Public Preferences and Urban Regeneration: Land Use Changes and Aesthetics at the Venice Arsenale – ARSENALE VE
This research project aims at placing a value on alternative re-uses of historical and underutilized urban areasby using stated-preference techniques. The research focuses on the specific site of the Venice Arsenale (Old Shipbuilding Yard), which is well-suited for our study. The results from our study are a potentially important input into the planning of urban sustainable development.
In this research project, we use stated-preference techniques for placing a value on alternative re-uses of historical and underutilized urban areas. The specific site we work with is the Venice Arsenale (Old Shipbuilding Yard), which is well-suited for our study. The results from our study are a potentially important input into the planning of urban sustainable development.
The purpose of this project is three-fold.
First, we wish to illustrate the use of a stated-preference technique, conjoint choice experiments, for planning and decision-making specific to the case at hand.
Second, we hope to show that reuse, local economic impacts and the aesthetics of a regeneration project can be valued, and that people are capable and willing to make tradeoffs between these and other attributes. We hope to demonstrate that individuals are capable and willing to trade off attributes describing land use, architectural features, aesthetic quality and local economic impacts of alternative redevelopment projects, and that survey techniques using stated preferences approaches can be successfully used by policymakers and planners seeking the public’s input into decision making process.
Third, we wish to compare the preferences of the public with those of public officials, who are also interviewed in this research project.
The self-administered survey questionnaire was installed on the computers of the Multimedia Library at Palazzo Querini Stampalia. Respondents were recruited among the visitors to the Library and the users of its computers. We have collected a total of 168 completed questionnaires. About 90 percent of our respondents were residents of Venice. We are currently analysing the data and preparing a complete research report.
Preliminary analyses indicate that respondents understood the regeneration projects that they were asked to examine, and that they respond to the attributes we used to describe these projects. The responses to the choice questions indicate that people are willing to accept regeneration projects for the Arsenale, but that not all regeneration projects are equally appealing. For example, the favourite regeneration projects are those that offer housing for residents and space for research. Our respondents were less favourable to hotels and office uses. People placed a high value on the presence of fast transportation links and to the number of jobs created. These results will be compared with the priorities of public officials.
To determine what attributes of a regeneration project for the Arsenale the general public finds most appealing, and how the public trade offs attributes, we have devised a stated-preference questionnaire based on conjoint choice questions. The questionnaire is self-administered by the respondents using the computer.
After being queried about their experience with living in Venice, respondents are provided historical information about the Arsenale, and are offered a stylised description of possible regeneration projects for it. They then engage in a total of four conjoint choice questions, where they are asked to tell us which they find most appealing among a hypothetical regeneration project A, another hypothetical regeneration project B, and the Arsenale as it is today.
We use both 2D and 3D graphical renditions to show the distribution of the proposed land uses for the hypothetical regeneration projects, which are also described by the use of water spaces within the Arsenale, new buildings in the Northeastern part of the Arsenale (if any), fast transportation links with the airport, the mainland and other parts of Venice, jobs created through reuse, and cost to the respondent.
We have also developed a similar questionnaire for city officials, so that their perceptions of the best reuse alternatives can be compared with those of the public.