SafeLand : Living with landslide risk in Europe: Assessment, effects of global change and risk management strategies

Project acronym: SafeLand
Project full title: : Living with landslide risk in Europe: Assessment, effects of global change and risk management strategies
Call identifier: FP7-ENV-2008-1
Call: ENV.2008. Prediction of triggering and risk assessment for landslides; Start: 01/05/2009 Duration: 36m;
Consortium: 25 partners from 13 different European countries coordinated by Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI)
Project Web Site
Safeland Logo

Background and objectives

SafeLand is a Large-scale integrating Collaborative research project funded by The Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7) of the European Commission. Thematically the project belongs to Cooperation Theme 6 Environment (including climate change), Sub-Activity 6.1.3 Natural Hazards.

Landslides represent a major threat to human life, property and constructed facilities, infrastructure and natural environment in most mountainous and hilly regions of the world. As a consequence of climate change, intensified anthropogenic activities, growing urbanization and uncontrolled land-use (and increased vulnerability of population and infrastructure as a result), an increase in landslide risk is currently observed.

The growing landslide hazard and risk, the fact that society in Europe will have to live with landslide hazard and risk, and the need to manage landslide risk, including also protecting people and property, are the reasons for the proposed research in the SafeLand project.

The SafeLand project has three main objectives: (1) to provide policy-makers, public administrators, researchers, scientists, educators and other stakeholders with an improved harmonised framework and methodology for the assessment and quantification of landslide risk at local, regional and European scales; (2) to evaluate the changes in risk pattern caused by climate change, human activity and policy changes; and (3) to provide guidelines for choosing the most appropriate risk management strategies, including risk prevention and mitigation measures.

When the research is completed, SafeLand will provide EU Member States with the means to contribute to the Soil Framework Directive, using well understood and commonly adopted risk assessment and management terminology and methodology and harmonised approaches and tools, and will have insight in the potential effects of global change (climatic and anthropogenic) scenarios.


SafeLand’s research programme is organised in 5 areas and 21 work packages (see Figure 1):

Area 1 focuses on improving the knowledge on triggering mechanisms, processes and thresholds, including climate-related and anthropogenic triggers, and on run-out models in landslide hazard assessment;
Area 2 harmonises quantitative risk assessment methodologies for different spatial scales, looking into uncertainties, vulnerability, landslide susceptibility, landslide frequency, and identifying hotspots in Europe with higher landslide hazard and risk;
Area 3 focuses on future climate change scenarios and changes in demography and infrastructure, resulting in the evolution of hazard and risk in Europe at selected hotspots;
Area 4 addresses the technical and practical issues related to monitoring and early warning for landslides, and identifies the best technologies available both in the context of hazard assessment and in the context of design of early warning systems;
Area 5 provides a toolbox of risk mitigation strategies and guidelines for choosing the most appropriate risk management strategy.

Workpackages of safeland

Figure 1: Structure of the SafeLand research plan.

The role of JRC within the project

Within the SafeLand project, the JRC Soil Action is involved in Area 2, 3 and 4 and work packages 7 and 8. JRC will perform research in three work packages of Area 2, namely “Harmonisation and development of procedures for quantifying landslide hazard”, “Development of procedures for quantitative risk assessment (QRA) at regional scale and European scale” and “Identification of landslide hazard and risk hotspots in Europe”, and is responsible for the deliverable on the “Overview of European landslide databases and recommendations for interoperability and harmonization of landslide databases”.

In Area 3 JRC will contribute to the research on “Landslide hazard evolution in Europe and risk evolution in selected hotspot areas”, and in Area 4 JRC will focus on “Remote sensing technologies for landslide detection, monitoring and rapid mapping”.

JRC will also contribute to the work packages on “Dissemination of project results” and “Project management and coordination”. In addition, JRC is responsible for the cross-cutting deliverable entitled “Living with Landslides – European and international dimensions of the project SafeLand”.

With the participation to SafeLand the JRC Soil Action contributes to harmonisation of methods for landslide inventory, susceptibility, hazard and risk mapping in Europe and development of satellite, airborne and ground-based remote sensing techniques for mapping and monitoring of landslides. This research will enhance the Soil Action’s scientific and technical support to the European Commission Services for implementation of the EU Soil Thematic Strategy.

Landslide inventories in Europe and policy recommendations for their interoperability and harmonisation - A JRC contribution to the EU-FP7 SafeLand project: This report provides a detailed review of existing national landslide inventories as well as of a number of regional inventories in EU member states and neighbouring countries. For national landslide databases, it also analyses their ability to provide landslide susceptibility, hazard and risk assessments at national scale. In addition, the reports proposes improvements in landslide databases for delineating areas at risk of landslides in agreement with the EU Soil Thematic Strategy and its associated Proposal for a Soil Framework Directive, and for achieving interoperability and harmonisation in agreement with the INSPIRE Directive.


Number Partner name Shortname Country
1 International Centre for Geohazards / / Norwegian Geotechnical Institute ICG Norway
2 Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya UPC Spain
3 A.M.R.A. s.c.a.r.l. AMRA Italy
4 Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières BRGM France
5 Università degli Studi di Firenze UNIFI Italy
6 International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIASA Austria
7 Joint Research Centre JRC Italy
8 Fundación Agustín de Betancourt FUNAB Spain
9 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki AUTh Greece
10 Universita’ degli Studi di Milano - Bicocca UNIMIB Italy
11 Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. MPG Germany
12 Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici s.c.a.r.l. CMCC Italy
13 Studio Geotecnico Italiano S.r.l. SGI-MI Italy
14 University of Salerno UNISA Italy
15 International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation – United Nations University ITC Netherlands
16 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zurich ETHZ Switzerland
17 Université de Lausanne UNIL Switzerland
18 C.S.G. S.r.l. Centro Servizi di Geoingegneria CSG Italy
19 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS France
20 King’s College London KCL UK
21 Geologische Bundesanstalt (Geological Survey of Austria) GSA Austria
22 Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne EPFL Switzerland
23 TRL Limited TRL UK
24 Geological Institute of Romanian GIR Romania
25 Geological Survey of Slovenia GeoZS Slovenia