Cultural heritage in a changing climate: floating green islands awarded at Climathon Venice

VENICE, OCTOBER 28th, 2016 – Participants at an event in Venice came up with innovative and nature-based solutions to cope with heatwaves as part of a 24-hour global challenge responding to climate change impacts. Experts and stakeholders in Venice joined others in more than 50 world cities simultaneously taking part in the hackathon-style Climathon event.

The Climate-KIC Climathon brought together major cities across six continents to solve city-wide climate challenges. In Venice, 21 participants focused on solving the following challenge: “Cultural heritage in a changing climate: exploring innovative and nature-based solution to cope with heatwaves”. The event was organised by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) – International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG), in collaboration with CFZ, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia.

Venice Climathon started at Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (S. Giorgio Maggiore Island) on October 27th, 2016 at 11:00 am. In the evening, participants moved to Ca’ Foscari Zattere, CFZ, where the event closed on October 28th at 11:00 am.

The winning solution “Float green à porter” is oriented to counteract the heat island effect in Venice using nature based solutions in public spaces. The group has been also awarded with a special mention prize form the public taking part at the pitch presentations phase consisting of 200 euros books voucher.

The global event, the second of its kind, was organised by Climate-KIC, the EU’s climate change innovation partnership of universities, businesses and the public sector.

The challenge of Venice Climathon 2016: “Cultural heritage in a changing climate: exploring innovative and nature-based solutions to cope with heatwaves”

Venice is one of the World Heritage sites most at threat from the impacts of current and expected climate change. Rising sea level, exacerbated by local subsidence, and extreme temperatures are among the main hazards to be faced by the city and its inhabitants. Little attention has been drawn so far on how to enhance the city’s coping and adaptive capacity with respect to heatwaves. Venice Climathon addressed the following question: ‘What kind of energy-efficient solutions can be imagined to increase Venice resilience to heatwaves?’, ‘Which form of adaptation increase the generation of new services?’, ‘How combine both mitigation and adaptation options?’

Participants at Venice Climathon adopted a two-fold perspective. On the one side, they focused on energy-efficient solutions for cooling systems in (historical) buildings. Types of approaches falling in this category include, but are not limited to, domotic systems, interior architectural projects, and information campaigns. On the other side, they explored the potential of nature-based solutions, to reduce the urban heat island effect.

The approach was highly trans-disciplinary, combining urban planning, architecture, and business perspectives, among others.

The winning solution: combining adaptation, mitigation and sociability

After 24 non-stop hours of collaboration, excitement and solution-finding during the Climate-KIC Climathon, the best idea was selected by an expert jury consisting of representatives from the innovation, administration and research areas from  Municipality of Venice, We Are Here Venice, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, ETIFOR, Officina*, VeGa, MiBac, Corila and Veneto Region.

The winning solution “Float green à porter” is oriented to counteract the heat island effect in Venice using nature based solutions in public spaces. The guiding pillars consist of a combination between adaptation, mitigation and sociability in a floating and modular island which can be easily replicated. The idea has been proposed by a group composed by Vittore Negretto, Alberto Innocenti (research assistants in architecture and planning for climate change at the IUAV University of Venice) and Denis Grasso (IEFE Junior Research Fellow in mitigation policies and energy efficiency, Bocconi University). As mentioned by the winners: “In the beginning we had to merge our different backgrounds in order to find a common vision of the idea to work with. The real challenge was to imagine a real solution combining both adaptation and mitigation options, improving at the same time the quality of life in the peculiar context of Venice”.

Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero carbon economy and first organised the Climathon in 2015, in the run up to the Paris climate change summit. Climate-KIC organises the Climathon to help kick-start new climate change solutions, and to inspire and empower the next generation of climate leaders.



About the Climate-KIC Climathon

Climathon is a global 24-hour climate change event which took place simultaneously in major cities around the world on 28 October 2016.

Climate-KIC’s Climathon brings together the challenges of the world’s cities with the people who have the passion and ability to solve them. Participants gathered for 24 hours to engage in a climate-related problem solving workshop. City citizens around the world get to take direct climate action in their own cities by coming up with innovative solutions to local climate change problems.

Visit  for an overview of partner organisations and the climate change challenges per city.

Explore the #Climathon hashtag and the Climate-KIC social media channels at and for an overview of how the event unfolded around the world.

About Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM – is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution and a think tank, focused on fostering a better understanding of sustainable development and providing timely and objective analysis on a wide range of environmental, energy and global economic issues. FEEM contributes to the quality of decision-making in public and private spheres through studies, research, information initiatives, scientific dissemination and training. FEEM promotes excellence, scientific rigor, the value of ideas and innovation in all its activities by involving the best researchers and top research institutions on various projects. This international network allows FEEM to remain acquainted with the state-of-the-art of scientific knowledge, to spread its results more widely and expose its human capital to international interaction. FEEM was officially recognized by the President of the Italian Republic in 1989 and is in full operation since 1990. FEEM is entitled to Enrico Mattei, the founder of Eni and a leader in the national industrial system and international relations of the post-war period. Mattei’s most valuable heritage for FEEM is the ability to imagine the future and to meet today and tomorrow’s challenges, renewing on a daily basis its commitment to research, support to policy and to the civil society.

About the International Center for Climate Governance

The International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG – was founded in 2009 as a joint initiative of Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and Fondazione Giorgio Cini. The ICCG is now an internationally renowned center whose research activities focus on the design of climate policy and governance. Located on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, right in front of Saint Mark’s Square in Venice, ICCG works with economics and political sciences researchers who explore the interdependencies between economic, social, cultural, ethical, and political aspects of climate governance. ICCG’s mission is to disseminate science-based and socio-economic research in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation to policymakers and the general public. It seeks to achieve this at the local, national and international level through interdisciplinary activities as well as producing climate and energy policy analyzes and defining optimal governance models to manage climate change.

About Climate-KIC

Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero carbon economy. We address climate change across four priority themes: urban areas, land use, production systems, and decision metrics and finance. Education is at the heart of these themes to inspire and empower the next generation of climate leaders.

Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

Media Contacts

Alessandra Mazzai

Information and Communication Officer

International Center for Climate Governance


Kelsey Hunter
Climathon Communications Manager
+44 7714 051530

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