Spatial & Amphibious Cities: an imaginary vision linked to the existing world

Dr. Giovanna Rossato, Floating & Amphibious Urban Architect and Researcher

The purpose of this study is based on the fact that, to properly face the issues of climate change, the concept of resilient cities cannot be the only solution adopted and applied to existing cities. Nowadays the resilient approach is applied to part of cities, waterfront, etc., but it is not always sufficient to minimize the consequences of the rising water levels due to storms and other climate change consequences. For example, the “General Plan of Interventions” for the safeguarding of activities, (combining the defense of Venice and its lagoon ecosystem from high tides with the environmental issues that the territory has long been subject to) did not mitigate the intensity of the waves even as the water defense barriers (MOSE) are operational. The severe flooding events in Venice in November 2019 left the city under water, and not only the “City on the Water” but also the North East Italian coastline.

Therefore, one can come to the conclusion that cities are complex but incomplete systems, so this encourages imagination to find solutions and actions. With the creative process as methodology, the world of ideas is not totally an imaginary world, an idea is a theory and a fact at the same time, and formulating and idea it becomes part of the objective world.

The result is to draw up imaginary “Spatial & Amphibious Cities” linked to the existing ones (e.g. Venice and New York) by suspended connections -as linear/bridge towns. The existing Water Cities will be transformed by replacing the roads with green boulevards, squares and urban voids with parks (Sponge areas) in order to mitigate the flood risk impact. Meanwhile the imaginary
Water Bridge Cities will be connected to the existing water cities and coastline.

Keywords – Spatial, Amphibious, Sea, Planning, Idea


Giovanna Rossato is a Project Manager - Urban Consultant - Floating & Amphibious Urban Researcher (ARB Part 3). She holds a PhD in design from University IUAV of Venice focusing on "Amphibious City" and “Floating Architecture”.

Rossato has 18 years of experience in practical and academic works both in China, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, the UK, Ireland, Middle East and Italy. She lived and worked abroad (China, Kazakhstan and the UK) for 10 years. She has taught (Visitor Professor, European Expert, Lecturer) at Universities of Architecture &Academy as Cornell University (Rome), University IUAV (Venice), L.N. Gumilyov ENU (Astana), Chinese Academy of Governance (Beijing), SAI (Sichuan Administrative Institute, Chengdu), ICAADE 2019 (Warsaw), METU (Ankara). Rossato’s research is focusing on Amphibious & Floating urban/architecture development and on the “Shape of Future Cities”.

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