Coleps (Stepping stone II)
| Interventions

The artwork, built within a flood-control storage, is placed in the northern side of the artwork Stepping stone that was built three years before.


It consists in a set of canals and islets that follow one another in all directions with regular rate. This regularity reminds of the characteristic aspect of the external membrana of a very common protozoan in the stagnant water: the Coleps.


Basing on the proportions game that founds between something enourmously little, a micro-organism, and something enourmously big, a natural environment, the artwork suggests a reflection on the size of the sites related to the role that these can play, depending on the territory scale taken into consideration, for the life of the species. So, referring to most of the aquatic birds, the entire area under discussion, seemingly so large, appears rather small if to its dimensions we connect the actual capacity to be a suitable habitat for a long period stopover. Then, thinking about a local territorial scale, the new wetland assumes a important role but only as temporary stopover site (‘stepping stone’) for the species along their flight through the plain. Other large size habitats of this territory, that thanks to the presence of this new wetland are now strengthened because they result better linked to each other (greater chances of individuals exchange), are those that can act as a actual residence for bird populations also for a long time.    


Therefore today it is not possible to think to protect natural environment yet and to preserve typical biocenosis only to maintain some small plots of land here and there, without reasoning about actual requirements of the species and about the quality of habitats (functionality, capacity, connectivity). The adoption of this idea of the territory is the most important challenge for the planners in the next years.


The artworks ‘Stepping stone’ and ‘Coleps’ interpenetrate and complete one another. Inside the same periurban park there are now many different environmental conditions suitable for various species. Moreover, variegated perspectives and environmental changeable aspects appear during different seasons. 






San Donnino, Campi Bisenzio (Florence)


Ante operam state

Area characterized by a flat land encircled by banks (flood-control storage area).


Type of intervention

New wetland constructed by mechanical means over a previously existing area used as flood-control storage. Afterwards, the artwork was completed by planting riparian and aquatic species thanks to volunteer groups (Social Art intervention).


State of work progress

Completed (February 2016)


Main authorities/agencies involved

- Consorzio di Bonifica Area Fiorentina

- Comitato per le Oasi WWF dell'Area Fiorentina

- Municipality of Campi Bisenzio


Main bio-indicators (species or ‘groups’ of species) utilized to monitor the ecological functionality of the work-site:

- Waders: stopover during migration.

- Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus): nesting.

- Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus): nesting.