08 april 2009

Keep on driving! Urbanisation of the Venice Lagoon

Visiting Venice you will see a romantic city with an endless number of beautiful palaces next to an infinite network of canals and alleys. The city looks well taken care of, at first sight. But one who looks just behind this façade  and takes a few turns out of the tourist routes will see the decay that has plagued the city since decades. Left buildings, areas that are uninhabited. And when one goes out of the comfort zone of the protected old city one will find deserted islands, abandoned buildings, scratched by ever more high tides. Imagine this city of barely 60 thousand souls, half a century ago it had over 200 thousand people living there. It is worn out and emptied for 70%!

Venice and its lagoon is protected world heritage, for good reasons. The culture, the city, the infrastructure, the palaces. The lagoon with its richness in biodiversity of the river and sea waters that mingle there. It is a magical place! The magic seems to be there for tourism, people that stop over for a day or two. Ten million a year of them.

Venice has quite a lot of problems for the actual inhabitants and possible future inhabitants. One of them is infrastructure. You cannot go around by car. You have to park you car outside the city, take your things out, your passengers and than you can take a boat or walk.

For a future urbanization one should be able to use the existing infrastructure -water- with
 the existing means of transportation - cars. Take your car everywhere, on this car-driven pontoon, the Single Car Ferry (SCF).

The SCF is actually a system. Citizens can use the pontoon everywhere as long as they need and park it at one of the many stations at the mainland and the islands where you can drive. You steer the pontoon with the steering wheel of the car. You power the SCF with the engine of the car. You park the SCF with your car at dedicated places, called harbours and at some canals. Off course the historic centre should be protected against to many cars on SCF's, like every other historic city centre in Italy. Also you could go into the lagoon, along the dedicated routes to urbanize, restore and inhabit the several islands you can find.

Keep on driving!

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