Venice is considering a plan to raise its buildings to counter rising sea levels, an Italian press report said on Friday.
Local officials and engineers have devised a way to lift buildings by about a one metre (three feet) using poles placed under the foundations to be pushed upwards using hydraulics, the daily La Stampa reported.
AdvertisementThe operation, codenamed "Rialto," would take around a month per building if each structure is raised by eight centimetres (three inches) a day.
The mayor of Venice, Massimo Cacciari, praised the plan as being "of great interest."
The main drawback of the plan is its pricetag of some 2,500 euros (3,800 dollars) per square metre.
But its advocates say the project would restore the original look of the lagoon city, which sank some 23 centimetres (nine inches) over the 20th century.
"Rialto" would be an alternative to the "Moses" project involving scores of mobile dikes to be placed at the entrance points to the lagoon.
Implementation began in 2003 and is scheduled to end in 2012 at an expected cost of some four billion euros (six billion dollars).
The lagoon city has been increasingly vulnerable to flooding, having suffered more than 50 episodes of "acqua alta" (high water) between 1993 and 2002.
The worst recorded high waters were in November 1966 when the city was under 1.94 metres (6.3 feet) of water, as the rest of Italy was also battling heavy floods.