A city of water and its problems : Venice

Francesco Indovina
27th june 2014

Lagoons are, as is well known, unstable environments, and often subject to human intervention, hence altering their natural state. Nevertheless lagoons are, indeed, fascinating panorama. They attract inhabitants, which further complicates the sustainability of these waterscapes.
Venice lagoon makes up an excellent example of the above statements. Whoever governed this land throughout time, always had to face challenges related to the antagonism land- sea. Each of these actors– the land and the sea – continuously attempted (and are still attempting) to conquer Venice. This battle is manifest, on the one hand in the form of wetlands on the other hand as the transformation of wetlands into a strip of sea.

Initially, the main challenge was the emergence of wetlands – not for aesthetical reasons, but rather for practical and economic matters. The access to the lagoon had to be guaranteed for the Venetian fleet (defence and trade). Eventually, such a protection (moving the mouth of the rivers from the lagoon towards the sea), has led to the emergence of the opposite phenomenon - that is the transformation
of wetlands into a sea strip. This phenomenon is now being fought - not for aesthetic but for economic reasons. The preservation of the "nature "of the city, is crucial, since it is an inexhaustible source for the tourism industry. Measures taken are labelled "saving Venice "(after the great flood). This defence can also represent a contrast to "other " economic activities (the industrial port, the commercial port - large ships - fishing , etc.) hence an intervention of significant size and importance.