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New port layout along the "Po di Levante", River Po Delta
The project involves the design of a new port along a branch of the Po river (Northern Italy) and new navigation facilities. The Levante port is a new strategic point in the port system of the Venice lagoon.
Project: New port layout along the "Po di Levante" and safety measures of the navigable section of the river
Location: River Po Delta, Italy
Client: Sistemi Territoriali S.p.A.
Services: Concept, Preliminary and Detailed design, Environmental Impact Assessment (E.I.A.), Appropriate Assessment, Environmental Feasibility Study and Landscape Design
Period: 12/2011 – 03/2012
The Po river (about 652 km) is the longest river in Italy. It crosses all the North of Italy. The Po Delta is one of the most important wetland in Europe and in the world (UNESCO – World Heritage Site).
The port area consists of about 360 ha located along the right bank of the Po river, in the delta area. The port area is included in the Regional Park of the Po Delta. Most of the area has a high natural value and is included in the Natura 2000 Network: Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and Special Protection Areas (SPA).
The proposed works include the works necessary to guarantee the safe navigation along the river:
- New layout of the bottleneck of the Levante port;
- Safe area;
- New turning basin;
- New port area.
Potential impacts have been screened by a matrix that relates the main project activities during construction and operation phases with the environmental elements as identified to be significant.
The study of the environmental impacts of the port infrastructure includes a detailed investigation of the current hydrodynamic and dispersive characteristics of the area affected by the project.
The hydrodynamic model of the coastal area is able to reproduce, with adequate details, the morphology of the field of study. It is important to emphasize that, in the hydrodynamic study of a delta or coastal marine area, great attention shall be addressed to the aspects concerning the replacement of the water masses in the different weather conditions that may occur. A key role is carried out by external forcing (tidal waves, wind, coastal currents, etc.), since even small variations associated with them may induce effects of a certain importance in the coastal system.
During the impact assessment, special attention has been paid to the natural aspect, such as wildlife, and especially to the bird community. The area, including the Venice lagoon, is a strong element of attraction for birds. The lagoon, in fact, is home to a rich bird community with an average attendance of more than 200,000 waterbirds and over 180 recorded species, constituting the most important Italian wintering site.
Furthermore, the impact analysis includes the socio-economic aspects of the entire area affected by the harbor, as the project is part of a Regional Transport Plan that involves the creation of an integrated system for the transport of goods involving ports, dry ports, border crossings and airports.
The project includes the mitigation of the new harbor through the creation of green barriers of native vegetation and recreational areas available for users of the port.
An Appropriate Assessment (as per EU legislation) of the impact of the project on the Natura 2000 network sites has been developed as part of the EIA procedure.