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We are here Venice

When We are here Venice was founded in 2015, we declared “Venice is more than its monuments: positioned in the middle of a lagoon, the fate of Venice depends on the health of the coastal system”.

Our mission derives from this, and our activities are defined by evidence in the field of environmental sciences, aimed at bringing about real changes in terms of the protection and regeneration of the living city, its authenticity, its citizens, together with the fragile lagoon, inseparable from the rest of the complex system. By “living city” we mean much more than a visitor destination: a place with a resilient resident population and a sustainable model of governance that considers the quality of daily life, community services, within the context of the lagoon ecology.

In our first seven years as an NGO, we have progressed from acting as an almost invisible platform, dedicated to strengthening interconnections between the multiplicity of local organisations, decision takers and opinion leaders to becoming a multi- trans- interdisciplinary collettive of professionals with a constructive approach to the urgency facing Venice and the opportunities for positive change.

We design and manage awareness raising campaigns, for example the bill posting series “Solo Transitori" (Temporary Residents Only) to highlight the problem of affordable housing and declining demography of Venice, with specific reference to the numerous abandoned pledges for public and social housing projects.

We collaborate with universities, businesses, cultural institutions and the public sector on projects and proposals based on rigorous investigations, to bring about real change in terms of measurable economic, social, physical and ecological indicators. Information sharing via talks, conferences, fieldwork and orientation activities for local as much as visiting academics, workers, students, etc. is of fundamental importance to our mission. Recently we were selected for a five year grant from the European Commission under the umbrella of the “New Green Deal”. The “WaterLANDS project will demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of an innovative approach to the recreation of salt marsh in the lagoon, designed to optimise ecological functionality and the reuse of dredged sediments (when possible).

Considering her values, and those which she incorporates in her management of the Metropole and the world around her, I’ll conclude with another motto of our association, coined by our first supporter the stylist Vivienne Westwood: “Venice for the Venetians, Venice for the world”. The implication of these words is that international support is necessary to provide the extra energy, resonance and resources to support the regeneration of Venice, beginning with revitalising the local population, and showing how positive changes are possible to better reconcile economy and environment via technological innovations and new organisational approaches. Proven feasibility in Venice can then be scaled up elsewhere, in the many other places with similar issues, in line with our larger ambition to ensure that all this work has global resonance.

Photo 1 @Daniele Resi
Photo 2-3 @Eleonora Sovrani
Photo Blogger @Fondazione Masi

Guest Blogger: Jane Da Mosto
published on 30/07/2022
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Jane Da Mosto

Venetian by choice for almost thirty years, an activist and scientist, Jane Da Mosto graduated in zoology from Oxford and specialized in environmental technology at Imperial College London. She is the founder of the "We are here Venice" association.

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