Founded in the fifth century, Venice is built over approximately a hundred islands linked by canals and more than 300 bridges. Flooding occurs with increasing freqency, and the water levels rise each time at an alarming rate. Both politicians and scientists are keeping a close watch on this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the race is on to implement an engineering project designed to protect the lagoon during high tides. This vast project, called MOSE, consists of a highly sophisticated series of dykes that divert water away from the city. This program looks at the engineering details of the project and what resources have been mobilized to bring this one of a kind construction to fruition.
With a population of almost 38 million people, Tokyo is the most populous urban zone on the planet. Built on a fault line and threatened by floods, the city seems doomed to disappear, yet new construction projects abound. Over time, building on past experience, architects have built a “city” beneath the city to counter threats of flooding and earthquakes. This program explores this experimental laboratory of modern architecture and techincal innovation. Historians, architects, and engineers reveal the amitious projects under development to save this unique city.
New York City is barely above sea level, and global warming has put the city at risk of devastating floods as hurricanes become more common. Today, almost half a million New Yorkers live in flood zones. Although other cities have more land area in their floodplains, New York’s density makes it the American city with the most people living in a flood zone. To save the city, engineers are dreaming up amazing technologies, including a giant deployable wall that folds out around Manhattan, oyster beds in the bay, and waterproof skyscrapers.