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Wired news article on Venice

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  • kiwehtin
    A recent article on Venice in Wired that has an unexpected -- but welcome -- observation on where carfreedom places Venice in history.
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 5, 2005
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      A recent article on Venice in Wired that has an unexpected -- but
      welcome -- observation on where carfreedom places Venice in history.

      http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,69070,00.html?tw=wn_2culthead

      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 ...
      or thinking?

      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.
      (...)

      ======================================

      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada
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