Venice in Environmental Peril?: Myth and Reality

Overview

Venice and its environment are perceived to be in peril due to rising sea levels, tourism, and modern development. Are these threats myths or reality? This book explores Venice’s environmental risks based on interviews with Venetian environmental campaigners and draws on the mythology of the Venetian Republic. Campaigners’ opinions about the mobile dams nearing completion to protect the city reveal that Venice now represents an environmentally-threatened retreat from modernity. This reputation has been ...

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Venice in Environmental Peril?: Myth and Reality

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Overview

Venice and its environment are perceived to be in peril due to rising sea levels, tourism, and modern development. Are these threats myths or reality? This book explores Venice’s environmental risks based on interviews with Venetian environmental campaigners and draws on the mythology of the Venetian Republic. Campaigners’ opinions about the mobile dams nearing completion to protect the city reveal that Venice now represents an environmentally-threatened retreat from modernity. This reputation has been established as sustainable development and climate change policies have risen to the top of political agendas in many cities and countries. The book investigates how environmentalism has been transformed from a theory underpinning counter-cultural movements to part of a dominant holistic culture in Western societies. Rather than constraining Venice in search of a mythical harmony with nature, this book offers a ten-point proposal to modernize the city while preserving its ancient heritage.

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Editorial Reviews

The Future Cities Project
Venice in Environmental Peril? Myth and Reality offers compelling evidence to disprove the arguments that Venice is in peril. . . . Recommend for the excellent critique Venice in Environmental Peril provides the contemporary concerns and preoccupations of environmentalism. . . . Dominic Standish represents a powerful response to the perception of Venice in peril, with a message that is loud and clear.
Mick Hume
Venice is a glory of human achievement, and this book is the human-centered defense that the city deserves.
Dr. Frank Furedi
…A groundbreaking book for understanding the politicization of the environment.
Jane Da Mosto
…In Venice it’s impossible to ignore the cases where the science has been affected by politics.
Dr. James Panton
Standish has succeeded in locating the transforming history of Venice as metaphor for Western preoccupations and self-understanding - from the highest realization of mercantile politics and republican statehood through romance and degenerate decadence, to its contemporary invocation as a symbol of unease and discomfort with the achievements of modernity and the attempt to master nature. This is an important contribution to the critique of the diminished political and historical imagination that underpins the construction of climate change as an insurmountable social problem.
Alan Hudson
Standish’s project is to re-conceptualize Venice’s historic relationship to human endeavor and to remind us that it was the energy and innovation of Venetians themselves that made Venice great. He succeeds admirably. His book is a valuable contribution not only to Venice’s future but to the wider debate on the efficacy of human intervention.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761856641
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 1/15/2012
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Dominic Standish, Ph.D., is British and lectures for the University of Iowa at its CIMBA campus in the Venice region of Italy, where he has lived since 1997 (see www.dominicstandish.com for more information).

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Table of Contents

Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
Foreword by John Eglin
Acknowledgments

Introduction: The Venice Problem and a Proposed Solution

PART ONE – VENICE’S MYTHICAL TRADITIONS
Chapter One: Founding Myths of the Venetian Republic
Chapter Two: Cultural Myths

PART TWO – FROM CONSERVATIONISM TO ENVIRONMENTALISM
Chapter Three: The Triumph of Conservationism
Chapter Four: Transforming Conservationism into Environmentalism

PART THREE – CLAIMS-MAKING ABOUT VENICE’S MOBILE DAMS
Chapter Five: Environmentalists Challenge Venice’s Mobile Dams
Chapter Six: Environmental Claims about Venice’s Mobile Dams
Chapter Seven: Myths about Venice’s Mobile Dams

PART FOUR – MYTHS ABOUT MODERNIZATION
Chapter Eight: Modernization and Environmentalism
Chapter Nine: Modernizing or Sustaining Venice?

Conclusion: The Reconstitution of the Venetian Metaphor

Appendix A: Profiles of Venetian Environmentalists Interviewed
Appendix B: List of Non-Governmental Organizations
Appendix C: List and Abbreviations of Political Parties
Appendix D: Glossary of Terminology
Chronology: Venice and its Protection
Bibliography
Index

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