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Called the most beautiful city in the world, Venice features a haunting atmosphere that exudes the splendor of its past. A city without cars, filled with outstanding historical, artistic, and architectural heritage, Venice owes much of its uniqueness to its symbiotic relationship with the sea and the lagoon.
Yet, despite its millenary history, the historic city of Venice is trying to adapt to 21st century lifestyles, while preserving its environmental, artistic, and cultural heritage. The rising cost of living in Venice has led to a dramatic exodus of its population, which decreased since WWII from 200,000 to 60,000, while tourism has ballooned to 12 million visitors per year.
Venice is a microcosm that reflects and magnifies many of the issues confronting the rest of the world; at the same time it is a place that will allow you to experience a unique, more relaxed pace of living.
Since its founding in 1988, IQPs at the Venice Project Center provide an opportunity for students to see the implementation of their projects for the benefit of an entire city. Projects are conducted for Venetian, American, and international organizations and include environmental, socioeconomic, artistic, cultural, and technical concerns important to the revitalization of this historic city.
The 130+ projects completed in Venice include in-depth studies of the canals of Venice that resulted in the publication of a book under the auspices of UNESCO; a number of projects on the preservation of Venetian art, resulting in the creation of a nonprofit organization called PreserVenice; several environmental studies on the lagoon ecosystem that contributed to the creation of an online Lagoon Atlas; a groundbreaking DNA study of the origins of the Veneti, in collaboration with National Geographic; and a variety of projects for the improvement of the urban quality of life in the city and the lagoon islands that have resulted, among other things, in the re-engineering of the Venetian cargo delivery system and the design of a vacuum sewer system to prevent discharges into the city’s canals.
Current projects are focusing on mobile and Internet technologies to allow local citizens and visitors to enjoy the city in a more intimate and personal way.