Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m.
Severe floods from rising sea levels pose a dramatic threat to Venice’s world-famous buildings, while long-term problems of subsidence threaten to sink the city into its lagoon. With special access to leading engineers, scientists, and the Venetian authorities, NOVA explores innovative efforts to protect the city.
In a crucial recent test, a massive hi-tech barrier, the MOSE, succeeded in blocking a dangerously high flood tide. Yet the MOSE is not a complete solution — if deployed too frequently, it will damage the fragile ecology of Venice’s lagoon. Other strategies include eco-projects that could help safeguard the lagoon’s salt marshes, pumping seawater into the city’s foundations to counteract subsidence, and imposing limits on the passage of huge cruise ships and cargo vessels that generate destructive waves.
Combining a present-day engineering saga with the story of a long battle with the forces of nature, Venice is revealed as never seen before, at a critical moment in its rich history.