Should We Finally Abandon Venice?
Yes. It’s not worth saving. Blasphemous? Perhaps to a handful of well-off tourists, but I can’t think of a good reason to funnel billions for temporary engineering fixes every 25 years. Sea level rise is and increasing salt water is eating away at the man-made island. Italy could use that money elsewhere - for example investing in long term education and assisting it’s myriad budget-busted cities. Or, if it’s a question of historic posterity, invest in saving antiquities that really matter. IMHO…
Spiegel tackles this question and finds “the savior of Venice.”
The rescue of Venice is taking place underwater.
Venice’s savior is called MOSE, or Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, a play on the Italian name for Moses, the prophet who parted the Red Sea to lead the Jewish people out of Egypt. It is a project of truly biblical proportions. Conceived after the great flood of 1966 and under construction for the past seven years, MOSE is a dike system the likes of which the world has never seen before — and comes at a price tag of €4.5 billion ($6.17 billion). Day and night, 3,600 workers are hard at work on 78 steel tanks that are being lowered into the water around the Lido barrier island and farther south.
When the sea is calm, the tanks, measuring 20 by 30 meters (66 by 98 feet) each and filled with water, remained anchored on the sea floor. If there is a threat of flooding and if water levels in the city rise above 1.1 meters, compressed air pushes the water out of the tanks and allows them to rise to the surface, creating a steel wall around Venice.