Venice, Italy, is often voted the world’s most beautiful city. Built across 120 small islands in a shallow lagoon, it’s been an important financial and cultural centre for over a thousand years. But it faces an existential threat from sea level rise caused by climate change.

Rowan Hooper visits the city’s new water defence system – a €6 billion sea barrier designed to defend Venice against high tides. But what does the barrier mean for the ecology of the lagoon, and what about people living on coasts around the world who don’t have the protection of a sea wall or barrier?

In a special episode of the podcast, Rowan discusses these issues with Ignazio Musu, professor of environmental economics at Venice International University, and Swenja Surminski, professor of climate adaptation at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics.

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