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news from Spoleto - in english

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  • Susanna Iraci
    Hi all, i finally translated for you news about Spoleto. What you will read is not the article that i sent about two weeks ago, but the result of an interview
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 25, 2007
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      Hi all,
      i finally translated for you news about Spoleto. What you will read is
      not the article that i sent about two weeks ago, but the result of an
      interview i did to the spokeswoman of Legambiente Spoleto, which has
      been following the project since the beginning, about 10 years ago. The
      unclear details of the first article had made me fear that their use
      of the word 'car free' was something different... and so it turned out,
      up to you to read now.
      It will probably be interesting to compare cases of 'carfree' fakes and
      similar projects.
      Btw, excuse my english but translating should take up more time than i
      actually have available :)


      (i also have photos if some of you are interested)
      The downsides of �Spoleto, city open to men, car free city�: the point
      of view of Legambiente Spoleto

      �Unfortunately, our city nowadays is one constantly offended and
      attacked by cars! Traffic is out of control and even our small Spoleto
      last winter has exceeded the PM10 legal limits. To see it free from
      cars would finally be a dream! We hope that the project �Spoleto, city
      open to men, car free city� will give some good results, but we are not
      very optimist�.

      The project will see in the next couple of years the realization of
      three big parking lots outside the medieval walls, for a total capacity
      of 1000 cars, campers and buses, connected to the historic city heart
      by 500 mt of mechanized paths with moving walkways, 14 moving
      staircases and 15 elevators. A huge project for a total cost of 59
      millions of euro, financed by the Ministry of Transport, Spoleto city
      hall and SSIT, the local public transport society. The goal is to fully
      pedestrianize the historic city centre.

      The project is nevertheless ambitious, and the local environmentalist
      group of course shares the goal, but several doubts remain. �We have
      been against its realization from the very beginning, because we
      believe that this kind of intervention will be highly invasive and that
      it is over sized for the reality of our city. Moreover, it will require
      extremely high maintenance costs and will finally not take effect on
      the most problematic points: connections between the centre and the
      suburban areas, traffic along the main urban roads, reduction of number
      of circulating cars, improvement of public transport, with the
      consequent reduction of energy consumption and toxic emissions.
      The project is better oriented at tourist target needs while it does
      not respond well to Spoleto citizen�s needs, which are prevalently
      living in the suburban areas where most services also are located. On
      the other hand, the average daily tourist flow is not as high as to
      justify the use of the three parking lots.

      The city of Spoleto has one of the highest energy consumption rates
      (2,78 Tep/inhabitant versus the regional average of 2,42 Tep/inhabitant
      and the national average of 2,06 Tep/inhabitant), produces 13,01
      t/inhabitant of CO2 with the effects of transportation accounting for
      21% of the total. There is an average of 787 cars every 1000
      inhabitants in the area, vs. the national average of 688 vehicles/1000
      inhabitants; 83% of movements are done by private means, and only 12%
      by public transport. (Source: RSA Agenda 21, 2000).
      Moreover a structural part of the new City Plan has been recently
      approved occupancy of 900 hectares of land where �the grass is still
      growing� and might undergo irreversible transformations towards
      urbanization by the building of new structures.

      Local administrators do not consider that their major commitment should
      be put into planning and organizing a city for men and not for cars,
      and that city planning should see the solution of environmental
      criticalities and reduction of resources consumption as a top priority.

      Until now, only the first parking lot has been opened, the one closer
      by the city centre. While waiting for the next two to be completed, the
      experimentation of the new Traffic Plan has started, but not without
      unplanned difficulties: the parking place is in fact always desert (at
      any time of the day there is no more than 10 cars while it could hold
      up to 414), the circulation and parking ban in the centre is only
      limited to certain time areas, even on weekends, and as it often
      happens when this kind of programs are introduced without a good
      communication plan trade lobbies are protesting.

      �Now that the project is under realization, we sincerely hope that the
      administrators will as determined as to totally close the historic
      centre to cars, and we have granted our support on this � as the
      spokeswoman of Legambiente says � But, on the other hand, we want a
      plan for the re-development and reassessment of the historic centre, so
      that people can move back there (there are today only 4,400 residents
      against a total of 11,000 in the 70s, with a total number of
      inhabitants in the area remaining constant in the years) and also we
      ask for radical solutions on urban mobility to be undertaken that
      should be totally non invasive and sustainable�.


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