Whoever it will be, the next mayor of Rome will certainly have a lot to do. And it won’t be easy.
Also because, in my subdued opinion, it will have to move on two different levels, even if connected.
The first is the most urgent and pertains to the bare minimum to give back to the Romans a “normal” city that is, a city that has been healed of the serious problems it suffers from today. In the first place, cleaning and waste: without ideological wars but, more simply, complying with the law, which imposes a precise scale of priorities that sees the reduction at source in the first place (the best waste is that which is not produced), in the second place recycling, reuse and recovery as matter, without change of state; the third is recovery with energy production (which includes the so-called waste-to-energy plants); and lastly the landfill and the incinerators without energy recovery.
All plastics disposable and all disposable packaging, encourage reuse and, above all, reprogram (with door to door) separate waste collection, which today in Rome is of very poor quality, so in the end, a large part of it is disposed of together undifferentiated. Of course, it will not be enough, and for this it is necessary to upgrade as soon as possible the only existing waste-to-energy plant (Colleferro), possibly creating temporary storage (and not landfills) of urban waste in controlled areas which can be combined, as soon as possible, with treatment plants.
Secondly, traffic and lighting, giving back to the Romans roads without chasms and holes, as well as adequately illuminated (avoiding the cemetery effects that are too often prevailing today); and to return pavements to pedestrians as soon as possible today in many areas occupied by restaurants, bars and stalls. Thirdly, public transport, which must be favored decisively (even with reserved ways), discouraging (pandemic permitting) the use of private cars; and the public green (enough with the trees that fall and with the uncultivated vegetation that advances undisturbed), both seriously deficient.
I know well that, to do this, adequate funding is needed and that we always clash with the “skills” of other bodies but there are all the conditions for urgent ordinances and to raise their voices, publicly demanding that all the others also do sooner their part for the country’s capital.
And here I come to the most important and delicate point of the first phase: compliance with the rules. In recent years a lot has been done deservedly for the defense of legality but what is lacking is respect for the rules in the city we live every day where it is enough to see the traffic and the stop to understand that the law of the most arrogant is in force. Whatever it costs, it must be restored as soon as possible a visible and careful control on the roads, to be supervised by force with the local police, decisively repressing all abuses and listening to citizens’ reports (phones must be answered); making the most of modern technology and cameras.
But, in addition to “normality”, we must also decide what kind of city do you want and plan it accordingly, bearing in mind the marvelous beauties and history of Rome which must always prevail over any other requirement. And, if you want a city on a human scale, stop with the overflow of supermarkets and shopping centers: you need to encourage the return of shops and artisans, rediscovering the importance of human contact. As well as no more cement is needed, it is enough to recover all the abandoned areas and buildings (and there are many) today in full abandonment.
And we must also think about making the Tiber, with all its history, the river of Rome and not a sewage collector.
There is much more to say (and, above all, to do), but, in the meantime, let’s start with “normality”.
One last, entirely personal prayer to the next mayor: Rome is Rome, caput mundi, and this is more than enough. Why mortify it by writing “Rome as capital” everywhere?