Lab and Lunch: Learning from Venice

Resilience of Coastal Cities to Natural and Anthropogenic Perturbations

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 • Noon–1:30 p.m.

Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery

Free, RSVP required. Email, or call 415.528.4444 and choose option 5.

The world’s coastal cities are vibrant centers of population, commerce, and culture. Though they’re oceans apart, many now face the same challenge of contending with rising tides and more severe storms, often coupled with subsidence—the sinking of the land.


Join us for a discussion of flood infrastructure in two iconic port cities—Venice and San Francisco. The great flood of 1966, a century of subsidence, and periodic flooding of San Marco Square led Venice to pioneer a multi-gate flood protection system in its lagoon. We’ll compare this approach with San Francisco’s need to immediately improve its century-old Embarcadero seawall in concert with long-term waterfront planning.


About the Speakers


Giovanni Seminara, an emeritus professor of fluid dynamics at the University of Genoa, and co-designer of the MoSE system, which protects Venice from high tides, will present his approach.


Lindy Lowe, Resilience Program Director at the Port of San Francisco, will give an overview of the analysis and planning underway to strengthen the San Francisco Seawall.


Co-sponsored by the Exploratorium and the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco, with support from the City of Genoa, Italy, and the Bay Area Chapter of ISSNAF (Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation).