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Veniceis a Heritage City • People come from all around the world to admire the city’s heritage, which includes 16 000 works of art, 400 palaces, 100 churches and 30 convents.
Millions of tourists visit Venice each year. • It is a small pedestrian (someone who travels on foot) city.
Characteristics of the Lagoon of Venice • Veniceis in northernItaly, in a regioncalledVenetia. • The city is in the middle of the lagoon. • It is made up of a group of 118 islandsconnected by a network of 200 canals. • Its an urbanarchipelago (a city formed by a group of islands).
The lagoonisseparatedfrom the AdriaticSea by a long sandbarcalled the Lido. *A lagoon is a shallow body of saltwater separated by the open sea by a low sandbank or coral reef.
Threeinletsconnect the lagoon to the sea: the Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia. • Theseopeningsmaintain a balance betweenfresh water, flowing in from the rivers and salt water, carried by the tides.
The Grand Canal, or ‘’Main street ’’ • People get around by foot or by vaporetto (a boat used for public transit), motoscafo (fast boat) or gondola (long, single-oared and flat-boat used exclusively by tourists). • The Grand Canal is nearly 4 km long. • Almost all streets are connected to it. • It divides the city in two sections. • It was built so that boats could unload their cargo throughout the city.
Mass Tourism • In 2004, the city received 15 million tourists. • Consequently, the population has fallen to lessthan 60 000 in 2004 from 174 808 back in 1951. • It isbecoming a city focusedsolely on mass tourism.
b) Venetians must cope with the massive presence of tourists all year-round.
d) More frequent flooding • Venetians are leaving their city as a result.
Tourism in the Lagoon of Venice: Asset(good thing) or Problem? • Venetians depend on tourism to make money. • Maintaining and restoring the city generates revenue (brings in money $) and creates jobs for the locals(people that live there).
It contributes to: • Pollution of the lagoon and city. • The exodus(think of “exit”; a departure of a large number of people) of island residents(locals) to the mainland. • Excessive consumptionof drinking water (drinking more water than is necessary)
b) Housing shortage for residents: • Many residences (house) are being converted (transformed) into hotels or bed and breakfasts
c) Only prestigious (famous) buildings are getting renovated: • The rest of the city is left in the hands of developers. • As a consequence, the canals and foundations in less popular areas are in need of repair.
The three enemies threatening Venice’s lagoon • Industrial pollution: • Fumes fromrefineries*containsulfur and release acidinto the air. • Rainsendsgases back to Earth. • Corrodes stonework, harms plant life and pollutes the lagoon. *A place where some raw material, such as oil or sugar cane, is refined or purified.
2. Floods: • Venice is built on water. • Documents reveal that floods have been occuring because of high tides, low atmospheric pressure, heavy rain and the city’s gradual sinking.
3. Land Subsidence: • Groundwaterwaspumped out of the surface to supply the growing population with water. (Groundwater is water that is found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand and rock) • As a result, the underground reservoirsbecamedepleted (emptied) and causedVenice to sink (subside) by 23 cm.
The Cost of Development • Since the 1950’s, the economic and tourist development of Venice has shattered the fragile balance of the lagoon. • Chemical and petrochemical industries (factories) have dumped pollutants in the water, poisoning the fauna (animals) and flora (plants).
These industrial plants have pumped huge amounts of groundwater from underground reservoirs. • Huge amounts of water was also pumped out to supply the increasing number of residents who have moved to the mainland. • This slowly caused the ground to sink.
The threat of Aqua Alta • Extraordinarily high tides represent an important threat to Venice. • The frequency (how often it happens) and severity is becoming more alarming (Over 50 times/year). • Strong winds over the Adriatic Sea and a drop in atmospheric pressure cause the water levels to rise in Venice.
The MOSE Project • Scientists have devised various solutions to save the city from waters. • The idea is to install floodgates (pontoons) which would block incoming water whenever the tide rises above one metre.
Construction of Breakwaters • Scientists have also constructed breakwaters* in front of the inlets to deflect one third of the tide from entering the lagoon *It’s a barrier with thousands of boulders; supported by aqua-pods.
Causeway in Venice • A causeway was recently built to connect the mainland to the ancient city. • A causeway is a raised road that stretched across wetland.
Breakwaters • Divers plan to place many fabrics along the seafloor. • These fabrics will be nailed to the seafloor with long, thick iron nails. • The fabrics will be covered with small-sized rocks. • Larger-sized rocks and eventually boulders will be placed over the smaller ones to ensure stability.
Interlocking Aqua-pods a MUST! • Finally, interlocking aqua-pods will be placed along the walls of the breakwater. • Must withstand the constant pounding of the tides and strength of the currents. • Without these aqua-pods, the breakwaters would eventually collapse because of the strong waters.