This paper outlines the results a multi-criteria evaluation study applied to the integrated assessment of flood protection options in Northern Italy. The study aims at comparing advantages and disadvantage of a more traditional approach based on hard infrastructure calibrated on the event with a return time of 200 years (TR200) with a more innovative approach based on a combination of non-structural measures, controlled flooding of lower-value areas and mitigation. These are now standard in Northern Europe and elsewhere; however their feasibility has never been investigated in the Italian context. Despite the study is still at a pioneering level, it authorizes some optimistic evaluation about the desirability of non-structural remedies in Italy. The study argues about the necessity of complementary measures, especially based on compensative payments for ecosystem services, in order to improve social acceptance for such practices.
Keywords: Flood protection, non-structural measures, economic environmental policy instruments, river restoration, multi-criteria analysis
Jel Code: Q25, Q54, R52, Q15