Project Title: S.O.S. 4 LIFE – Save Our Soil for LIFE
Project Acronym: SOS4LIFE 
ID: LIFE15 ENV/IT/000225
Start date: 01/07/2016
Expected end date: 31/10/2019
Total Budget: € 1.788.749,00
EU Financing: € 1.060.551,00
Coordinating beneficiary: COMUNE DI FORLI’ (FC)

SOS4LIFE is a demonstration project that aims to contribute to the enforcement at the municipal scale of European orientations about soil protection and urbanregeneration, with particular reference to the Guidelines on best practices to reduce, mitigate and compensate soil sealing [SWD(2012) 101]. Tools, rules and actions promoted by this project are aimed to implement (in advance) the Community strategy “no net land take by 2050” according to the Roadmap to a resource efficient Europe [COM(2011) 571] as confirmed also by the 7th Environment Action Programme [1386/2013/EU].

    Download the english brochure


The project intends to produce a viable framework on no net land take” suitable for the three municipalities involved in the project – Forlì, Carpi (MO) and San Lazzaro di Savena (BO) – and for others local authorities both in Italy and Europe, based on the following specific objectives:

  • Definition of urban regulations and implementation tools, applicable at municipal level, aimed to ensure the balance of no net land take in newly urbanized areas through a system based on the exchange between urbanized surfaces and de-sealing actions as a compensation;
  • Definition of rules and incentivesto support the urban regeneration of existing settlements through actions that aim to the energy and seismic re-qualification;
  • Definition of procedures for the monitoring and evaluation of land take and its impacts on the eco-system aimed to provide tools, methods, data to support policy-makers,favor technicians’ choices on territorial planning andimprove the information transparency;
  • Definition of a methodology for the detection, evaluation and mapping of ecosystem services provided by urban soils, aimed at quantifying ecosystem services and planning actions for their growth and improvement;
  • Implementation of three de-sealing interventions in three urban areas that will be replaced with a green space to demonstrate both the technical and economical feasibility and transferability of the “framework on no net land take”;
  • Effective and large-scale promotion of knowledge and awareness about the social and economic consequences of the processes of land take addressed to public authorities, businesses, schools, and citizenship.


  • A1 Preparatory phase to identify tools to limit land take
  • B1 Measuring on municipal scale of costs and impacts regarding the land take
  • B2 – Demonstration actions of de-sealing through soil reinstatement
  • B3 Rules and tools  to limit, mitigate and compensate land take and soil sealing
  • B4Informative system for evaluation and monitoring of land take and its impacts
  • C1 Monitoring of the project actions and socio-economic impact
  • D1 Communication, dissemination and networking with other projects
  • E1Project management
  • E2 After Life plan

Expected results

SOS4Life aims to fill a structural gap that is widespread in public systems of land governance, consisting in the lack in Municipalities (not only in the Italian ones) of tools and appropriate urban regulations to contrast land take as well as the lack of a complete awareness of the costs and impacts that land take involves.

For this reason, through the Project, partners are willing to define an innovative framework of guidelines and urban rules, suitable for the three municipal involved, that can be transferred and adopted by other municipalities in the Italian and European context.

The expected results are the following:

  • Definition and adoption, by the three Municipalities involved, of available“framework on no net land take”. The framework is composed by two subject areas:
  • Integrated urban tools aimed to guarantee no net land take for newly urbanized areas, reviewing the current building regulations and encouraging the urban regeneration and requalification;
  • Integrated tools and guidelines to limit, mitigate and compensate for the effects of soil sealing connected to the newly urbanized areas.
  • Three de-sealing demonstrative actions will be implemented in three sealed parking areas located in Forlì, in San Lazzaroand in Carpi (Emilia Romagna Region) where the sealed surface will be removed and replaced with topsoil for green public use. Monitoring activities will be carried out to check soil and environmental indicators before and after the interventions.
  • Implementation in each of the three involved Municipalities of an information system to be used for the evaluation and the monitoring of the land take and of its impacts.
  • Implementation and dissemination in Italy and Europe of a benchmarking model for the evaluation of economic/environmental impacts caused by land take and soil sealing (e.g. loss of agricultural production, reduction of water and carbon storage capacity of soil) at the municipal level.
  • Definition of an operational device for mapping and assessing ecosystem services in urban soil and identification of actions for their improvement,.
  • Diffusion of purposes, tools, methods, results and promotion of their transfer to the stakeholders and other Italian and European municipalities.