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The Resilience of Venice: The Past, the Present, the Future - Lecture



The Resilience of Venice: The Past, the Present, the Future  - Lecture

The Resilience of Venice: The Past, the Present, the Future

the second of the series of lectures organized in collaboration with



A presentation by Professor Paola Malanotte Rizzoli, Professor Emeritus of
Physical Oceanography, MIT.


Venice has survived for 1,600 years from its mythical foundation - on March 25, 421 - thanks to its most remarkable feature: resilience. It survived first the invasions of the barbarians and, second, the most powerful European states. Venetians realized that the lagoon, their safety, was being transformed into land by sediments discharged by the numerous rivers into its interior. Hence, over three centuries from the 1500s, they diverted the courses of the rivers to outside of the lagoon. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Venice adapted to modern industrial times by becoming a center of chemical industries and industrial/touristic navigation, even though this produced environmental damages, sometimes irreversible. In recent decades many of these damages have been addressed, but in the near and longer term, the greatest challenge requiring arguably the greatest resilience is climate change and sea level rise. MOSE was constructed to resist the increasing number of destructive storm surges and to ensure the existence of the Serenissima and lagoon until the end of this century.


A native Venetian, Professor Rizzoli has done extensive research on the origins and effects of ‘acqua alta’ and was a consultant for the city’s MOSE barriers from 1995 to 2014. Rizzoli advised Boston’s Museum of Science on its exhibition Resilient Venice: Adapting to Climate Change, and was invited to present an exhibition in the Venice Room on “Resilience of Venice” at the 2021 Architecture Biennale in Venice.


Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Time: From 6:00 pm To 7:30 pm

Organized by : IIC-NY

In collaboration with : Save Venice

Entrance : Free


Istituto Italiano di Cultura - NY