94443 - Land-use Monitoring and Planning

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Ravenna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Environmental Assessment and Management (cod. 5900)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has the basic knowledge necessary to frame, define and develop environmental planning and management of the territory, according to the latest ecosystem models of integration between environmental, socio-economic and cultural levels. The references to the international guidelines (Unesco, Ramsar, IUCN, FAO, ICZM, etc.) and national guidelines (PTPR, PTCP, PSU, etc.) are known. The student is able to work with the fundamental tools of Geographic Information Systems and will also have basic knowledge of remote sensing data analysis.

Course contents

The course includes lectures on the theoretical part as well as practical activities based on selected software.

Theoretical part

The main focus of the lectures will be the land-use planning, with specific interest for sustainable land-use planning. The course will start with a comprehensive description of the Italian laws on land-use planning, of the subjects involved and of the main technical instruments currently available to managing the territory and preserve natural resources. The historical and cultural evolution of the concepts "territory", "environment" and "landscape" will also be analyzed, giving the chance to address the switch from a predominantly aesthetic to a more comprehensive meaning of the landscape concept.

Among the technical instruments for planning, those adopted by different Italian public administrations will be presented, together with the bases of available data and the evaluation methods (SEA; Assessment of plans and projects).

With the purpose of understanding the complex structure of the land-use planning system, some specific concepts related to the landscape and the environment will be addressed: sustainability, landscape ecology principles, ecosystem services, flood risk, risk related to landslides, coastal morphological evolution processes.

Some physical and biological processes characterizing soil, water and air will be presented, as for example the formation and evolution of soils; the processes related to soil degradation, impermeabilization and erosion; subsidence; infiltration and surface water flow; carbon uptake from the atmosphere and carbon stocks in wetlands; erosion and sedimentation processes along the coasts. Land-use modeling will also be introduced, as for example the use of the (R)USLE model for evaluating alternative uses of land and resources.

Remote sensing will be presented as an effective tool for monitoring purposes, and the large availability of satellite and airborne sensors will be discussed as they provide measurements of several environmental variables and shapes of the surfaces.

With the purpose of understanding the importance of a continuously updated availability of land-use data, a number of aspects related to remote sensing and mapping will be presented, as for example: coordinate reference systems; topography; direct and indirect measure of distance; on-line data-bases; gerectification and georeferenciation; the Global Navigation Satellite System (GPS); active and passive sensors; satellites and airborne platforms; resolution and scale.


Lab activities will include 1) exercises that allow students to familiarize with software for spatial (cartographic and remotely sensed) data analysis and management, 2) applications to specific case studies.


Main suggestions:

  • Antonio Leone (2019). Ambiente e pianificazione. FrancoAngeli Ed.
  • V. Noti (2014). GIS Open Source per Geologia e Ambiente. Dario Flaccovio Ed.


  • Paolo Dell'Anno (2018). Diritto dell'ambiente. CEDAM Ed.
  • C. Ferrari, G. Pezzi (2013). L'ecologia del paesaggio. Il Mulino Ed.
  • Vedder A. (2016). Land-use planning: sustainability and environment. Callisto Reference.
  • Dramstad W.E., Olson J.D., Forman R.T.T. (1996). Landscape ecology principles in landscape architecture and land-use planning. Harvard University Island Press.

Slides and other readings will be provided.

Teaching methods

Lessons; practical training in the computer lab and/or from home using selected software; field work; field trip.

Considering the type of teaching activities and methods, in order to follow this course students should have taken the e-learning Module 1- Safety General Training and Module 2- Sefety Specific Training [https://elearning-sicurezza.unibo.it/]

Assessment methods

The practical training will include exercises that will be evaluated during the course and will be part of the final grade.

An individual project will be developed by each student for the final exam. Specifically, the student will be asked to select a case study and 1) to analyze the land-use plans currently available for the case study, 2) to propose a feasible alternative moving toward sustainability.

The final oral exam will include the presentation of the project as well as answering questions regarding the project and other subjects of the course.

Teaching tools

The practical training will include activities that aim at providing basic knowledge in using and analyzing geographic data, including the analysis and management of geographic databases.

Basic knowledge of satellite and airborne remote sensing data analyses will also be provided. The software used for the training will be exclusively open access, as for example QGIS and SNAP.

Students who need compensatory tools for reasons related to disabilities or specific learning disorders (SLD) can directly contact the Service for Students with Disabilities (disabilita@unibo.it [mailto:disabilita@unibo.it] ) and the Service for Students with learning disabilities (dsa@unibo.it [mailto:dsa@unibo.it] ) to agree on the adoption of the most appropriate measures.

Office hours

See the website of Sonia Silvestri


Clean water and sanitation Climate Action Oceans Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.