Today, in the main hall of the Iuav University of Venice at Tolentini, the conference “Protecting Coastal Cities from Sea Level Rise” was held, organized by the Venice Sustainability Foundation (VSF) and Iuav, with the support of The European House – Ambrosetti, Consorzio Venezia Nuova, Corila, and Vela.
This event marks the second appointment of the Biennale della Sostenibilità which, from June 1 to November 25, will present a series of events that will turn Venice into an international hub for exchanging best practices in sustainable development.
The international forum, divided into three sections, saw the participation of experts from all over the world, along with representatives from coastal cities vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme weather events on three different continents.
After the institutional greetings from the President of the Venice Sustainability Foundation, Renato Brunetta, the Dean of Iuav University of Venice, Benno Albrecht, the Councilor for Urban Planning, Private Building, and Environment of the Municipality of Venice, Massimiliano De Martin, and the Councilor for Planning of the Veneto Region, Francesco Calzavara, representatives from Iuav, Veritas, and Thetis shared Venice’s experiences and the solutions adopted to counteract the effects of the rising Adriatic Sea.
Following that, approaches implemented by other at-risk regions were presented, as explained by the Vice Mayor of Porto (Portugal) Filipe Araújo, the Mayor of Biarritz (France) Maïder Arosteguy, the Chief Resilient Officer of Lagos (Nigeria) Folayinka Dania, and the Mayor of Sausalito (California) Janelle Kellman.
Afterwards, representatives from international thematic city networks took the stage, including Yaser Abunnasr from the American University of Beirut, Alessandra Antonini from the European Committee of the Regions, Sachin Bhoite from the “C40” network, and Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy, founder of Ocean Sewage Alliance.
“Venice’s fortune, as a city in an ephemeral natural environment, has always been linked to its ability to ingeniously coexist with the sea. This holds true today, thanks to various safeguarding measures adopted to maintain its success in an era of climate change. Venice, with its best practices, offers the world a piece of the solution, which can be integrated with the ingenious contributions from other urban areas facing similar challenges,” emphasized Renato Brunetta, President of the Venice Sustainability Foundation.
“Urban and coastal regeneration projects like those developed in Porto, Biarritz, or Sausalito-San Francisco, as well as the resilience strategy of Lagos, are examples from vastly different scales and contexts, demonstrating the need to intervene in all coastal cities,” concluded Francesco Musco, Director of Scientific Research at Iuav University of Venice.