13.01.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Report 3. Culture and Development in Venice: From Restoration to Revitalization?

©UNESCO and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice - Book cover

The urban ecosystem of Venice and its Lagoon is among the most studied urban and environmental systems in the world. Acting as neutral broker and facilitator, UNESCO Venice Office has mobilized expertise in the interdisciplinary fields of science and culture to identify and discuss the scientific, environmental, cultural and socio-economic challenges faced by the World Heritage site of Venice and its Lagoon in the context of global change. This document presents a summary of the results and discussions from the third of four thematic workshops that were held to gather the necessary expert inputs needed to evaluate the current situation of Venice and its Lagoon and to contribute to a shared sustainable vision for its future. The Workshop on Culture and Development: From Restoration to Revitalization (20-21 June 2011; Venice, Italy) was organized in partnership with Ca’ Foscari University.

The results from this international workshop will form a basis to further address the safeguarding and enrichment of Venice’s cultural heritage and identity, as culture plays a vital role in harnessing creativity for economic and social development, cultural innovation also contributes to a city’s social fabric, and helps to strengthen a sense of shared identity.

The results of the thematic workshops will be used by UNESCO to facilitate the vision, strategy and management plan for Venice and its Lagoon, and to prepare in collaboration with the local authorities a follow-up report to the one already elaborated by UNESCO in 1969 after the devastating acqua alta of 1966. This new report is intended to help guide sound decision-making and further enable sustainable management of not just the World Heritage Site of Venice and its Lagoon, but of urban coastal and lagoon systems worldwide that are facing challenges stemming from global change phenomena, and in particular those in the South-East European and the Mediterranean regions.

While addressing transversal global issues such as tourism, governance, creativity, restoration and revitalization, this report also sheds some light on the possible future(s) for the City of Venice, in particular concerning the restoration of the city, the enhancement of sustainable and quality tourism, the revitalization of a living heritage and the making of a creative city.




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