During the first phase of the STARTS4Water residency between November and December 2021 in Italy, Joshua G. Stein participated in two Local Experts Group meetings, one in Biella and the other one in Turin. After Joshua presented his project proposal to both groups, they identified some areas of research overlap with each of the experts.
The first meeting took place at Cittadellarte in Biella and involved Alessia Patrucco (researcher at CNR-STIIMA, Institute of Intelligent Industrial Technologies and Systems for Advanced Manufacturing of the National Research Council), Fabio Porta (agronomist, Forestry and Environmental Specialist); Michele Lerro (lawyer and Member of the Board of Directors of Cordar s.p.a. Biella Servizi); Michele Cerruti But (Adjunct Professor in Urbanism, Politecnico of Turin; coordinator at Accademia Unidee, Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto); Annalisa Zegna and aaron inker (artists and cultural practitioners, Osservatorio sul Torrente project and Spazio HYDRO).
Each speaker introduced how her/his research is related to water and local river systems, and specifically how sediments are connected with their specific disciplines. The meeting allowed Joshua to understand the different facets of the water regional challenge. It was an opportunity to explore thematic links and possible directions for research development.
The second meeting took place at Politecnico in Turin with Ianira Vassallo (Assistant Professor at DIST – Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning, Politecnico of Turin); Elisa Palazzi (Associate Professor at Department of Physics, University of Turin); Luca Ridolfi (Full professor, Politecnico of Turin).
The researchers and professors pointed out the connection between Joshua’s project and their own discipline and field of research, such as climatology, hydraulic engineering, planning and urbanism. The meeting allowed Joshua to enrich this research phase with important contributions related to hydraulic engineering, water management in spatial and urban planning, and climate change prediction models. An important part of the meeting was dedicated to the topic of AI technology available in their research institutes, as well as to the most useful tools and software to proceed with the development of the project.