Venice is, of course, one of the most intriguing and beautiful cities on earth. And because of that, it is dying.
The problem is that instead of treasuring it, we are exploiting it. Consider – Venice has only 54,000 residents in its center city area. And it is taking in around 30,000,000 tourists every year. This is just too many people. Worse still are the cruise ships that disgorge large numbers of tourists who have already eaten and slept, and who just wander around for a few hours and then leave. And these folks arrive only at peak tourist season.
The trend is not good. CityHub gets into the challenges. The good news – local citizens are starting to demand changes in policy so that tourism does not totally destroy what is left of the city. The piece ends this way
Saving Venice from submerging in a toxic mess of over-exploitation is nonetheless something that many people should care about, regardless of whether they have visited or plan to. Venice, after all, is concrete proof that, far from being completely awful, humans are in fact ingenious, cultured, resourceful, and creative beings. We’re capable of both engineering a great city from unpromising tide-lashed swamp mud and of making that city an unparalleled hub of architectural genius and social experimentation. It’s a happy miracle that this strange aquatic city is still a living organism, a place whose intricacy of invention and gut-punchingly intense beauty can make onlookers involuntarily giggle with sheer delight. Beleaguered as it may be, Venice is still the best of us. We can’t let it drown.