Associazione Piazza San Marco
5 May 2018

The Associazione Piazza San Marco guidelines for safeguarding the city

An article written by Alberto Vitucci in today’s La Nuova Venezia has anticipated the Associazione Piazza San Marco guidelines on the problem of managing and regulating tourism in Venice and on its protection. According to the chairman of the association, Claudio Vernier, ‘we have reached a breaking point for our beloved city. It is we who must adjust to the place we live in and not keep on abusing it. It is the duty of those who have the good fortune to live and work in Venice to ensure a quality of use worthy of the history of our splendid, unique city for future generations but also for the tourists who visit it’. For these reasons, the association has drawn up some guidelines to submit to the public institutions and administrations with the aim of helping resolve the many open questions on a sustainable use of the city and its safeguard. There are two general proposals: the recognition of a special statute for Venice allowing the city to keep part of the tax revenue produced and independently decide what the priorities are for acting in its area; the adoption of a council regulation setting a limit to the proliferation of commercial activities incompatible with protection of the monumental and non-material heritage (local crafts). The specific actions called for by the association include the launch of a form of planned management of tourist flows to ease the grip of an unsustainable pressure incompatible with the current reception capacity. In the case of specific events for which an especially large flow is expected in the St Mark’s area, the association asks that a reservation system be provided rather than closure when the defined maximum number is reached. Other association proposals concern the launch of an information campaign with presentation of the Municipal Police Regulation at the city terminals and more information systems on the rights and duties of the visitor to reinforce the sanctioning powers of the municipal police. It also suggests institutionalising the ‘guardians’ on all the city islands with a large tourist presence and relocating the big tourist launches from the Riva degli Schiavone to other parts of the city to redistribute the flows. Regarding controls and security, the association proposes the use of systems for controlling the speed of waterborne craft and monitoring of the navigation routes in the lagoon, an increase in the number of public toilets and nurseries in the St Mark’s area, fighting illegality and micro-criminality by means of DASPO and/or the introduction of a law that relates the renewal of residence permits (or the reuniting of families) to the number of administrative sanctions inflicted on the requesting subject and the introduction of a toll-free number by which any frauds or malpractices by businesses affecting tourists and residents can be reported in real time. Finally, the association proposes highlighting local crafts and encouraging work in the district through set fees and new incubators in association with the city’s universities. In conclusion, Venice must become a place of ideas, though facilitating the establishment of companies engaged in the IT/hi-tech field not requiring infrastructure that is incompatible with the lagoon environment.