Commentary. We need an innovative project, a change of perspective, a vision and—why not—a collective dream of rebirth.

An ambitious project for a revival of the city

No one could ever argue that governing Rome is an easy and risk-free task. Administering a capital like ours involves difficult choices, and sometimes unpopular ones. Those who take office at the Campidoglio must consider many aspects and factors, even conflicting ones.

However, it is truly sad to see the decline suffered by our capital in four years of being ruled by Raggi’s junta—a decline evident even to the many who have supported her.

Even before the pandemic, it was clear just how necessary it would be to talk about projects, not names of politicians, for the future. Now it is truly unavoidable.

For this reason, I feel a strong moral duty to take a step in this direction, even though time is short. We need to involve the social, economic and civil forces, the third sector and all the people who are willing to dedicate their efforts for the future of Rome. We need an innovative project, a change of perspective, a vision and—why not—a collective dream of rebirth. Ideas and energy before party logos, symbols or names. Starting from the awareness that there are many pockets of poverty and social malaise.

The disastrous economic effects of the coronavirus have left us with legions of people who are unemployed or laid off, desperate shopkeepers and artisans in a city that had already seen a northbound flight by companies, discouraged by a fragile and shamefully neglected economic and infrastructural fabric.

The Municipality must play an essential role in tackling poverty, inequality and social injustice, involving the highest institutional levels: the Italian government, the regional government and Europe.

It is pointless to deny that employment is an issue that particularly concerns young people and women. It is above all women who are being asked to sacrifice their ambitions, dreams and desires to those roles as caregivers that must be reassigned through projects dedicated to the joint management and protection of the youngest and the elderly, who should be cared for by the whole of society, not just by the individual family.

One very concrete objective is a large medium-term project for the maintenance, cleaning and decoration of the city. A plan that would literally put the city back into motion, a virtuous circle of work, services to citizens, pursuit of beauty and enhancement of the many centers of cultural and scientific excellence. The archaeological areas and cultural heritage for which Rome is famous throughout the world must once again become central and accessible to all, and strengthen tourism and its related industries.

Let’s take a new perspective.

Rome has very many unused resources and public buildings, highly valuable from the perspective of their recovery—not new expansive building projects, in a city that is already too suffocated. Only requalification, both in the center and in the peripheral areas, can offer a first response to the most serious forms of marginalization.

The parks and gardens, the places of refuge for animals, the two rivers, the floodplains, the sea, left abandoned up to now, are a heritage which we must treat with the utmost care.

We must promote sustainable mobility: electric vehicles and—even more importantly—pedestrian and cycle paths throughout the city. The 400 km of railways should become an extensive city transport network. Our objective must be to reduce car traffic by 10% each year, including by promoting the use of agile work in public administration.

Rome should be a high-tech city with a web infrastructure that covers the entire territory. The pandemic has made us face the very serious digital divide that is still tearing apart the country and the individual cities. Proof of this are the too-many difficulties encountered by many people and families in engaging in smart working and distance education. We need a web infrastructure that reaches everyone.

Those who know my background know that I believe deeply in equal dignity. My dream is that Rome will become a safe place and a welcoming place for all people, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, how their family was formed, skin color or religious beliefs. Rome, our capital, can no longer afford to leave anyone behind.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Your weekly briefing of progressive news.

You have Successfully Subscribed!