Item description for The Science of Saving Venice by Caroline Fletcher & Jane Da Mosto...
The lagoon in which the city of Venice rises is not much older than the city itself - it is no more than a few thousand years old. And it may not last another hundred, such is the damage that not only the city but also the lagoon have suffered during the twentieth century. The lagoon was always a precarious and ultimately transient ecological phenomenon, and today both the city and the lagoon are under severe threat from human intervention and incursions and from climate change and natural erosion.
Especially since the Second World War, a great deal of data has been amassed about the lagoon and its ecology but it has remained the domain of specialists and polemicists and it has not been collated until now. Working at the University of Venice and Churchill College, Cambridge, respectively, Jane da Mosto and Caroline Fletcher have put together this important introduction to what is known, what is not known, what has been done and what can be done to save both the city of Venice and the lagoon - for both need not only care and maintenance but also remedial treatment, or so the authors conclude.
This essential book, containing new research, was produced by the Venice in Peril Fund. It provides a sensible and informative introduction to the problems of Venice's flooding, sinking and pollution.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.25" Width: 8.25" Height: 9.75" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Dec 30, 2005
Publisher Paul Holberton Publishing
ISBN 8842213101 ISBN13 9788842213109
Reviews - What do customers think about The Science of Saving Venice?
Really quite good Jul 28, 2008
I'm traveling to Venice this October, and read this book in preparation for my trip. Although I haven't yet taken the trip, this book enlarged my understanding of the environmental challenges facing this fabled city.
Other books about Venice touch on its art, architecture, naval history, political history, and romance, but this book stepped outside that realm to give me a sense of the practical problems the residents face. One by one, the book explained the challenges with great clarity: the rising average sea level, the high tides, the catastrophic 1966 flood, the historical river diversions, the problem of gathering silt, the changing lagoon floor, the politics, the costly solutions-in-progress, their possibilities of success, and even some really wild speculative solutions, such as pumping seawater under the lagoon to try and raise the whole shebang.
This book is particularly rich in graphics and design, with each photograph, graph, and diagram enlarging the story. In that sense, it's like a science book, but not like the deadly boring ones we got assigned in high school--instead, a really clear and fascinating science text.
Only two criticisms.
First, the prose was fine up until the last several pages, and then seemed to start decaying a bit. Nothing catastrophic, probably just an editor messing it up a bit with the blue pencil.
Second, because it's a straightforward science presentation, it doesn't have the soul of a book like Venice Against the Sea: A City Besieged, by John Keahy. An author like Keahy gives personal impressions and enlarges your feel of the city, whereas this is straight science, policy, and solutions.
But the publisher, which is a foundation devoted to saving this nearly mythical city, deserves a lot of credit. The book is a valuable addition to my library that I will refer to just before my trip, and certainly, afterwards.
Great book ! Sep 12, 2007
It is short but very informative, the pictures are great, the facts are incredible ... I love this book, it made me want to go to Venice before it becomes a history that we try guess where was it located on the map ...
prognosis is not good Oct 2, 2006
Venice is a city with a glorious history but a very uncertain future. How to even have a future is the subject of this book. It presents a nontechnical description of the problem. Well, multiple problems. One is that buildings continue to subside into the silt. Another is the erosion of the wetlands around Venice. These act as a buffer against storms. Americans will note the resemblence to New Orleans. But the main problem is still hypothetical, though becoming less so with each additional year. Global warming. If sea levels rise by at least 8cm, or as much as 90cm, then we have a sticky wicket.
Various solutions are explored in the book. Barriers help reduce flooding. But the cost can be enormous if sea levels rise and storms worsen in frequency and intensity. Overall, the book cannot be read with optimism.
Saving Venice with lesssons for saving New Orleans Feb 2, 2006
I have never been to Venice, nor did I manage to visit New Orleans before Katrina almost removed it entirely, but the plight that both of them were doomed to from their birth fascinates my environmental mind. Both cities were founded in wetlands out of some necessity. Both have survived until now because of constant fiddling with nature, although a significant part of each city's population has given up on the difficulties of living there.
Through the years, many attempts to engineer survival have turned out to be disastrous for both cities. The solution to just let them go is not acceptable for all of us who appreciate their influence on world culture. This book tells the story of Venice and its attempts in the past, present and future to save a cultural treasure. Its concepts apply equally well to New Orleans.
The book systematically tells the historical, economic, geological, geographical, biological and meteorological reasons that Venice is slowly sinking into the Adriatic sea. But it also tells about the attempts to save it, some of which have been disastrous, some have yet to be attempted. Certainly those who are planning the rebuilding of New Orleans should consult the scientists who are trying to save Venice.
The authors explain the problems and solutions to the lay reader using more than 100 color illustrations - drawings, artwork, photography and diagrams - and just enough words to explain each concept on a single page spread.
Now I have a great desire to investigate the lagoons around Venice and the city itself before it is lost.