On the 24th of November 2018, Jane da Mosto took part in the symposium Beauty and the Beast: Venice and the Rhino at Palazzo Contarini Polignac with a talk titled Venice: A Fragile and Resilient City.
Venice is a paradoxical city built right in the middle of a dynamic and unstable coastal lagoon system yet it has flourished and retained some vital features since its origins more than a thousand years ago. The survival of the city is intricately connected with the wellbeing of the lagoon system.
The lagoon’s integrity, however, is being undermined by incompatibilities in the institutional framework, lack of a longer term strategy for urban development, over dominant economic interests. Rising waters, in the face
of global climate change, are contrasted with falling numbers of permanent residents and disappearing features of a living city.
This paper argues that Venetians must be central to plans to protect and reclaim the city from the ravages of mass tourism and if we succeed in saving Venice, the world will understand better how to save itself.