//Re-considering nature in Venice Intra-Muros //

//A meaningful access to nature : Phytosociology// 



The Lagoon of Venice is a huge coastal wetland (more than 50,000 hectares) with unique ecological characteristics, in the context of the Mediterranean 


Collectively coping with Resiliency, Vulnerability and Adaptation 

Creating a Green Continuum


Venice wetland becoming garden becoming city  

 -Venice and its natural exceptional ecosystem : -The Laguna -

Nature & Culture // Nature VS Culture // Culture Re-instoring Nature 

The hand of god //Gilgamesh // Symbolic of nature 

Creativity as a principle of Nature 

Nature and creativity ? 


What is the impact of human species bringing them to invent a paradigme in order to re-create natural pre-established order ?


Why Venice as a case study ?

How to generate sustainability in Venice ?

Why catalyzing sustainabilityis a combat sport ? 

Why Venice is an incredible ground to set sustainable initiative ? 

What are the means of a sustainable action in Venice ?


Where does science and creativity meets to generate innovative answer to the challenge of sustainability ?

Architecture and sustainability ?

Design and sustainability ? 

Art and sustainability ?


 The archetype of an enclosed garden

HORTUSprotected the private precinct from intrusion

creating a protective barrier

- bringing nature within its walls-

-First created out of practicality when man feared the wildness of the landscape-

-a common setting for images of the Virgin Mary in medieval artwork-

- the garden -

-as an enclosed space-

-set apart-

- infused with metaphorical meaning – 

-a representation of nature perfected through human art in the service of an ideal – 

 -a fundamental to our understanding of the history of landscape design -

symbolic of impenetrability



metaphor of the heavenly paradise 

 garden of Eden

 as the space created is literally focused inward 

Hortus Conclusus in the medieval age symbolicis the immaculate conception : the enclosed garden

Hortus is the enclosed garden : the womb the utero where all creation starts

Sustainability is a conceptual virtuous circle re-framing human activities towards the idea that life generates life 

Venice is a an enclosed ecosystem a womb as well where man through centuries created agregated themselves

it becomes 

a figurative expression of spirituality




«sustainable development» 

development that meets the needs of the present 


compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs



//Contemporary vegetation science //

//Landscape Phytosociology//


composition / development / relationships

 between the species

classifying communities

empirical model of vegetation

 using plant taxa combinations

 characterizing univocally vegetation units

expressing abstract vegetation concepts


- Tool in nature management issues-

Conceptual units :  «syntaxa» 


Hierarchy system : syntaxonomy


Empirical representation of vegetation of a given territory

Basic unit of syntaxonomy : association

 The association is a conceptual model of a concrete phytocoenosis 


The association is defined by its characteristic combination :

plant taxa, habitat features, physiognomy, biogeographical area, role in ecological succession, historical ,paleo ,biogeographical relationships


 Associations with floristic and territorial affinities can be grouped in larger ecological conceptual units 

Similar alliances may be grouped in «orders»

 « orders » in vegetation «classes»


The setting of syntaxa in hierarchy makes up the syntaxonomical system

The reference model of the given vegetation and territory

//perception of vegetation//successional units// vegetation complexes//

 descriptive //predictive powers





Awaiting translation





HUMAN BEINGS ARE NOT MADE TO LOOK TOO INTENTLY at the Medusa head of history—its rage, death, and endless suffering.


What makes human life bearable: our religious impulses, our poetic and utopian imagination, our moral ideals, our metaphysical projections, our storytelling, our aesthetic transfigurations of the real, our passion for games, our delight in nature in Western culture it has been the garden, whether real or imaginary, that has provided sanctuary from the frenzy and tumult of history.


When Voltaire ends Candide with the famous declaration “Il faut cultiver notre jardin,” the garden in question must be viewed against the background of the wars, pestilence, and natural disasters evoked by the novel. 


The emphasis on cultivation is essential. It is because we are thrown into history that we must cultivate our garden.

Our human gardens may appear to us like little openings onto paradise in the midst of the fallen world, yet the fact that we must create, maintain, and care for them is the mark of their postlapsarian provenance. 

