The Great Wall of Venice: How to Save a Sinking City

Venice 2.0

Image source: Jdsa.eu

In writing about aquatic architecture, I’ve come across some pretty bizarre designs — floating cities, underwater hotels, and oil rig resorts, just to name a few. Now I’ve got another weird idea to add to the pile: JDS Architects’ Venice 2.0.

You see, Venice is facing the same problem as so many other seaside communities. Rising water levels mean that it’s only a matter of time before Venice goes the way of Atlantis as it sinks to the bottom of the ocean. JDS Architect has a rather unorthodox solution: build another city in the water in a ring-shape around Venice.

The star-shaped ring city would be at a higher elevation than Venice and would therefore act as a dam to keep the water level inside much lower. Obviously, this will require an intense amount of maintenance. The city would need to constantly add new sediment to the ring in order to counteract the constant grinding action of the ocean. Also, they’d need a pump system to regulate how much water is in the inner ring.

JDS Architects' Venice 2.0

Image source: Jdsa.eu

This idea has pros and cons. On the one hand, it would be incredibly expensive to build and maintain, so the city of Venice might want to look to other solutions (such as floating buildings) to save the city. On the other hand, the ring would add a great deal of prime oceanside real estate that could attract businesses and revitalize Venice’s economy. The big question, though, is if the tax revenue from the new businesses would be enough to offset the undoubtedly gigantic budget for this project.

You also have to take into account how the people of Venice would react to this project. I’m sure that the businesses along the ring would love it — they get a view of the ocean and they get to see the ancient city of Venice. But what about the Venetian residents? I can’t imagine that they’d be particularly thrilled about a bunch of skyscrapers blocking their view of the ocean.

Venice Aerial View

Image source: Wikimedia.org

Consequently, it’s kind of a tough call. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and the need to save Venice from the encroaching ocean will force architects and engineers to come up with bizarre or unpopular solutions. No matter how you cut it, somebody is bound to hate Venice’s solution.

How do you think that people of Venice should save their city? Do you think that JDS Architects hit the nail on the head with this ring-shaped island? Or should they strap their ancient buildings to flotation devices and rise with the sea level?

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