As nations and cities around the world seek to build more resilient ‘green economies' and develop more ecologically sustainable systems, one of Italy's oldest and most visited cities, Venice, recently announced a series of initiatives to preserve its many historic and cultural jewels, threatened by the effects of pollution.
By 2013, a fleet of emission-free ferryboats will move commuters and tourists from one part of the city to another. The new, green waterbuses will be noiseless because they will be fueled by electricity, hydrogen and solar power.
In addition, the Venice city council is planning to construct a 220-million-euro eco-friendly plant. Projected to be running within two years, the power plant will turn the algae that clogs Venice's canals into clean, emissions-free, renewable energy. Venice's algae will be harvested 24 hours a day, every day, and converted into biodiesel. The biodiesel produced will support half of the historic center's energy needs, says the Venice Port Authority.