built upon experience gained through numerous previous successful projects, the LANDSUPPORT Web Platform leverages the flexibility and performance of the original coding developed by several researchers.

The Graphical User Interface (GUI) has been implemented as a modular dashboard: system administrators and users will be able to configure the GUI to adapt the systems to distinct contexts and user requirement. The system will contain about 100 DSS tools addressing #agriculture#environment and #spatialplanning. Ariespace – in close interaction with all other WP5 research partners – has developed a GIS-like GUI based on different framework and libraries. Through the GUI, users can see data for selected periods and for their area of interest and then they can access to data (WP2) modelling (WP3) and services (WP4) provided by the LANDSUPPORT Project. Results are visualized as maps, tables and reports with export capabilities and comparisons between different scenarios.

The web platform will be shown at the next LANDSUPPORT general assembly hosted in Balatongyörök, Hungary at the end of May.

 

LANDSUPPORT WP 1 meeting

WP1 partners met in Ispra (VA – Italy) on October 16 2018, hosted by the Joint Research Center, one of LANDSUPPORT partners. It was the first in-person meeting after the project kick-off meeting. It was a great occasion to get back together and discuss about on-going activities, so that all partners’ efforts could be harmonized.

This meeting was crucial because WP1 activities will be completed at the end of year 1 (April 2019): a roadmap was agreed upon to ensure that results and related deliverables will be ready in due time.

LANDSUPPORT WP 7 Workshop

WP7 partners met in Milan on September 20 2018, hosted by the University of Milan – Agricultural Faculty, one of LANDSUPPORT partners. It was the first in-person meeting after the project kick-off meeting.

The primary objective of WP7 workshop was to get together and start working as a team and, according to participants, this objective was successfuly achieved. WP7 partners discussed upcoming participatory and communication activities, and agreed on a common planning as well as on common participation and communication strategies.

LANDSUPPORT soil sampling campaign

Landsupport does care about soils and their management. That’s why CRISP and CNR-Isafom soil scientists started the official soil sampling LANDSUPPORT campaign in Benevento province in Campania Region (Italy).

Studying soil profiles is fundamental for soil characterization and our experts know very well that studying soils require several analysis at different scales. Digging deep it’s the very first step of many others to follow.

LANDSUPPORT kick-off meeting

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The Kick-Off meeting of the EU funded LANDSUPPORT project, officially launched on May 1st, is currently on-going close to Naples. The project partners, an international and complementary group of research centres, SMEs and policy makers, aim to develop an integrated web-based decision support system for the implementation of agricultural and environmental policies.

The LANDSUPPORT research project envisages an open and freely accessible decision support system that enables the evaluation of trade-offs between land uses to support the development of sustainable agriculture, forestry and environmental policies and practices. It will include a combination of user-friendly tools to help determine the impact of land use decisions at multiple scales, through data collection, integration, modelling and analysis.

The coordinator of the project is Prof Fabio Terribile, Director of the CRISP interdepartmental research centre at the University of Naples Federico II: “With LANDSUPPORT, we want to show that the reconciliation of agricultural and environmental goals in land use management is not a wicked, unsolvable problem but a complex challenge that can be addressed by a thorough analysis of the appropriate supporting data.”

An important objective of the project is therefore the integration of already existing databases at different scales with new, high performance modelling engines simulating agriculture & forestry, land degradation and environmental issues. The system will be validated (e.g. crop yield) by remote sensing data and will be based on state of the art technology for the developing environment (i.e. COMPSs), high-performing computing (e.g. GPU) and massive raster data management (e.g. RASDAMAN).

“The main innovation of LANDSUPPORT is that we want to integrate decisions at many geographical scales in one toolset, enabling to align agricultural and environmental sustainability policy ambitions with very local operational realities, which are often neglected”, says Prof Terribile. “To demonstrate this concept, LANDSUPPORT will run testcases at four geographic scales: EU, National (Italy, Hungary, Austria), Regional (an Italian and Hungarian region) and locally (pilot sites in Austria, Italy, Hungary, Tunisia and Malaysia).”

In the meantime, the partners will continuously interact with end users at the different levels that are targeted, to address important expectations head-on and thereby ensure that the final toolset will meet the end user requirements.

Prof. Terribile: “We want our LANDSUPPORT system to remain freely available to the end users after the project and to ensure that it will be used on a much longer term. Perhaps the most important task in the project is therefore to interact with our stakeholders on a regular basis. For example, there will be workshops with end users already during the development phase and trainings will be organized as soon as a first subset of tools is available.”

The LANDSUPPORT project is funded by EU’s Horizon 2020 programme for a total budget of close to 7 million euros. Next to the University of Naples, the other project partners constitute an international group of research centres, policy makers and SMEs with various expertise in the domains of land use, agriculture, environment and geographical data management (full list below).

“Our consortium consists mainly of European partners, from Italy, Austria, Spain, France, Hungary, Germany, Slovenia and Belgium, but also includes international research centres in Lebanon and in Malaysia”, says Prof Terribile.

If successful, the partners believe that this project will no doubt contribute to the implementation and impact of current European land policies as well as the UN sustainable development goals on sustainable cities and communities, climate action and life on land.