LIFE SAM4CP - Soil Administration Models 4 Community Profit

LIFE13 ENV/IT/001218

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Simonetta ALBERICO
Tel: +39 11 8616223
Fax: 0118614405
Email: simonetta.alberico@cittametropolitana.torino.it

Project description:


Soils provide seven main ecological functions: carbon sequestration; water purification; erosion prevention; support of biodiversity; habitat for pollinators; production of wood/fibre; and food production. Most of these ecological functions provide economic as well as ecological benefits to local communities.

However, these functions are inhibited by soil sealing as a result of human activities. For example, the surface of the soil covered with impervious materials as part of urban development or infrastructure construction. It can also occur when soil is compacted by agricultural machinery. A working group of the European Commission recently issued ‘Guidelines on best practice to limit, mitigate or compensate soil sealing’.

However, current studies suggest that soil sealing is nearly irreversible. It is therefore essential that territorial management planning takes into account the environmental and economic costs and benefits associated with soil functions when assessing land-use options. Such assessment could also help inform soil preservation interventions.


The LIFE SAM4CP project aims to create an easy-to-use simulator that will allow territorial decision makers to include the ecological functions of soil within the assessment of the environmental and economic costs and benefits associated with possible urban planning and land-use measures and choices.

The simulator will allow different territorial transformation scenarios to be assessed according to the seven main ecological functions provided by soil in order to integrate these functions – and their potential gain or loss – into the decision-making process. The tool aims to help avoid land-use decisions that disproportionately reduce soil functions. It also aims to enable a proper evaluation of the potential costs and benefits of specific measures aimed at reducing soil sealing. It will be used to help draft a municipal land-use plan to preserve the ecosystem services provided by soils.

The project hopes to demonstrate how use of the tool and integration of soil conservation considerations into the decision-making process can protect ecological functions for the benefit of the local community. It expects to demonstrate a significant reduction of soil sealing as well as overall economic savings thanks to the preservation of natural resources and restoration of the benefits provided by good quality soils.

Expected results:

  • Development of an urban planning tool that simulates territorial transformation scenarios and calculates the effects of soil consumption/sealing in terms of reduction of provided ecosystem services;
  • Creation of a simulator based on the latest scientific knowledge on soil-provided ecosystem services and their economic value;
  • Measurement of the environmental effects of soil sealing on the 27 territorial units of the Province of Turin and on local case studies in the same province;
  • Assessment of cost and benefits (both in environmental and economic terms) of planning policies and land-use choices that aim to reduce soil sealing and preserve the associated ecosystems functions and services;
  • Definition of actions to limit soil sealing in the four municipalities;
  • Drafting of a municipal land-use plan incorporating urbanisation models but minimising soil sealing and preserve the ecosystem services provided by soils;
  • Maintenance and increase of ecosystem functions provided by the soil to the local communities in the project areas;
  • Reduced public expenditure thanks to restoration of lost environmental benefits provided by soils and correct land management;
  • Guidelines on urban planning models and best practices to preserve the ecological functions of soil; and
  • Increased awareness of the importance of soil functions.



Environmental issues addressed:


Environmental management - Integrated management
Land-use & Planning - Soil and landscape protection
Land-use & Planning - Spatial planning
Land-use & Planning - Urban design (urban-rural)


land use planning‚  decision making support‚  modelling

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Type of organisation Local authority
Description The Provincia di Torino is a province in Piemonte (Italy) with about 2.3 million inhabitants. It stretches across an area of 6 829 km² and comprises 315 municipalities, making it one of the biggest in Italy.
Partners POLITO(Politecnico di Torino - Dipartimento di Scienze, Progetto e Politiche del Territorio (DIST)), Italy ISPRA(Istituto superiore per la protezione e la ricerca ambientale), Italy INEA(Istituto Nazionale di Economia Agraria), Italy


Project reference LIFE13 ENV/IT/001218
Duration 03-JUN-2014 to 30-JUN -2018
Total budget 1,425,350.00 €
EU contribution 700,474.00 €
Project location Piemonte(Italia)


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Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version