HASsuffocated by mass tourism, the Serenissima loses its inhabitants. Each year, there would be several hundred to set sail for less overcrowded regions, to the point that the city of Venice should soon drop below the 50,000 resident mark. “At present, according to official statistics, the city has only 50,288 inhabitants (intramural, editor’s note). Knowing that it loses an average of 700 souls per year, it could well be that in 2022 it will fall below the threshold of 50,000 inhabitants, ”indicates the Dr Andrea Morelli, owner of the pharmacy bearing his name, at the Turin magazine specchio. During the 1950s, the population was 175,000 individuals. The report, translated by International mail Sunday, April 17, gives the two causes of this exile: the mercantile transformation of the city of the Doges and the redefinition of the urban area imposed by the rising waters.
The result is a surge in rental prices which pushes the middle and lower classes to see new horizons, far from the lagoon. Many locals, whose habitats exposed to flooding become unsanitary, can no longer find new accommodation given the exorbitant prices. Only the wealthy classes can afford to continue living in these risky areas, because they are able to finance all the costs (maintenance, insurance, taxes) related to flood prevention or restoration of the place after the disaster.
The city of lovers wants to avoid engulfment
Member of the Independent Civic Observatory of Houses and Housing in Venice (Ocio), Patrizia Veclani gives the example of the 2019 flood: “There were a large number of people evacuated, which in my opinion are no more no less climate refugees, because this event immediately demonstrated that the ground floors are no longer habitable. Those who could and had the financial means moved to the upper floors, the others went to the islands or to the mainland, where renting high-rise accommodation is much more affordable. »
Venice is trying to stem the rise in sea level, a consequence of global warming, with the Mose mobile dike system, but the sustainability of the operation is questioned by transalpine economists. In the next few years, will the rising waters and the influx of tourists get the better of the capital of Veneto?