How to help ReSET economy and environment through spatial planning

Monday, 4 January, 2021
highway crossing (bird view)
A new Pathfinder project called ReSET explores spatial policy solutions for sustainable development focused on employment, economy and environment win-wins, and proposes scientific and technological breakthroughs to build a systemic understanding of socio-environmental interrelationships.

ReSET was selected among proposals submitted for the FET Proactive Environmental Intelligence call (FETPROACT-EIC-08-2020), in subtopic A: New techniques for modelling and predicting socio-environmental evolution across different temporal and spatial scales. The acronym stands for Restarting Economy in Support of Environment, through Technology.

The ReSET team presents the idea behind their project as follows:

“ReSET aims to leverage developments in spatial modelling, artificial intelligence and interoperable environmental sensing to better understand pathways to reset agricultural and urban development across Europe for sustainability, by working with the relevant stakeholders to develop and test more sustainable new ways of farming and urban development.”

ReSET will focus on farmland and urban land, which represent relatively understudied, yet key environments for sustainable development investments. The project will also examine the ​connections between these environments, with respect to flows of income, ecosystem services and employment between them. The researchers add:

“We will focus particularly on sustainable development options ​to manage flooding, drought, soil, water and air quality as key environmental concerns for Europe that are impacted by urban and farmland management and development.”

ReSET brings together leading researchers in social, economic and environmental policy with developers of simulation-based spatial policy support systems and innovative internet-connected sensor networks. Together, this cooperation will develop the conceptual framework, technological advances and practical applications to better integrate environmental, social science, local knowledge, advanced sensor research and artificial intelligence ​into a best of class spatial policy support system as a contribution to sustainable development through environmental intelligence. 

ReSET is a 36-month project. It starts in January 2021 and will run until December 2023 with case study areas in UK, Spain, Italy and Romania as well as at the European scale.

The ReSET Consortium consists of entities from the United Kingdom (King’s College London, the coordinating institution, and AmbioTEK CIC), the Netherlands (Research Institute for knowledge systems), Spain (ICATALIST), Italy (Water Research Insitute of Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) and Romania (GeoEcoMar). Project coordinator Professor Mark Mulligan of King's College London said:

"We are very excited to bring together this great team, build on the success of previous H2020 projects and take low-cost, internet-of-things connected environmental sensing and open-access spatial modelling technologies to the next level. We look forward to working with a range of stakeholders to provide the tools and evidence to support post-COVID economic recovery investment policy to achieve employment, economy, environment win-wins."


Background information

FET-Open and FET Proactive are now part of the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Pilot (specifically the Pathfinder), the new home for deep-tech research and innovation in Horizon 2020, the EU funding programme for research and innovation.