Monday, July 21, 2008

That sinking feeling - a digital view of the Venetian population crisis

Apart from the fact that it is slowly falling into the Adriatic Sea, Venice has a dwindling population problem to contend with as well.

In 1500 it had around 200,000 living on its stilts, but it has been slowly shedding residents ever since - down to 100,000 in 1970, 78,000 in 1990 and just over 60,000 in March this year.

A pressure group. Venissia.com, was formed recently to campaign for protecting the Venetian way of life and attract more people to move to the city, is using the a rather downbeat but unique way of demonstrating the problem.



The shop window, close to the Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal, has a direct feed to the official population figure, allowing residents and tourists alike to witness in real time the decline in the number of residents in the famous city.

Incidentally, the blame for the decline is being put squarely on tourism industry. There is a huge surplus of hotels and not enough residential accommodation. In fact, a recent law was proposed to allow hoteliers development access to any other building within their area.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

Hat-tip: Guardian Travel

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4 comments:

Алексей (rewritoff) said...

The shop window, close to the Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal, has a direct feed to the official population figure, allowing residents and tourists alike to witness in real time the decline in the number of residents in the famous city

Travolution Blogger said...

Алексей (rewritoff):

not sure what you're trying to do with this comment?

Rob said...

A student of ours wrote his master thesis on this topic. For who is interested can find it here:
The changing tides of Venice - Future scenarios of the world’s touristed city

Travolution Blogger said...

Rob: thanks for the link.