Looking After Venice

An illustrated talk on Zoom by Jane da Mosto, co-founder of Venetian NGO We are here Venice

27th January 2022 at 19:30 GMT

Image by Eleonora Sovrani

In November 2019 Venice hit the headlines with the worst flooding in the city for over 50 years. In October 2020 the flood defence system finally started working (on a trial basis) but with so many operational limitations that issues associated with the climate emergency, rising sea levels and more frequent extreme events were brought even more sharply into focus. During the pandemic, it found itself in the spotlight again – as the emptiest city in the world, Venice’s vitality squeezed out by mass tourism. Could Venice “come back better”? 

The long awaited decision (July 2021) to block large cruise ships could have been part of the solution but instead it has exposed the governance complexities overshadowing our future.  So how can the precious ecosystem of the lagoon, population decline, the demands of the port, a unique civilisation and mass tourism ever be reconciled? 

Fascination with Venice no longer derives exclusively from its unique beauty and artistic heritage, it is now seen as a microcosm of global challenges mirroring the world and carrying the fate of humanity. 

We are here Venice is an NGO established in 2015 that addresses Venice’s challenges as a living city and advocates evidence-based approaches to policy making. This talk by Jane da Mosto, co-founder and executive director, will present current thinking about Venice and by describing some of their work she hopes to build hope for the future of Venice, and beyond. 

More information is available on the We are here Venice website

Jane da Mosto (MA University of Oxford, MPhil Imperial College London) is an environmental scientist and activist based in Venice, co-founder of the NGO We are here Venice. Operating across many different disciplines, WahV has a mission to change the future of the city, highlighting the need to protect the lagoon and rebuild a more resilient resident population.  Jane’s books include The Science of Saving Venice (Umberto Allemandi, 2004), The Venice Report (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and Acqua in Piazza (Linea d’acqua 2016). Contributions include “Making Time for Conversations of Resistance” in Feminist Futures of Spatial Practice (Spurbuch, M. Schalk et al, 2017), “Practicing Civic Ecology: Venice and the Lagoon” in Care and Repair (MIT Press, Angelika Fitz et al, 2019), “The Venice Paradox” in Aroop special edition on Failure (Raza Foundation, 2020).  Alongside WahV specific projects, Jane is active in the community and is President of Pan di Zenzero, a pedagogical project for early childhood. In 2017 she was honoured with the Osella d’Oro by the city of Venice and in 2021 she received the Fondazione Masi prize for “vision and courage”.

This event is free of charge for Members of the Aberdeen Italian Circle or Società Dante Alighieri. For guests we request a donation of £5 per screen, or whatever you can afford, to We are here Venice.

We are here Venice is funded by donations. Please help them if you can by making a donation:

You can watch a recording of this event HERE

We request that during the talk you keep your microphone on mute to avoid intrusive