Venice exists in a very fragile balance with the lagoon system that surrounds it. The climatic and socio-economic changes of the last decades are deeply disruptive and dangerous for its existence, and it appears to be a particularly vulnerable victim in this new epoch we are calling the Anthropocene. The debate on the survival of Venice revolves around the primary nucleus of the concept of Anthropocene: the intrusion and consequences of human action in the cycle of nature. Venice therefore has a symbolic role in this new era because in small yet essential ways it reproduces the relationship between humanity’s actions and the life of the planet. And yet Venice is not only a victim of the Anthropocene, for centuries it has been an active and even successful subject. Reviewing the relationship between Venice and its lagoon in the last five centuries, Michele Alacevich, a historian at the University of Bologna, accompanies us in a discussion of the Anthropocene to try to imagine new ways of governing it.
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