Data from early April published by “Venessia.com”: as of 9 April there were 50,992 residents, and the curve seems to be accelerating
By Enrico Tantucci
11 April 2021
VENEZIA. The threshold of 51 thousand has been smashed. Venice continues, with a seemingly inexorable slope, to lose residents, and the statistical data commendably recorded on the association Venessia.com’s Facebook profile report that as of 9 April, the population has fallen to 50,992 in the historic city.
The loss is about three inhabitants a day since the beginning of the year, which becomes closer to four if we limit ourselves to last month. The decline, as shown by the data, naturally includes greater Venice, but with a smaller loss of about 1.3 inhabitants, of a demographic base that is, however, close to half the size. 916 residents have been lost in historic Venice.
In the first four months of 2021 another 258 were lost, which would point towards a population decline even greater than last year. Covid and mortality among the aged have certainly not helped, but the diminishing of the residents is now a fact that has progressed for many years, without a glimpse of the trend reversing.
Yet there are those who still hope. Claudio Scarpa, director of the Venezia Albergatori association (AVA) offered this analysis: “Right now what is required are people who are able to dream up a new idea of the city”, he explains, “because Venice is now the oldest city in Italy, one of the most expensive, too connected to only tourism and praise for the slow life we all share, and that is not what is required by those who are running businesses.
The pandemic has aggravated the crisis of the Italian system, but in Venice it is felt even more. Because there is little else beyond tourism. We have a capable ruling class, but what is needed is a new project for the city which for now I do not see. Only that, if properly supported, could reverse the trend and bring new residents”.
Substantially in agreement is the sociologist and city councilor for Verdi, Gianfranco Bettin. “Venice is a historic city which, like others”, he explains, “is suffering a loss of residents, which according to some predictions could have been even faster if in the past decades there had not been protective mechanisms activated such as those linked to the funds of the Special Law.
Now all this won’t be enough, and if there is no intervention very soon the decline risks becoming unstoppable. Tourism is certainly a resource for Venice that it cannot give up, but it cannot be the only activity here other than the presence of the public administration in the city. Defensive policies are required, like the block on zoning variances, but proactive action is also needed. I think of the use of the moneys from the Recovery Fund, which for now is unclear for our city, but also a revival of the Special Law. We need measures that favor the arrival of new residents through the creation of new economic opportunities – which do not include bringing cruise ship tourism to Marghera.”
Source: La Nuova Venezia