Research & Innovation

NICE, a project to create sustainable urban water loops

3 November 2021

Water is an increasingly scarce and polluted resource, especially in urban areas.  To address this a new EU funded project, in the framework of Horizon 2020 programme, aptly titled NICE, will create innovative and enhanced nature-based solutions to create closed and sustainable urban water loops.

What are nature-based solutions? These solutions utilise natural approaches, whilst providing environmental, economic and social benefits. NICE will research and implement nature-based solutions over the next four years to capture water, treat it and repurpose it for different uses. NICE will implement nature-based solutions in cities across Spain (Algeciras, Benalmádena, Madrid, Talavera de la Reina and Vigo), France (Lyon), Poland (Gdansk), Colombia (Pereira), Egypt (Cairo), Italy (Turin) and Denmark (Aarhus).

NICE nature-based solutions will treat wastewater and greywater, help restore river basins, capture stormwater and address combined sewer overflow. The solutions will entail green walls and vegetable roofs, rain gardens and hybrid subsurface wetlands. NICE will use the latest technologies such as bioaugmentation and innovative reactive media to enhance the nature-based solutions further.

NICE is led by CETIM and Aqualia, and supported by Politecnico di Torino, involved through the Department of Environmental, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI) and 11 other partners working at the forefront of urban sustainability.

In particular DIATI, under the scientific coordinator of Prof. Fulvio Boano and with the collaboration of Prof. Silvia Fiore, will be in charge of the Work Package related to green walls and vegetated rooftops for greywater reuse, building on the previous experience including a laboratory-scale system of a green wall.

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