The research project

„Reclaiming the city: Living in Venice in times of commodification of housing and overtourism“

We demand to see the horizon!

The focus of the research is to collect visions and strategies for the Future of Venice based on the perspectives of citizen’s initiatives, researchers, the municipality, local politics, entrepreneurs and inhabitants. During my field research in Summer 2019 have been conducted a series qualitative interviews, with inhabitants, activists of citizen initiatives, spatial planners, urban researchers and expats. Moreover, there have been realized various participatory observations, social media analysis and urban explorations. My research questions are: „How are Venetians reclaiming their right to the city?“ and linked to that “how are the activities of local resistance are reshaping the decision making processes?” The starting point for my research was: “How can we support a development for a social sustainable and vibrant city and the needs of the inhabitants of Venice?”

My research interest is to work on the questions of the right to the city and thereby linked to it to find future strategies and imaginations for Venice from the perspective of its inhabitants, researchers, planers and political actors. My field contacts brought me in contact to local initiatives such as the citizens’ initiative `La vida` movement reclaiming the “anticoteatro di anatomia”, the movement #nograndenavi, Fridays for future in Venice un altra citta possibile and Assemblea sociale per la casa ASC Venezia Mestre.

La Vida Movement: Protests in front of the Anatico teatro di anatomia

The interdisciplinary project follows the question of the right to the city in the context of overtourism, the commodification of housing and public space based on a field study in Venice. It takes a closer look at the relations of everyday life perspectives through memories of urban change and imaginations of urban futures by its inhabitants; logics of planning and politics in the process of decision making. Moreover, it investigates the conflicts and negotiation process in two of the latest examples of contested spaces in Venice, such as La Vida “antico teatro di anatomia” and poveglia per tutti.  It takes a closer look on the process of decision making due to local politics, entrepreneurs and the local administration. The mechanisms of regulation and deregulation of common goods through the legal framework, trans-local policies and negotiations of social inequalities are framing the issue.

I had the possibility to work on the research project as guest researcher at the UNESCO SSIIMsull’Inclusione Sociale e Spaziale dei Migranti Internazionali” in Venice located at the IUAV.

In my first week of my stay I will participate at the AESOP conference presenting a paper about urban change.

Everyone is thinking about Venice past, but how can we envision a livable future for the Venetian people? I will follow this question during my stay in Venice in July 2019. If you are interessed in my findings and the everyday life in Venice stay tuned


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