The river Marzenego in historical maps – Abstract (eng)

Waterscapes International Conference – Venice 2015
Parallel Session n. 1


Giorgio Sarto – Massimo Gattolin
storiAmestre Association, Acque Risorgive Consortium, Province of Venice

keywords: Marzenego, lagoon, historical maps, river landscape, river contracts

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The Marzenego, as Sile, Zero and Dese, is one of spring water river of the drainage basin of the lagoon of Venice where it flows, trought 12 municipality and for 43 kilometers marked by 18 former mills. The final stretch   a of seven kilometers, called Osellino, has a stright course hollowed from the sixteenth century by the Venetian Republic to change its original mouth. This stretch hosts a large concentration of boats used in the free time in the lagoon, activity adding to the different historic employment of the river in the inland e towards the lagoon.

About the Marzenego basin is activated a “river contract” for a shared and more sustainable waterways management and its areas between public and private skateholders.

Among the various activities, it has been prepared, on a proposal of the association storiAmestre and in collaboration with the Acque Risorgive Consortium and the Province of Venice, a research about historical cartography from the late eighteenth century to the present day (2014), to compare the changes of the waterways and landscape over the time.

Through inventories of sources, interpretation of cartographic documents and of other kind of informations like projects and hydraulic works, and finally through GIS processing for understandable visual representations, the research provides a historical sequence of changes of the whole basin and of single significant areas. An extract from the geomorphological map completed by the Province of Venice in 2011, shows “where to rest your feet” that is the alluvial formation and characteristics of our territory.
In the historical sequence appears, especially in the twentieth century, in contrast with the ancient landscapes of consolidated enclosed fields and meadows along the rivers subject to frequent flooding, excavation of river beds and the increasing of the height of the banks, then violent straightening of the meander, until the defense against flooding by cementification of river beds and new artificial systems such as the spillway of Marzenego made between the Seventies and Eighties. At the same time there are waves of invasive urbanization until the banks and the increasing diffuse soil sealing, while the inhabitants reduce the use of the river .

However they document also new and sustainable methods of intervention, from the oasis with wetlands and water phytopurification adopted in the abandoned clay quarries, to the implementation and proposal of new river parks, to knowledge repossession and of the historical and landscape heritage in the experience of the river contracts that is increasingly widening.

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Giorgio Sarto
Architect, teacher and author of urban plans and of publications about territorial transformations, in particular of the Venetian mainland. Former member of the Association Urbanism Democratic and currently storiAmestre association, took care of “Mestre900” project. He was councillor of the territory and of environmental assets of the Province of Venice.
Massimo Gattolin
Director from 2006 of the Environmental Policy Department of the Provincia di Venezia. Now he is Director of the Environmental Service of the Città Metropolitana di Venezia, new public authority that replace the Provincia di Venezia.
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