58 The situation is not entirely a cause for pessimism. The use of Internet communications could allow the return of some of the banking and insurance interests that long ago abandoned the city centre. Despite its physical handicaps, Venice preserves a lively cultural identity as a centre for the visual arts, cinema, opera and academic study. Cultural life is penetrating ever deeper into the fabric of the city.
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The conversions of the Dogana or customs warehouses for the use of the Guggenheim Museum and of the nearby hospital of the Incurabili for the teaching departments of the Accademia di Belle Arti have established an extensive artistic complex along the Zattere. 59 Sansovino's huge Scuola Grande della Misericordia is being converted to a concert hall and multi-media music centre. 60 Even the physical environment has Utopian features that are the envy of architects and planners all over the world. Here pedestrians have their own complete street network, and virtually everyone uses public motor VENICE SINCE THE FALL OF THE REPUBLIC 301 transport.
The provision of car parking space on the outskirts, so desir- able in other cities, is obviously indispensable in Venice.