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Accepted Paper:

Contested future strategies for the island city of Venice in times of uncertainty  
Cornelia Dlabaja (FHWien der WKW)

Paper short abstract:

The paper examines the negotiation of visions for public infrastructures between social movements, political actors and entrepreneurs based on ethnographic research in Venice. During the pandemic, local actors developed post-touristic and post-pandemic future strategies which are now under review.

Paper long abstract:

The lagoon city of Venice is currently facing major challenges in contemporary society. On the one hand, in the context of climate change, solutions must be found for rising sea levels. On the other hand, the city is in danger of sinking in the maelstrom of mass tourism, accompanied by a crisis of gainful employment and migration of the population, which is leading to rapid demographic transformation. Not only Venice is facing these challenges, but the crisis of labour and commodification of municipal infrastructures and neoliberal policies caused by touristification are virulent phenomena of our time that a multitude of municipalities are currently confronted with. Venice, however, as a spatially confined city, is particularly affected by mass tourism by day tourists from cruise ships. During the pandemic, certain initiatives popped up to prevent Venice after the covid19 crisis from mass tourism and the rising sea level. Since reentering of mass tourism in the city political actors and social movements developing controversial strategies to cope with the floating of the city by mass tourism. The aims, strategies and logics of local actors, administration and politics are the subjects of the study. Based on my ethnographic research I am investigating since 2019 which visions for a liveable city and for the future of Venice the residents have and how they demand the "right to the city" which visions political decision-makers develop and how these divergent approaches are negotiated.

Panel Envi05
Contested futures? Sustainability conflicts and local practices in the age of global uncertainty
  Session 1 Saturday 10 June, 2023, -