This paper examines the ongoing transition of Venice towards a short-term city, posited as an urban form which accommodates the dwelling practices of temporary populations as tourists, at the expenses of a stable resident population. This shift is approached through the conceptual framework of resilience, which is also explored in its political and discursive dimensions. At the base of the emergence of a short-term city, we analyse the redistributive impacts of short-term rentals mediated by digital platforms and their influence on the housing market, but also the related entrenchments of a local policy agenda supporting the resilience of the industry itself above that of the city as a living organism. After illustrating the development of the hospitality sector in the city fabric over the last four decades and presenting the historical challenges that Venice has been facing in regard to its capacity to retain a stable population, we seek to unravel the debate on ‘the future of Venice’, which confronts local and global agents defending a ‘conservationist’ approach for Venice as an ineluctably tourist city, with social actors who claim for the defence of residence – and therefore for a ban on STR – as a necessary condition for a socially resilient alternative.

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Salerno G.-M., Russo A. P. (2020)

Venice as a short-term city. Between global trends and local lock-ins

Journal of Sustainable Tourism (online)