Maccaferri celebrates the 130th Anniversary of the Gabion

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18 June 2024

Maccaferri celebrates the 130th Anniversary of the Gabion

First installed in 1894, the gabion has reshaped global engineering standards for infrastructure development and mitigation of hydrogeological instability.

Maccaferri is celebrating the 130th anniversary of the gabion, its most iconic product. Designed to create riverbanks and retention works to fight hydrogeological instability, the gabion has become a cornerstone of sustainable engineering.

The anniversary was celebrated on June 17th, 2024, at the “Shapers of the Future” event, attended by notable figures, such as Stefano Bonaccini, President of the Emilia-Romagna Region, Giovanni Molari, Dean of the University of Bologna, and Galeazzo Bignami, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport. They joined Maccaferri’s Executive Chairman and CEO to discuss the challenges and opportunities related to sustainability.

The gabion’s journey began in 1894 near the Chiusa di Casalecchio di Reno, where it was used to rebuild riverbanks after a devastating flood. Since then, Maccaferri gabions have spread across five continents and have been installed in every country around the world. Renowned for their flexibility, permeability, and sustainability, gabions have transformed civil engineering practices and played a pivotal role in the green transition, due to their low environmental impact and adaptability.

Throughout their 130-year history, Maccaferri gabions have been employed in many modern sustainable engineering projects. They were used along the Bristol Channel in Wales, one of the first applications of PVC-coated wire gabions, and along the River Arno in Florence to address the aftermath of the 1966 flood. They have also been engaged for soil protection on Santiago Island in Cape Verde, and more recently, for upgrading the Novo Pinheiros River in São Paulo, Brazil, and building the Oosterweel Link, a critical component of Antwerp’s road system.

In today’s world, marked by escalating environmental challenges and the effects of climate change, Maccaferri continues to enhance the sustainable performance of its products.

“The 130-year history of the gabion embodies all the elements shaping Maccaferri as a world leader in its sector. It is the ability to generate sustainable and tangible solutions to build a sound relationship between human beings and the environment, based on a philosophy that is constantly striving for innovation. It is a blend of vision and engineering excellence that has also made the gabion the epitome of Maccaferri’s and Made in Italy’s ability to overcome its own boundaries, displaying a globally recognised leadership,” said Sergio Iasi, Executive Chairman of Maccaferri. “Over the years, gabions have met the most critical local needs, turning environmental challenges into global opportunities. Out of that double-twist mesh, a comprehensive and unique portfolio of solutions has been developed, featuring multiple applications in rockfall and geosynthetics, among others. This ever-evolving journey testifies to how our versatile and resilient products play a crucial role in building a better, more sustainable world.”

“For over 130 years, we have relentlessly pursued innovation and upheld our commitment to sustainability: the gabion perfectly embodies Maccaferri’s commitment to excellence and environmental protection,” added Lapo Vivarelli Colonna, CEO of Maccaferri. “These are values that drive our commitment on a day-to-day basis and that have enabled us to keep being pioneers in our industry. Even today, we keep moving the boundaries of solution for hydrogeological instability mitigation, as evidenced by the applications based on smart technologies that have become a group’s asset thanks to the acquisition of Nesa, a leading Italian provider of solutions for environmental and industrial monitoring and early warning systems.”