Venice is at a crossroads: choices now could be decisive, for good or for very bad
We can’t lobby effectively for Venice without better information.
Sound information is vital if there is to be worthwhile long-term planning for the city in all areas important to its survival: protection from the waters; reduction of pollution emanating from the territories around the lagoon; tourism management; demographics and employment. This information has to be easily available to the public and politicians alike.
Venice in Peril funded a report focusing on themes key to the safeguarding of Venice. The intention was not so much to carry out primary research— although in a few areas this was necessary—but to track down data that has already been collected by reliable institutions, coordinate it with other data, question it, and make it known in a comprehensible manner.
The chapters of the Venice Report, commissioned by Venice in Peril in collaboration with the Department of Architecture of Cambridge University, reveal that things are changing fast in Venice. After the great flood of 1966 until early this century, Venice became a city where policy was made very cautiously, where the authorities seemed to prefer to do nothing, or even oppose action, rather than do the wrong thing. Hence the many years it took for MOSE, the mobile flood barriers, to begin to be built. The Arsenale, the obsolete naval dockyard, is another case in point. After 50 years, the only, very limited, progress in adapting it to new use has taken place when outside private or semi-private bodies, the Biennale and the Consorzio Venezia Nuova, have twisted the arm of the authorities.
Venice is Peril embarked on this project because we believe that without such information, effective lobbying for the long-term survival for the city of Venice cannot take place.