Let’s Take Another Trip to Venice
October 18, 2009
Two years ago, we took a virtual trip to Venice.
Amazingly, this page remains today one of the most popular pages on this whole site. There’s something about Venice — Europe’s largest carfree city — that captures the imagination. Since it is such a good example of a carfree Traditional City, let’s take another tour. (I think Venice is 100% carfree, by the way.)
Most of the photos today come from carfree.com’s Venice page. You can look at many more Venice photos here:
There’s nothing about Venice that couldn’t be done today. If you look closely, you’ll see that it is actually quite simple. The architecture is mostly not very fancy — just your typical “even a fifth-grader could design one” box-with-windows. The streets are, of course, Really Narrow. And no cars. Bingo.
That’s all there is to it.
It really is that easy.
Also, these photos don’t have too many canal shots. The canals are nice, but not necessary.
By the way, Venice has been around for about 1500 years. What does that tell you about “Sustainability”?
Really Narrow. Mmmmm …. yeah …..
Note that everything is paved with stones. This is easy to do when your streets are Really Narrow. Much nicer than asphalt.
When there are no cars, a city becomes a nice place for kids. At least, Mom doesn’t have to chauffer them around all day.
Even McDonald’s takes on an air of respectability in the Traditional City.
Even though there are lots of people, a city doesn’t seem “crowded” once you get rid of the noisy and stinky machinery.
When you get rid of the cars, everything becomes a lot more artified. Even the streetlamps.
You don’t have to build a fifthgrader-box all the time …
But, even if you have 95%+ fifthgrader-boxes, the result is pretty good.
I’m going to have to do a Hot Chicks + Narrow Streets series sometime.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that Venice is 100% Place.
Another thing which you probably weren’t thinking about is: Venice, like most classic Italian cities, does not have much greenery.
But, you weren’t missing it, were you? Like I said, a Traditional City doesn’t need greenery. Not bad if you have some, though.
Most of the verdure that exists is in the form of interior courtyards, not parks. The canals also add a naturalistic element.
Really Narrow Streets! This photo is about 350 meters across. Probably smaller than your mall parking lot.
This photo is the same scale, about 350 meters across. It’s a parking lot at the Mall of America, Bloomington, IN
You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.
Woodbury Commons premium outlet center, Newburgh, New York. This photo is about 600 meters across.
Venice. This photo is the same scale, about 600 meters across.
Scenes from Burano, another no-car city near Venice.
Even though this is only a few miles away, we’ve picked up a whole new theme here — dramatic colors.
Other comments in this series:
October 10, 2009: Place and Non-Place
September 28, 2009: Let’s Take a Trip to Barcelona
September 20, 2009: The Problem of Scarcity 2: It’s All In Your Head
September 13, 2009: The Problem of Scarcity
July 26, 2009: Let’s Take a Trip to an American Village 3: How the Suburbs Came to Be
July 19, 2009: Let’s Take a Trip to an American Village 2: Downtown
July 12, 2009: Let’s Take a Trip to an American Village
May 3, 2009: A Bazillion Windmills
April 19, 2009: Let’s Kick Around the “Sustainability” Types
March 3, 2009: Let’s Visit Some More Villages
February 15, 2009: Let’s Take a Trip to the French Village
February 1, 2009: Let’s Take a Trip to the English Village
January 25, 2009: How to Buy Gold on the Comex (scroll down)
January 4, 2009: Currency Management for Little Countries (scroll down)
December 28, 2008: Currencies are Causes, not Effects (scroll down)
December 21, 2008: Life Without Cars
August 10, 2008: Visions of Future Cities
July 20, 2008: The Traditional City vs. the “Radiant City”
December 2, 2007: Let’s Take a Trip to Tokyo
October 7, 2007: Let’s Take a Trip to Venice
June 17, 2007: Recipe for Florence
July 9, 2007: No Growth Economics
March 26, 2006: The Eco-Metropolis