Venice Fun Park Project Presented
A proposed fun park for Venice was presented on the evening of 7 March 2014. The event was organised by the company Zamperla, which is jointly working with Venice University on the project.
Although it has been suggested that the fun park would include a roller coaster and a ferris wheel, industrialist Alberto Zamperla stressed it “will not be an amusement park” with only rides. Instead, he intends for the park to also explore Venetian history and provide insights into the ecology of the Venetian Lagoon. “We want it to be done well, for the project to have a solid grounding from a cultural and scientific point of view,” stated Carlo Carraro, the Chancellor of Venice University.
The fun park would be constructed to transform the artificial island of Sacca San Biagio, which hosted an incinerator until 10 years ago and is littered with four decades of rubbish on the 9 acre site. It would take approximately 6 months to clean up the island and toxic materials would be isolated to avoid public contact. Then it would take 2 years to construct the park.
The project has not yet been approved by Venice City Council, yet this was the first public consultation with local citizens invited to share their opinions.
Voices of opposition were heard at the public meeting. “Our history is not a joke,” stated Tommaso Cacciari, who was representing anarchist social centre movements at the meeting. Some nearby residents expressed concern about the ferris wheel and children paying to learn about Venice’s lagoon environment. These comments were reported in the Corriere del Veneto article in the link below on 8 March 2014:
Others have claimed that the fun park would add to Venice’s decline as a city and its movement towards becoming a little more than a Disneyland for tourists:
Venezia come Disneyland
Although the Venetian economy is highly varied, tourism has grown to become a significant source of revenue. The number of tourists visiting the city has increased since a drop in 2008. Although the fun park would provide an additional attraction for tourists, it would also offer jobs for Venetians during harsh economic times. The park would cost an estimated €80 million and would create 100 permanent jobs and 400 seasonal jobs.
Moreover, Venetian families could benefit from the theme park. For decades, the city has failed to develop decent playgrounds and other facilities for kids, which is one factor that has influenced the decisions of some Venetian families to move out of Venice. A theme park could also potentially boost the city’s income from tourism to support its modernization for all. Although Venice has a great deal to offer historically for children, for outside play there is little more than a few small playgrounds for young children. Decent playgrounds and theme parks can be found in the nearby coastal city of Jesolo, but this requires a day trip and these facilities are only open during the summer tourist season.