“Venice isn’t a hotel, it’s a living city”. Brugnaro responds to UNESCO’s criticisms.

In the hefty dossier are all the City’s responses to the criticisms that the international body addressed to the City.

By Enrico Tantucci

24 January 2019

VENEZIA. The transformation of property to hotels? “We want to dispel the myth that Venice is just a hotel. The City Council has blocked new hotels for the next three years; unfortunately it doesn’t have authority over the tourist rentals of apartments, but we are collaborating with the Region to get the law changed”.

Depopulation? It’s true that in the 1950s there began “a great draining of the residential population”, “but there has also been a consistent substitution of inhabitants”. And in the first seven months of 2018, the official population count registered “an increase of 19 people, reversing the trend”.

MoSE? “The completion of the work is slated for the coming months, and it’s projected that in the first half of 2019 the barriers will be activated provisionally and, beginning in the middle of 2020 they will be in service definitively”.

These are some of the responses contained in the ponderous report on the state of conservation of Venice sent by the City to UNESCO in mid-December – and now finally made public – in response to the recommendations that the body that oversees the World Heritage Sites sent to the Administration and the Italian State. Venice is still under the threat of being added to the list of at-risk sites. Everyone can assess how satisfactory and well-founded they find the City’s responses, but there is no doubt that the City’s report exudes optimism from every pore, and paints “a Venice that is alive and vital, a Venice that looks to the future without renouncing its great traditions”.

Regarding the problem of the Grandi Navi passing by San Marco, which is still unresolved, the report makes it seem easy: “We all agree that the cruise ships should not pass in front of the Bacino di San Marco, and this has been the City’s stated position for years. An alternative solution, via the inlet at the port of Malamocco, the Canale dei Petroli, the Canale Vittorio Emanuele to the Marittima Station or alternatively to Marghera for the larger ships, has already been chosen, by the Comitatone in November 2017”.

However since then nothing has happened, and no project has been approved, but the report does not mention this.

The entrance fee (tassa di sbarco) does not appear in the report – at the moment it was sent the fee had not yet been approved by Parliament – but neither is there any trace of the question of the development of a GPL ‘mega-depot’ at Chioggia and its impact on the Lagoon. This issue caused the postponement of the report being sent to UNESCO, due to the intervention of Director of the Ministry of Cultural and Environmental Heritage Alberto Bonisoli, as well as pressure from the Cinque Stelle party and the Mayor of Chioggia.

But to compensate there is mention of the Salone Nautico 2019, which is very close to the heart of the Mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro.

Source: La Nuova Venezia

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