Research Projects

Among the activities of the UNESCO Chair in Engineering for Human and Sustainable Development different Research Activity in International Cooperation projects. In particular at the moment researchers of the University of Trento are full time involved in three projects in Albania, Lebanon and Perù.

MUDAR – Mozambique Integrated Urban Development by Actions and Relationships: Empowering Local Governance – Mozambique 2022-2025

Beira City

Researcher: DICAM Research Fellow Susanna Ottaviani, DICAM Research Fellow (Post-Doc) Livia Serrao, DICAM Scientific Collaborator (Emeritus Professor) Corrado Diamantini.


“MUDAR – Mozambique Integrated Urban Development by Actions and Relationships: Empowering Local Governance” funded by the European Union, aims at promoting good practices for local government and sustainable urban development by strengthening local partnerships.

The activities are divided into three main pillars: (1) Capacity building for local authorities (CCI-IFAPA), (2) Implementation of a pilot project for the regeneration of the informal neighbourhood of Macuti (UniTrento-UniZambeze), (3) Digitisation and creation of job opportunities (UniZambeze-CMB). 

UNITRENTO role: Within the second pillar, Unitrento investigates participatory approaches for urban planning in informal neighbourhoods with a special focus on  (1) Nature-Based-Solutions for urban drainage systems and (2) urban  waste management.

Expected results: Implementation of a pilot project from the design solutions identified by the participatory process, focusing on drainage systems, open and green spaces, and sustainable urban waste management.


Macuti neighbourhood in the city of Beira during the Ana tropical storm

Saving Water Growing Crops – Lebanon 2020-2023

Shouf Biosphere Reserve

Water reservoir ponds in Mount Lebanon

Researcher: C3A Research Fellow Nicola D’Alberton

Project: “Saving Water, Growing Crops: remote-controlled irrigation system to address water scarcity and promote preservation of available freshwater resources” funded by the European Union, is focused on promoting a new irrigation technology that could lead to significant water savings in the target area and thus increase the resilience of the communities to climate change.

The overall objective of the project is to increase the adaptation capacity to economic losses and freshwater depletion induced by climate change through an efficient use of water resources. The specific objective is to promote the adoption of an innovative adaptation solution on water-use efficiency linked to sustainable irrigation and crop production.

UNITRENTO role: Development of tool to monitor and evaluate the efficiency of precision irrigation system

Results: our student Nicola D’Alberton wrote his Master Thesis contributing to the realization of the project Baseline.


Istituto OIKOS
Al Shouf Cedar Society

Natur Albania – Albania 2020-2023

Vjosa River

Vjosa River, presents a complex morphology with highly dynamic habitat patterns, and provides essential ecosystem services at multiple scales.

Researcher: C3A PhD Marta Crivellaro

Project: the General Objective of the project Natur Albania is to contribute to the sustainable develompent of the natural capital of Albania, trough the stregthening of the local institutional capacities in the management of protected natural areas. The rapid socio-economical transition of the country in the last decated is linked to a high increase in the exploitation of natural resources, with a poor monitoring on its effects on the environment. Some examples are the reduction of the forest heritage, the illigal landfills, the high exploitation and regulation of rivers. The Project aims to contribute to a environmental improvement in synergy with local authorities, strengthening the capacities and promoting a sustainable developement in turism and local production in the natural protected areas and in the ecological corridors.


  • management and conservation of the riverine corridor of the Vjosa river, one of the last big natural river in Europe;
  • evaluation of the ecological services in the target protected areas and the development of a nation pilot plan of mapping.

Results: the results of the study would be used to implement an hydro-morphological monitoring system open to all stakeholders for Vjosa river corridor, and to support local authorities assessing natural capital of selected areas, a system of useful metrics (e.g. ecosystem status, ecosystem services) for conservation and sustainable development.


Polytechnic University of Tirana
University of Genoa

Sustainable development and fight to climate change in Alto Huallaga- Perù 2018-2021

Banana crops affected by river erosion

Researcher: DICAM PhD Livia Serrao
Analysis on climate change and river-floodplain dynamics to support agricultural practices in tropical environments

Project: takes place in Perù in the valley of Alto Huallaga, where since 2014 different international cooperation projects are focused on sustainable agriculture and biodiversity promotion to offer an alternative to illigal coca traffic.  Mandacarù ONLUS worked to begin and develop a network of producers of baby banana.

UNITRENTO role: investigation on two of main factors that jeopardise tropical rainfed agriculture: (1) climate change, with a focus on the triggering conditions of wind gusts, and (2) the morphological dynamics of the unconfined Rio Huallaga and its trajectories.

Results: The results of the study will be used to develop new strategies (a weather warning systems) and to enhance local strategies (temporary agriculture on fluvial islands) for a more sustainable agricultural production and local development.

Resources: depliant, website


Mandacarù ONLUS
Edmund Mach Foundation