History without gardens would be a wasteland A garden severed from history would be superfluousWe must seek out healing or redemptive forces and allow them to grow in us. 


That is what it means to tend our garden. .it is that plot of soil on the earth, within the self, or amid the social collective, where the cultural, ethical, and civic virtues that save reality from its own worst impulses are cultivated. 

Those virtues are always ours: 

real, mythical, historical, literary part of the story of notre jardin.

forces of destruction and the forces of cultivation

 the gardener’s vocation of care


immortality comes in several forms


—fame, foundational acts, the enduring memorials of art and scripture—




Ulysses incapable of stilling within his breast his desire to repossess the coordinates of his human identity,

Even the certainty that death awaits him after a few decades of life on Ithaca cannot persuade him to give up his desire to return to that very different, much more austere island.


—what keeps him in a state of exile there

—is a life of care- 


More precisely, he longs for the world in which human care finds its fulfillment; in his case, that is the world of family, homeland, and genealogy. 

Care, which is bound to worldliness, does not know what to do with itself in a worldless garden in the middle of the ocean.


 It is the alienated core of care in his human heart that sends Odysseus to the shore every morning and keeps him out of place in the unreal environment of Kalypso’s island. 

“If you only knew in your own heart how many hardships / you were fated to undergo before getting back to your country, / you would stay here with me and be lord of this household and be an immortal” (5.206–9). 

But Kalypso is a goddess—a “shining goddess” at that—and she scarcely can understand the extent to which Odysseus, insofar as he is human, is held fast by care, despite or perhaps even because of the burdens that care imposes on him.


If Homer’s Odysseus remains to this day an archetype of the mortal human, it is because of the way he is embraced by care in all its unyielding tenacity.

Calling him back to a land plowed, cultivated, and cared for by his fathers and forefathers

We must understand the concept of land not merely geographically but materially, as the soil cultivated by his ancestors and the earth in which their dead bodies are buried.

For human beings like Odysseus, who are held fast by care, have an irrepressible need to devote themselves to something. A garden that comes into being through one’s own labor and tending efforts is very different from the fantastical gardens where things preexist spontaneously, offering themselves gratuitously for enjoyment.Odysseus’s patch of cultivated ground from the air, it would have appeared to us as a kind of oasis

like earthly paradises, human-made gardens that are brought into and maintained in being by cultivation retain a signature of the human agency to which they owe their existence. Call it the mark of Cura.

—an oasis of care—


 An ancient parable has come down to us across 


the ensouled matter of homo belongs to Cura, who “holds” him for as long as he lives

(Cura teneat, quamdiu vixerit)



Once when Care was crossing a river, she saw some clay; she thoughtfully took up a piece and began to shape it. 

While she was meditating on what she had made, Jupiter came by. Care asked him to give it spirit, and this he gladly granted. 

But when she wanted her name to be bestowed upon it, he forbade this, and demanded that it be given his name instead.

 While Care and Jupiter were disputing, Earth arose and desired that her own name be conferred on the creature, since she had furnished it with part of her body.

 They asked Saturn to be their arbiter, and he made the following decision, which seemed a just one:

 “Since you, Jupiter, have given its spirit, you shall receive that spirit at its death; and since you, Earth, have given its body, you shall receive its body. 


But since Care first shaped this creature, she shall possess it as long as it lives. And because there is now a dispute among you as to its name, let it be called homo, for it is made out of humus (earth).”

poetic character for Care’s hold on humans



Like earthly paradises, human-made gardens that are brought into and maintained in being by cultivation retain a signature of the human agency to which they owe their existence. Call it the mark of Cura.


Care is a constant, interminable condition for human beings, specific human cares represent dilemmas or intrigues that are resolved in due time, humanly created garden comes into being in and through time


Planned by the gardener in advance, then it is seeded or cultivated accordingly, and in due time it yields its fruits or intended gratifications.

