Challenge Of Venice, The
An inextricable relationship links Venice to her salty, fresh and brackish waters, an inexhaustible resource, yet at the same time, a threat to the city’s survival. Regulating the water has always formed a part of the city's history, and over the centuries has involved both major and minor interventions in the lagoon in order to maintain it's delicate balance. The real threat for Venice today is the increasing frequency of high tides and the possible constant increase of average sea levels caused by climate change. Especially at high tide, the force of the water weakens and sometimes damages the banks and the foundations of the buildings. The future of Venice lies faraway from the city, where the lagoon meets the sea, and where every day 200 million cubic metres of water flow through the port. Therefore, a decision was made to protect Venice with a massive system of Mobile Barriers: MO.S.E. (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico). Work began in 2003 and with 40% now completed, it should be finished by 2014. The construction of the mobile barriers that disappear into the seabed is a highly complex engineering and naval operation. The barriers are made up of steel sluice gates hinged on reinforced concrete structures anchored to the seabed. The manpower required is immense: the three separate sites employ almost 2000 workers, mainly engineers and highly skilled workers. Some of the equipment used is unique in size and technology. Will the M.O.S.E project solve the Venice's problem?