Here's a thoughtful post on Venice, the city destroyed by it's own beauty.
The danger for a city as a theatre or theme-park is that it becomes a stage set, a backdrop. This inevitably treats citizens as actors, there for others amusement. This leads to a simulated city as Baudrillard would have it, a city of the hyperreal as Umberto Eco might tell us. What happens when the audience is not there? Visit Venice on a windswept January and you'd probably find a virtual ghost-town - in fact many people have commented that Venice at night is eerily quiet, as almost no-one lives there, and relatively few tourists stay on the main island.
The post is only spoiled by some superfluous tacky post-modern language.
...the idea of the city as theatre privileges the visitor (the theatre-goer) as a privileged observer, a bourgeois consumer of a 'spectacle'.
Via Urban Planning Blog.