Videos

A Day in the Life of Venice

A cool shift-tilt video captures the city's dynamism.

Image
Shutterstock

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:

This post originally appeared on the NRDC's Switchboard blog. Photo by pitatatu/Shutterstock

About the Author

  • Kaid Benfield is the director of the Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and co-founder of Smart Growth America. More
    Kaid Benfield is the director of the Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and co-founder of Smart Growth America. He is the author or co-author of Once There Were Greenfields (NRDC 1999), Solving Sprawl (Island Press 2001), Smart Growth In a Changing World (APA Planners Press 2007), and Green Community (APA Planners Press 2009). In 2009, Kaid was voted one of the "top urban thinkers" on Planetizen.com, and he was named one of "the most influential people in sustainable planning and development" in 2010 by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. He blogs at NRDC's Switchboard.