(1) Creazione di ambienti virtuali 3D mediante tecniche di realtà aumentata funzionali alla diffusione delle conoscenze in materia di gestione del rischio alluvioni e diffusione sul territorio delle tecnologie sviluppate

(2) Convenzione per l’assistenza al software 3d “virtual water” precedentemente sviluppato, finalizzata alla manutenzione e aggiornamento degli ambienti di realtà aumentata per le campagne d’informazione per istituti scolastici e professionisti


Funded by: FSC 2014-2020

Start date (1): 14 Dec. 2020         End date (1):  13 Jun. 2021

Start date (2): 4 Jul. 2023            End date (2): 3 Jul. 2024

Partners: Human Inspired Technology (HIT) Research Centre (University of Padova), Autorità di Bacino Distresttuale delle Alpi Orientali

HTLab Involved People: Luciano Gamberini, Anna Spagnolli, Alice Bettelli, Leonardo Pierobon, Elena Zanella

(1) River floods, already a significant climate threat, are anticipated to become more frequent and severe due to climate change. This escalating trend poses a growing danger to both human safety and the environment. In this context, Virtual Reality proves to be an invaluable tool for training citizens. VR simulates lifelike scenarios, even those involving potential danger, allowing users to know and engage with phenomena that would otherwise pose significant challenges in a real-world setting due to the elevated associated risks.
The Safer Water project leverages this technology to enhance preparedness and ensure that individuals are well-equipped to respond effectively in the event of a riverbank breakdown. The simulation aims to educate citizens to learn by doing in order to increase their practical and conceptual knowledge about flood emergencies, safety perception, and risk awareness. An interactive virtual simulation of a riverside town was designed and implemented by HTLab, allowing the user to face a flood emergency in a realistic but safe way. An interdisciplinary team with highly qualified experts from different fields participated in the participatory design process. Identifying educational content and interactive modalities for the virtual experience was possible by utilizing various methods, such as affinity diagrams and brainstorming with HCI experts, virtual environment designers, and hydrogeological and hydraulic engineers. The simulation was finally evaluated by target users, with a particular focus not only on the educational contents and behaviors but also on user experience.

(2) HTlab, in collaboration with the District Basin Authority of the Eastern Alps, organizes events and dissemination activities utilizing the Safer Water virtual reality simulation in municipalities located in at-risk areas. These activities include conducting training sessions in public spaces such as squares, where citizens of all ages participate, as well as holding sessions in schools involving classes of students. The goal of this training is to establish a direct relationship with citizens, enhance their preparedness for flood events, and improve their perception of flood risk through the Safer Water simulation, making them more responsible and active members within their community.


Gamberini, L., Bettelli, A., Benvegnù, G., Orso, V., Spagnolli, A., & Ferri, M. (2021). Designing “Safer Water.” A Virtual Reality Tool for the Safety and the Psychological Well-Being of Citizens Exposed to the Risk of Natural Disasters. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 674171.

Bettelli, A., Zanella, E., Pierobon, L., Orso, V., Pluchino, P., Spagnolli, A., … & Gamberini, L. (2023). Beyond the Embankments: Virtual Training on Human–River Interaction for Fostering Safer Behaviors during Flood Emergencies. Sustainability, 15(20), 14855.

Master Thesis:

“Tutorial design for an Immersive Virtual Reality Serious Game to support river emergencies” by Elena Zanella (2023); Co-supervisor: Alice Bettelli; Supervisor: Luciano Gamberini

© Copyright 2023 Human Technology Lab - All Rights Reserved.