Arsenale and the city, a vital symbiosis being suffocated by Brugnaro

Citizens demonstrate against the Administration’s choice, Feb. 6, 2022
This administration’s decision to give up areas that are so important and strategic for Venice is incomprehensible. The only objective is to use the area as a backdrop for parties, events or fashion shows.

By Monica Sambo

17 February 2022

The city is conceding areas of Arsenale instead of giving a future to the city! After a long battle waged by citizens and politicians in 2012, Ca’ Farsetti was given important areas within the Arsenale by the Demanio (the organism of state ownership). It was a victory won thanks to the center-left administration and the great citizen participation and mobilization that organized around this issue in those years.

It was a great achievement, celebrated by the whole city in the belief that Arsenale was truly one of the fundamental places for the future of the city.

And so this administration’s decision to give up areas that are so important and strategic for Venice is incomprehensible.

It is a choice dictated by this administration’s inability to elaborate a project for Arsenale (just like for the rest of the city), but also by the myopia of the Brugnaro administration’s refusal to acknowledge work done in the past and its desire to erase any trace of what was developed by the center-left over the years.

Just think of the great work over the years that led to the drafting of the municipal management plan, the work of the Ufficio Arsenale, the Municipality of Venice, and various proposals from local associations.

After this important victory the Brugnaro Administration has paralyzed all activity, wiping out the Ufficio Arsenale with a stroke, and using the spaces as mere backdrops for events and parties, without any real public use.

Today the Brugnaro Administration, after having cancelled every project, and not having proposed even an idea, has decided to cede important spaces at Arsenale to other entities, without any project for improvement, as in the case of the Marina.

It is clear that the approval of this protocol, which gives up areas that are owned by the City, areas which in fact should be inalienable as established by the law of 2012, represents a choice to not give any future to Venice, and to eliminate any planning. Instead, the City is definitively ceding these important areas at the Marina and is receiving in return only the use of Darsena for the Salone Nautico.

Since 2015 we have repeatedly asked the administration to open a debate in the city about the use and accessibility of Arsenale, but after various promises we find ourselves faced with this pre-fabricated protocol, without any possibility to intervene.

Monica Sambo speaks at the demonstration last Feb. 6

Unfortunately, there is no strategic vision for Arsenale and this administration has not understood the potential of such a strategic and important complex, deciding to get rid of part of the area. We still don’t know anything about any actual usability or accessibility to the public: there is no project for productive installations (such as shipbuilding and artisan crafts) that could benefit from the effects of the simplified Logistical Zone.

Furthermore, what future will there be for the Center for studying climate change, which could have been located at Arsenale?

Once again this administration has lost an extraordinary occasion for participation, but most of all for giving a future to this city (that isn’t only the tourism monoculture).

Hence, precisely because the conquest of Arsenale for the city was the result of the action of a citizen and center-left mobilization, as the Democratic Party we have decided to write to the Ministries to explain the situation and make them understand that this choice by the Brugnaro Administration goes against the interests of the residents of the city, taking us back years. As the Venetian PD, we intend to continue the path that leads to giving Arsenale back to the city, because Arsenale belongs to Venetians, but especially because Arsenale can be the future of this city.

Monica Sambo is an Attorney and Chair of the Democratic Party in the Venice City Council.


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