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Climate resilient cities : a primer on reducing vulnerabilities to disasters - Venice, Italy (English)

The Venetian lagoon extends for 212 square miles and comprises the city of Venice and 50 smaller islands together with sandbanks and mudflats, making the wetland area one of the most rich and fragile ecosystem in the Mediterranean Sea. Venice, built on millions of wooden piles driven into marshy ground, has been sinking into the Adriatic for 1,000 years. Venetians have coped with the acqua alta (high water) but the floods of November 1966, much deeper than usual, highlighted the fact that the old flood defense methods will soon fail. Moreover, the November 2008 flood, one of the highest in the last 20 years, underlined the necessity to make new flood defense system work and to invest even more in adaptation strategies. The approved plan to protect Venice is called MOSE (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, or Experimental Electromechanical Module). MOSE involves the construction of 79 hollow gates at three lagoon inlets. When waters rise 1.1 meters (43 inches) above normal, air will be injected into the hollow gates, forcing water out and causing them to rise, blocking seawater from entering the lagoon and thereby preventing the flooding of Venice.

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Citation

Prasad, Neeraj Ranghieri, Federica Shah, Fatima Trohanis, Zoe

Climate resilient cities : a primer on reducing vulnerabilities to disasters - Venice, Italy (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/773591468039064529/Climate-resilient-cities-a-primer-on-reducing-vulnerabilities-to-disasters-Venice-Italy