Slow, inclusive and regulated. Will this be the tourism that comes to Venice?


The Venetian partnership SerenDPT will participate in research that will analyze changes and transportation in the cities of art after the pandemic.

28 May 2020

By Vera Mantengoli


Yes to tourism, but we have to recall its impact on residents. After months of closure the fear is that the cities of art will once again be under assault, forgetting about the requests of those who live there for more sustainable tourism. Recently the launch of the Smartdest project was made official, with €3.1 million in financing from the Horizon 2020 program of the European Community. The project will look at tourism pre-and post Covid-19, and will see the participation of 12 locations in eight countries. Coordinated by Venetian Prof. Paolo Antonio Russo, who teaches at the Rovira University of Spain, the research also has a Venetian partner: SerenDPT the partnership of researchers led by Venetian Prof. Fabio Carrera, who is founder of the Venice Project Center platform and inventor of many innovative solutions for the city’s problems.

“The initial goal of the project was to analyze social exclusion caused by so-called over tourism”, explains Carrera. “The crisis caused by the coronavirus has created unprecedented conditions, which has led us to re-formulate the direction of the project. The world has been immobilized, and one wonders if tourism as we know it will return to normality, and what is normality”.

The virus aside, having the cities emptied of humans has allowed contact with the nature and also reflection on the future of these urban realities. Amsterdam, Barcelona, Jerusalem and Venice will be the four pilot cities where the research will be carried out, to be completed in December 2022. How will these places be post Covid-19? They could be more inclusive and lead to a slower tourism, but on the other hand also to a kind of tourism bulimia.

There are four fields which require deeper understanding: the role of tourist transportation and temporary housing; the mechanisms of social exclusion and the point of view of the local communities and the laboratories of innovation present in the cities. The result of the research will then be related to the European Community. The study will also have practical impact: first of all it will create a real map of Europe which classifies regions and metropolitan areas in terms of transportation, attractions, and forms of social exclusion, such as the impossibility of living in a city because it’s too expensive. Then there are plans for a participatory series with citizens, with the goal of elaborating solutions to the social exclusion caused by tourism.

It is already possible to follow the development of the project step-by-step on its website, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and also LinkedIn. Meanwhile the researchers of SerenDPT have already invited Venetians to participate by signing up as interested subjects in the appropriate page of the platform.

“Will the slower and probably more regulated world towards which we are heading be a more inclusive place? Or more democratic?” – concludes Carrera, who teaches at MIT in Massachusetts – “Every citizen as a local stakeholder is fundamental for reflecting on the post Covid-19 situation and building new sustainable solutions for the future of Venice together, so we invite your active participation in this challenge that concerns us and our city”.

Source: La Nuova Venezia

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