Project title: TransConnECT- TRANSversal CONNectivity of European Cities’ landscapes to Terrestrial surface waters
Host Institution: Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Host Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Geist
Co-host Institution: Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
Co-host Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Roland Löwe
Summary project: Freshwaters are among the most endangered resources, habitats, and landscape components, because of the frequent land-use alterations and the climate change consequences. Well-connected freshwaters to the natural and semi-natural surfaces are accepted vital for multiple ecosystem services provision to build nature-based solutions (NBS) to respond to the prevailing metropolitan challenges. While the longitudinal connectivity is widely advocated, the transversal or the lateral connectivity is almost neglected. In this context, the main goal of TransConnECT is to prove scientifically the indispensability of transversal connectivity for an enhanced multi-functional and symbiotic blue-green infrastructure (BGI) in metropolitan areas. In this approach, the freshwater surfaces become not only vital urban biodiversity hubs but also key components of nature-based flood management systems. TransConnECT aims to achieve an EU-wide comparative assessment of ecosystem connectivity in different functional urban areas (FUA), establishing links from landscape planning to actual ecosystem status. The project will utilize pan-European open-source data from databases like the Copernicus- EU’s Earth Observation program, Climate Change Service, and Ecosystem monitoring programs. The primary method will rely on the Transversal Connectivity Index (TCI) (Hysa, 2021), an integrated GIS-based model that counts both inter-patch and intra-patch connectivity, which is flexible enough to welcome new criteria like topography and weather data. TransConnECT will deliver tangible and open-source geospatial results. Planned training activities and dissemination materials will be referable examples to future works that focus on NBS. The cooperation developed during the timeframe of TransConnECT aims to expand further to future transnational research tracks within the hosting and co-hosting group.