Venice Reinvented: Sull'Acqua, A Floating City for Climate Refugees

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Venice Reinvented: Sull'Acqua, A Floating City for Climate Refugees


Sakatis, Alexis E.




New York Institute of Technology


Venice, Italy-- Planning
Urban renewal-- Italy-- Venice
City planning-- Italy-- Venice







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In recent years, there have been growing concerns of the effects that human activities have had on the environment, specifically regarding pollution and climate change. Several cities across the globe continue to face climate related challenges– whether it is the melting of the ice caps, forest fires, harsh storms, or flooding.

This is requiring monumental adjustments by society to avoid natural destruction of many major cities. Venice in particular, is one of the most affected cities. The city is notoriously known as the “floating city.” To the contrary, this is a misconception as in reality, Venice is inevitably sinking due to its weakening structural foundation. Compouding the problem even further, Venice is dealing with the affects of rising sea level caused by global warming. It floods over one-hundred times annually as the level of the tides have risen to extreme highs. If no adjustments are made towards either issue, experts believe Venice will be completely underwater by the year 2100.

Fear and damages have led Venetians with no other choice but to relocate elsewhere and leave their once-loved home. The architectural planning and structural integrity of Venice is one that is unique from any other city, which is why I am proposing a reinvention of Venice. My project involves the design of a floating city for Venetian climate refugees. I am proposing a new alternative for relocation by designing a city that maintains the architectural planning, techniques, and typology of original venetian islands while allowinging it to float to avoid flooding and sinking. This proposal will analyze other proposed floating city projects by renound designers to determine whether or not their scheme is suitable for Venetians to convince them to willingly move.




Sakatis, Alexis E., “Venice Reinvented: Sull'Acqua, A Floating City for Climate Refugees,” Institutional Repository, accessed April 1, 2023,

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