SMARTDEST Innovation Camp in Venice (Italy) – 6 and 7 of July 2023.

Redesigning the relationship between tourism and urban space: this is the theme of the SMARTDEST Innovation Camp which will take place in the city of Venice (Italy) on the 6th and 7th of July 2023.

The event will be hosted by SerenDPT, a Venetian benefit company and project partner, at its headquarters inside the former church of SS Cosma e Damiano, on Giudecca island.

The first day will bring together experts from all over Europe: leading academics, policy makers, agents and innovation networks. Stimulated by the results that emerged during the SMARTDEST project research in 7 different cities including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Jerusalem, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Turin and Venice, they will be called to discuss the social challenges produced by tourist flows in urban contexts.

They will seek to understand whether narratives of degrowth and socio-spatial equity are compatible with tourism destination management that is exclusively rooted in economic development and how we can develop collective responses to manage and possibly reverse the negative impacts of tourism. All this in a city, Venice, which for years has been a mirror and world showcase of this conflict.

Antonio Paolo Russo, Professor of Urban Geography at the Rovira i Virgili University of Tarragona in Spain and Coordinator of the project explained: “The main ambition of SMARTDEST is to contribute to the definition of a political agenda for cities that takes seriously the tourism mobility, at all levels of government, and which brings out the potential of social innovation from citizens’ commitment for more resilient communities“.

At the end of the first day there will be a review of speeches by European innovators of the tourism industry and city administrations who will present some of the most exciting developments in the sector of sustainable urban tourism in Europe. This will serve as an inspiration for the following day’s activities.

The second day is conceived as an opportunity for future innovators, the students, but also local communities, professionals and researchers to work together to develop innovative ideas. An Ideathon will take place on July 7: a co-planning process developed by a collective intelligence to find solutions to questions and challenges.

This will also constitute a preparatory activity for the 2023 MITdesignX Venice Call for ideas, a SerenDPT program managed in collaboration with MIT of Boston and Fondazione di Venezia. It is a competition of ideas dedicated to the development of entrepreneurship and the creation of startups in the Venetian area.

The concrete challenges on which the participants of the ideathon are called to seek solutions are closely connected to the SMARTDEST project: new models of inclusive tourism, urban mobility, solutions to encourage residential living and mechanisms for democratic participation in city governance.

For Venice, the ambition of the project is to create a spirit of creative, dynamic and fluid collaboration, to encourage the settlement in the historic city of innovative economic activities capable of creating new high-quality jobs. This would favour permanent residency and gradually repopulate Venice, counteracting the entropy that leads from overtourism to exodus.

The event is open to the public subject to availability and upon registration by following the instructions on the website