Coastlines (Venice)

Coastlines, coveted spaces

(How to develop the coasts facing the attractiveness of these areas?)

Case study: Venice lagoon

Venice is one of the most famous Italian cities. It is in the coastal position, at the bottom of the Adriatic Sea. With the following documents, you’ll understand the issues for this city and its region, around the people, activities, and the development of its coastline.

A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by barrier islands or reefs. It is composed of fresh water and salt water as the sea enters this space at certain times. Through the document No. 3, try to explain why men have settled in Venice. (Imagine the city without the bridge connecting it to the Mainland).

Document 1

Vensie plan Venise canaux

 Venise photo aérienne

Venice map, aerial photo and a small canal near the Rialto

Document 2

Venise gros bateau

Boats in the lagoon, near the medieval city

Document 3

Venise lagune satellite

Venice lagoon


Document 4

Venice saved water for a century

Historically, Venice spent huge budgets to defend from waters. In the 17th century, it has diverted the Piave, Brenta and other tributaries. In 1604, it has blocked the North arm of the Po to compel the Grand River to throw more to the South: if it had not done so, the lagoon that extends over 500 km2 no longer exists. Another danger is the watching today: global warming. Mobile dikes system known by the acronym of Mosè (Moses in Italian), an acronym for « experimental electromechanical module », is designed to cope with an increase of 60 centimetres in the sea level. Its urgency is required: salt water erodes the foundations, undermines the banks, shattered brick walls, pollutes groundwater, and weakens churches and palaces. In a century, the city has already lost 23 centimetres in height.

Le Figaro, April 10, 2007.

Document 5

Venise Mose

Diagram of a mobile Dyke

Protect the city from high tides and the environment: these are the two objectives of the MOSE project. To avoid that Venice is submerged, retractable floating dikes are under construction. A titan portal, which should be completed in 2014.


Document 6

Venise contestation  Vensie contestation 2

Call for demonstrations against the large ships


Which economic activities embody the Venice lagoon? (Doc 1, 2, 3)

How do the tankers reach the port of Marghera? Draw this travel on document 3.

What consequences will this have on the Lagoon? (Doc 2, 3 and 4)

What kind of arrangements does Italy set up to ‘save Venice’ (documents 4, 5 and 6)?

Will these facilities be sustainable?