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Artificial reef floated as idea to fix sinking Venice

Venice is sinking by a couple of milimeters a year and floods are now a regular occurrance. Billions have been spent since the 1960s on remedies that include an elaborate network of robotic gates designed to block rising tides. But still the city sinks.

HereFast Company’s Sydney Brownstone reports on a seemingly far-fetched proposal to prop up Venice with an artificial reef.

Scientist Rachel Armstrong and colleagues want to use special water droplets — called “protocells” — that would deposit limestone below several of Venice’s 118 islands to form the reef. The team says it has developed chemical mixtures that can be “programmed” to carry out the task.

“Like coral reefs, protocells can replicate and build structures on top of one another,” Brownstone writes. The droplets would be directed to locations where needed most, including hard-to-reach spots below the city’s terrain.  

Fast Company

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