 Meanwhile the gardener is beset by new cares day in and day out. For like a story, a garden has its own developing plot, as it were, whose intrigues keep the caretaker under more or less constant pressure. The true gardener is always “the constant gardener.


 If he had wanted to make Adam and Eve keepers of the garden, God should have created them as caretakers; instead he created them as beneficiaries, deprived of the commitment that drives a gardener to keep his or her garden.

 It would seem that it was precisely this overprotection on God’s part that caused Adam and Eve to find themselves completely defenseless when it came to the serpent’s blandishments. Despite God’s best intentions, it was a failure of foresight on his part (a failure of gardening, as it were) to think that Adam and Eve could become caretakers of Eden’s privileged environment when he, God, went to such lengths to make sure that his creatures had not a care in the world.It was out of sheer carelessness that they did it. And how could it have been otherwise, given that God had given them no occasion to acquire a sense of responsibility? 

The problem with Adam and Eve in the garden was not so much their will to disobedience as their casual, thoughtless, and childlike disposition.

 It was a disposition without resistance, as the serpent quickly discovered upon his first attempt to get Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.


Everything was there for him (including his wife). 

After his exile, he was there for all things, for it was only by dedicating himself that he could render humanly inhabitable an environment that did not exist for his pleasure and that exacted from him his daily labor. 


Out of this extension of self into the world was born the love of something other than oneself (hence was born human culture as such). 

For all that it cost future humankind, the felix culpa of our mythic progenitors accomplished at least this much: Without action, human work is meaningless and labor is fruitless. Action is the self-affirmation of the human before the witness of the gods and the judgment of one’s fellow humans.the human spirit, like the earth that gives homo his body, is a garden of sorts but one that owes its fruits to the provisions of human care and solicitation. 


That is also why human culture in its manifold domestic, institutional, and poetic expressions owes its flowering to the seed of a fallen Adam. Immortal life with Kalypso or in Elysium or in the garden of the sun has its distinct appeal, to be sure, yet human beings hold nothing more dear than what they bring into being, or maintain in 

After the fall that Adam acquired a measure of resiliency and character. In Eden, Adam was unburdened by worries but incapable of devotion


correlation btw : -care & gardens-

it made life matter

-humans are fully human only when things matter-


live in moral oblivion within its limits or gain a sense of reality at the cost of being thrown out.

Adam and Eve could know the quiet ecstasy of contemplation, they had to be thrown into the thick of the vita activa. 

labor, work, and action

Labor is the endless and inglorious toil by which we secure our biological survival, symbolized by the sweat of Adam’s brow as he renders the earth fruitful, contending against blight, drought, and disaster. What distinguishes us in our humanity is the fact that we inhabit relatively permanent worlds that precede our birth and outlast our death, binding the generations together in a historical continuum. Transgenerational things, houses, cities, institutions, and artworks, are brought into being by work.

work builds the worlds that make us historical

Historical world, in turn, serves as the stage for human action, the deeds and speech through which human beings realize their potential for freedom and affirm their dignity in the radiance of the public sphere

There was no fecundity of generations in Eden, for where there is no death there is no birth either

natality (initiation of new beginnings through human action)

 Choosing mortality over immortality, Odysseus repeats the fateful choice of Eve


The human gardener, the care-dominated nature of human beings:gardening is a subset of life//understand that life is a subset of gardening


Gardening is an opening of worlds—of worlds within worlds— beginning with the world at one’s feet. To become conscious of what one is treading on requires that one delve into the ground’s organic underworld, so as to appreciate, in an engaged way, the soil’s potential for fostering life. No one knows better than the gardener that in order to realize that potential, the soil needs an external agent, a husbandman, as it were, to undertake the labor of domestication and fertilization.




Hortus Conclusus in the medieval age symbolicis the immaculate conception : the enclosed garden

Hortus is the enclosed garden : the womb the utero where all creation starts

Sustainability is a conceptual virtuous circle re-framing human activities towards the idea that life generates life 

Venice is a an enclosed ecosystem a womb as well where man through centuries created agregated themselves.



New technologies

Innovative tools 

Participative science