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THESEUS - Innovative technologies for safer European coasts in a changing climate

Summary information

Funding:FP7 - Collaborative Research Project – Large scale Integrated Collaborative Project
Total cost:8520000
Ec contribution:6530000
Start date:2009-12-01
End date:2013-11-30
Duration:48 months
Coordinator:Barbara Zanuttigh (
Organisation:Alma Mater Studiorum-Universita di Bologna – Italy
Themes:Sea level rise; coastal erosion; storm frequency and intensity; sediment changes
Regio:North Atlantic; Baltic Sea; North Sea; Mediterranean Sea; Black Sea
Keywords:Erosion; flooding; risk assessment; risk mitigation; climate change
Project name:THESEUS - Innovative technologies for safer European coasts in a changing climate
Project summary:Abstract
Coastal areas are vital economic hubs in terms of settlement, industry, agriculture, trade and tourism to mention some key sectors. There are already many coastal problems including erosion, flood risk and long-term habitat deterioration. As economies continue to develop, the asset base at risk will grow, while accelerating climate change will increase the likelihood of damaging extreme events, as well as accelerate habitat decline. Existing coastal management and defence approaches are not well tuned to these challenges as they assume a static situation.

THESEUS will develop a systematic approach to delivering both a low-risk coast for human use and healthy habitats for evolving coastal zones subject to multiple change factors.

The innovative combined mitigation and adaptation technologies to be considered will include ecologically-based mitigation measures (such as restoration and/or creation of habitats), hydro-morphodynamic techniques (such as sediment reservoirs, multi-purpose structures, or overtop resistant dikes), actions to reduce the impact on society and economy (such as promotion of risk awareness or spatial planning) and GIS-based software to support defence planning.

To integrate the best of these technical measures in a strategic policy context we will develop overarching THESEUS guidelines which will consider the environmental, social and economic issues raised in any coastal area. It is in this spirit that THESEUS will advance European and international experience in applying innovative technologies to reducing coastal risks.

THESEUS activities will be carried out within a multidisciplinary framework using 8 study sites across Europe, with specific attention to the most vulnerable coastal environments such as deltas, estuaries and wetlands, where many large cities and industrial areas are located.