A revolution is about to take place in the way citizens of Rome interact with the public administration and it is called “Io Segnalo” (I report). The mind behind the project is Commandante Raffaele Clemente, head of the capital’s Municipal Police (the ones who enforce traffic laws as well as various administrative policies, building codes, public space use, etc. while the Polizia and Carabinieri concentrate on felonies). The goal is to make it easy for any citizen, including foreign visitors, to register complaints and insert valuable data directly into the city’s crime prevention system.
The list of violations ranges from illegal parking to potholes, from illegal dumping to abandoned vehicles, from public disturbances to tax evasion by vendors. Some complaints will result in immediate interventions, while others will go into a database which will aid the administration in pinpointing problems.
Great, Sustainable Rome fully supports this.
Under one condition. That Commandante Clemente take steps to ensure that the Polizia Municipale do two things:
1. set a positive example by respecting the law, disciplining any members of the force that commit violations, a rare occurrence of course but still unacceptable.
2. by acting to apply the laws being violated under their own noses, sotto i propri occhi, every day!
There should be no opposition between “vigili” and “citizens” but rather a mutual respect for those who behave civilly and a common intolerance for uncivil behavior.
Today, per assurdo, a citizen can send hundreds of segnalazioni a day of violations taking place outside the windows of Municipal Police headquarters. A new system to denounce violations will work better when the violations are the exception to the rule, not the rule. Right now, it would be like hiring someone to wash dishes in a busy restaurant and then asking the diners to provide a list and description of their dirty plates.
We’re happy to help out to do our part. All we ask is accountability. Accountability. To be “accountable.” It’s in the dictionary.
accountable |əˈkountəbəl| adjective1 (of a person, organization, or institution) required or expected to justify actions or decisions; responsible: government must be accountable to its citizens | parents could be held accountable for their children‘s actions.
Here’s a great post (in Italian) which I share 100%
Originally posted on Mammifero Bipede:
Questo post nasce per evidenziare l’enorme fatica necessaria ad uscire fuori dalle gabbie mentali che la società incessantemente provvede a costruire, la perenne difficoltà nel vedere le cose come realmente sono e non come ci vengono confezionate.
Prendiamo un concetto banale come può essere quello di “creare disagi agli automobilisti”. Beh, disagi è una brutta parola, che rimanda ad una sensazione di fastidio. Non sembra bello, o se vogliamo eticamente corretto, imporre disagi ai propri simili. Il vangelo stesso, col quale tutti, volenti o nolenti, siamo stati cresciuti, recita in estrema sintesi: “non fare ad altri quello che non vorresti fosse fatto a te”.
Quindi nel momento in cui si vanno a richiedere sistemazioni in sicurezza per gli spostamenti in bicicletta, nel momento in cui viene sollevata l’obiezione che si creerebbero “disagi agli automobilisti”, immediatamente scatta una reazione istintiva: il senso di colpa derivante dall’essere causa di…
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Words don’t work so well to express Rome in the springtime when the weather gets warm and things start to bloom. They end up betraying me, leading me to whine when I should be extolling. I like to show this city to people so as to see it with fresh eyes myself.
I had the opportunity to do this over the past few days, exploring Rome with an architect and an antiquities dealer, designing and improvising an itinerary between sacred sites of all eras and all denominations, from the Jubilee Church at Tor Tre Teste to Rome’s Mosque to the Synagogue and the Sistine Chapel, from the MAAM to Bramante’s Tempietto to Sant Ivo to the Pantheon. I’ve also been heavily into EUR and the churches of the Celio. And of course the Tiber where I’m concentrating efforts as Director of TEVERETERNO Onlus. Rome never ceases to amaze.
Of course it also surprises, and not always pleasantly. My street was closed to traffic for three days this week after trees fell in a windstorm. For three days it was an “open street” safe for people; children were playing in the streets, you could hear the birds and breath the air. Now it’s back to normal, clogged with speeding cars and everyone seems happy, saying it has been “re-opened” when it seems just the opposite.
In the Monti neighborhood Via Urbana is struggling to maintain the civilized state that it achieved when it too was pedestrianized and became an oasis of urban vitality. Some people actually want to go back to the way it was.
And despite the international attention being received by this grassroots movement for civic space, the Mayor hasn’t answered the call. I’m not surprised really. Despite having told me explicitly that his office would answer all queries and suggestions, it’s hard to even get an auto response from Rome’s administration.
Dear Mr. Mayor,When we spoke last in December you were very clear in your commitment to respond to emails from your constituents. You also spoke of a program you are launching to promote some sort of cultural crowdfunding for the city of Rome. Having worked for 20 years in the cultural heritage management business in Rome, and being in touch on a daily basis with donors and investors interested in contributing to urban transformation projects (such as TEVERETERNO), perhaps I can make a suggestion. Why don’t we launch a program directly on the Roma Capitale cultural portal through which donations can be made to support public projects? I know for a fact millions of people would be thrilled to take part in this, and I know the language needed to make it happen. Sure it must be innovative and ambitious, but it requires one quality for which Italian administrations are not always known: accountability. Why don’t we talk about how to change this?Best regards,Tom RankinP.S. I have yet to receive a formal, substantive answer to any of my emails to date, with the exception of occasional chats with Roberto Tricarico.
Rome cannot be better, but it can do better.
Sometimes a series of events take place in the same place and time and, although they are unrelated, it’s hard not to make connections and comparisons. The beauty of Rome, we know, comes with strings attached. It attracts all, and like a beautiful woman it sometimes falls victim to abuse.
Starting 2015 with the optimism which inspired this post last summer.
Originally posted on still sustainable city blog: ROME:
A three day trip to Bilbao, Spain reminds me of some simple solutions to apply to Rome. Of course, these are two different cities. Rome has multi-millenial cultural heritage, Bilbao much less. Rome has three times the population, and a much larger tax burden. Oh, and Bilbao is cold and rainy compared to Rome. So, potentially, Rome has more resources and greater attraction, and yet Bilbao is without doubt more livable.
Much has been written about the Bilbao effect, the result of choosing a “starchitect” like Frank Gehry to design a new Guggenheim Museum where a great landmark building and a good international marketing machine make up for a not-so-impressive collection. (Except for Richard Serra that is).
But the Bilbao effect I saw these days was more about public space, sustainable mobility and the rehabilitation of the urban riverfront. All lessons that could be…
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