Wired news article on Venice
- A recent article on Venice in Wired that has an unexpected -- but
welcome -- observation on where carfreedom places Venice in history.
The relevant excerpt:
I want to know whether Venice is a city of the past or the future,
whether it's forward- or backward-looking, whether it's sinking ...
Venice is undoubtedly a museum city, a city whose center -- sharply
defined by canals, islands and the melancholy lagoon in which it sits
-- stopped expanding and changing centuries ago. Not only is the
physical infrastructure of Venice literally sinking into the sea, but
climate change is likely to bring water levels up in the near future,
threatening the city's very existence. Meanwhile, industry is
declining, and manufacturing jobs are being outsourced to China.
These threats add to the peculiarly sinister literary and cinematic
ghosts that haunt the city: the killer dwarf of Nic Roeg's Don't Look
Now, the decadent pedophile in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice who
succumbs to lust and cholera as (in Visconti's film version of the
story) heavy Mahler music plays.
On the other hand, Venice is very much a city of the present and the
future. The absence of cars could, in itself, be seen as somewhat
futuristic; I'm sure many cities will ban cars from their central
areas within the next hundred years, and, like Venice, become places
where the loudest sound you hear is the sound of happy human voices.
Venice lives by charisma, communication and creativity. Tourists from
all over the world arrive at Marco Polo airport, making Venice's
economy a global one. Its industries have transitioned successfully
to services and spectacle; even the glass blowers on the island of
Murano are now performer-artisans who call their wares art. Art has
also become an economic motor in the form of the Biennale, an
impressive array of cutting-edge curation held in the former weapons
magazine, the Arsenale.
Montreal QC Canada