09 Dec 2021

DHI leads new project to support sustainable tourism in Venice

The study will investigate accessibility in the Malamocco-Marghera canal with environmental sustainability as a key focus

Tourism plays an important role in Venice’s economy. But large cruise ships sailing through the Venetian lagoon bring big waves that weaken the city’s foundations, create massive pollution and increase water levels. To protect Venice, Italian authorities announced a ban on cruise ships sailing through its historic city centre from Aug 2021. Large cruise ships are now diverted to Marghera, an industrial port further away. 

Improving sustainability of navigation in the Malamocco Marghera canal 

Together with FORCE Technology and three Italian companies HS Marine, Cetena and Around Water, DHI will be involved in a new project by Port Authority of Venice to analyse innovative solutions for the sustainability of the navigation in the canal, in compliance with physical constraints and hydrodynamic equilibrium of the Venetian lagoon – while considering local water traffic and the MoSE mobile dam system.

This project is part of the EUR 1.7 million ‘Channeling the Green Deal for Venice’ initiative, co-financed by the EU through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Intelligent and innovative digital solutions backed by science 

To ensure project feasibility, advanced hydrodynamic and navigation models will be used to evaluate the impact of maritime traffic on the Malamocco-Marghera channel and surrounding areas. The results will help identify operational and planning solutions to ensure a balance between vessel traffic and environmental sustainability.

DHI will contribute to the analyses with detailed hydrodynamics models based on MIKE Powered by DHI technologies and simulations using NCOS ONLINE, an award-winning physics-based vessel response system developed in collaboration with FORCE TECHNOLOGY. This system utilises high performance, cloud-based computing environments to resolve vessel motions and forces, providing port and maritime authorities with strategic and operational decision support. Using NCOS ONLINE in this study allows DHI to accurately identify the depth of a ship's keel and its impact on the surrounding environment. 

FORCE Technology – a long-time partner of DHI – will be conducting navigation studies to analyse the canal conditions and provide real-time simulations of sailing with large cruise ships. 

Andrea Crosta, DHI’s Vice President of Marine & Coastal, South Europe, says, ‘This is an important project that will contribute to a more sustainable Venice – in terms of tourism and the environment. Using innovative, science-based solutions to solve longstanding challenges that will positively impact the environment is key for DHI, and I’m excited to see what our study will bring.’

Jan Michelsen, Head of Simulation, Ports & Training at FORCE Technology, adds, ‘The Malamocco project is an example of how authorities around the world currently are reviewing old practices and searching for ways to maintain important industries – such as tourism – but in a sustainable way. It will be interesting to see how much of a difference we can make with new, intelligent solutions, and we hope we can help secure the future of Venice.’

The Malamocco-Marghera study is expected to be completed by November 2022 or earlier.
For more information, contact:

Andrea Crosta, Vice President of Marine & Coastal, South Europe at DHI: acr@dhigroup.com
Jan Michelsen, Head of Simulation, Ports & Training at FORCE Technology, tel. 4262 7255 or jmic@forcetechnology.com