Kaid Benfield Archive


Managing traffic (or not) on the waterways of Venice

Kaid Benfield

Posted May 25, 2012 at 1:25PM

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  Venice (by: shapour bahrami, creative commons license)

I’ve never been to Venice, but I want to go.  Obviously one of the world’s most storied cities, it seems haunting and romantic, if also maybe not fully “real” in the same sense as communities I usually write about.  It seems much more from and suited to another time than most cities, even those with substantial historic character. 

(I’m tempted to say that nothing like Venice would be built today, for all sorts of valid reasons having to with environmental and literal sustainability.  But if that logic applied, Dubai wouldn’t exist, either.)

Physically, what seems most distinct about Venice is the degree of reliance on canals and waterways – for the tourists, of course, but not just for the tourists.  And that brings us to this fascinating time-lapse video, very well produced by Joerg Niggli.  Like its subject, it is beautiful and captivating.  I found it while catching up on Aaron Renn’s always-engaging Urbanophile blog.

The video makes me wonder whether there is any prevailing order to the way the pilots of the vessels choose their routes and avoid collisions.  There must be, but it is not discernible from the video, titled Venice in a Day.  Enjoy:


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