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The Creative City Of Venice Essay

999 words - 4 pages

The exploration of the topic of a creative city in the Venetian context uncovers a complex picture. The case of Forte Marghera clearly combines the contradictions of Venice as a creative city. Artists, workers in creative sectors, policy-makers, opinion makers, and operators share a physical space composed by a natural and historical heritage and former military buildings. Top-down governing rules engage with bottom-up initiatives through a language that is still unknown to the two parties. The production ambition of the creative class inhabiting the area goes against the entertainment vocation of bars and restaurants, which are increasingly expanding in the site. In this study, Forte Marghera is explored as the Venetian case where controversial positions meet in the same place. It is also the case that best demonstrates how different understandings of the creative city model can give birth to different processes of creativity-led regeneration.
The article proposes three approaches for the development of the creative city model in Forte Marghera that could be found elsewhere in Italy and beyond Italy. First of all, from a general overview of the situation, Forte Marghera emerges as a self-organizing system where cause and effects cannot be mapped linearly. In the theory of social self-organization a key role is played by humans as creative beings (Fuchs, 2003). In fact, structures do not act, they only exist within and through social actions, and the term social-self-organization refers to the dialectical relationship of structures and actions, which result in the overall reproduction of the system (Fuchs, 2003: 147). This approach is critical to governance intended as collective action by private, public and corporate agents regarding public goods, spatially relevant resources, cultural values and action resources (Healey, 2006).When going through a further level of analysis, self-organization seems, at first sight, relevant for the definition of a dialectic relationship between emancipation and participation in the Fort. Residents and local communities request a more participatory process for the definition of the future of the Fort. Participation in principle focuses on the moment of taking part by a group of people in something that previously was out of the reach of these people, it usually does not pay much attention to whether and how participation transforms the context in which the parties operate (Kaufman, 1991 in Nederveen, 1992). Whereas the process of emancipation always encompasses both integration and transformation (Williams, 1961), making emancipation a much more critical term politically than the currently highly popular notion of participation. Participation all too often features in access and inclusion policies with many good intentions, but not sustainable or democratic effects (Evans, 2013: 167). In the case of Forte Marghera it is evident thatthere is a disparity between what people ask, i.e. participation, and what...

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