Against the consumption of land and territory there are over 13 thousand people individually and 879 organizations deployed and gathered in the Italian Forum of Movements for the Earth and Landscape. The national coordinator Alessandro Mortarino, also in charge of the campaign "Let's Save the Landscape, Let's Defend the Territories" (www.salviamoilpaeso.it) explains that, while Italian citizens are increasingly interested and sensitive to the problem, the municipal administrations "still see us as a counterpart, they have not yet metabolized the need for social, economic and political change and yet so evident ".
1) When did you set up the forum and with what objectives?
Our National Forum was born on 29 October 2011 in Cassinetta di Lugagnano, a Municipality in the Province of Milan, the first in Italy to have adopted an urban plan with “zero urban growth” agreed together with all citizens. The objective of the Forum is to bring together different subjects united by the intention of giving a strong acceleration to the need to consider the "uncontrolled" progress of land / territory consumption in our country as an absolute emergency.
2) Today which and how many realities is it composed of? How many have you left?
The initiative stems from a proposal by the National Movement Stop the Consumption of the Territory and Slow Food Italy which immediately attracted the attention of thousands of individual citizens and about 400 national organizations. Today more than 13,000 individuals and 879 organizations (85 national associations and 794 between associations, clubs, local committees) join the National Forum, which have given life to 141 Local Committees Save the Landscape.
These are heterogeneous and perfectly integrated subjects: national environmental associations, associations between local authorities (Network of the New Town Hall, Association of Virtuous Municipalities, Network of Solidarity Municipalities, Association of Authentic Italian Villages, Association of City of Wine, etc.), Networks of Urban Planners and Architects, subjects operating in the field of alternative economies (Solidarity Purchase Groups, New Development Model Center, the magazine Altronomia, the Movimento Decrescita Felice, etc.), agricultural organizations (all small peasant associations, the Campagna Foundation Friend of Coldiretti, Women in Campo della Cia, Agriturist of Confagricoltura etc.), local administrations.
3) What are the issues that see you most engaged today?
In recent months we have suggested a series of "observations" to the Bill approved by the Council of Ministers and the State / Regions Conference to contain the consumption of agricultural land and the simultaneous enhancement of the role of agriculture which, to our great pleasure, are have been partially acknowledged and we will continue to urge the attention of the next Parliament to other further improvements that can truly make the Bill the "milestone" of a new course for Italian agriculture and economy. In particular, this bill has acknowledged our request to consider the soil as a Common Good: it is the first time that our legislation goes to such an important definition.
Other priorities of our action are contained in the national campaign "Save the Landscape" and in the census request sent to all Italian municipalities.
4) What general results did your “Census of vacant or unused buildings in all Italian municipalities” give?
Analyzing the data of the received forms, one fact leaps to the eye: on average, the Urban Planning Plans in force are "calibrated" on a potential population 60/70% higher than the number of inhabitants surveyed at the end of 2011 by Istat. And this demographic has been essentially stable over the past 20 years. It means that we have hyper-oversized Master Plans. For now, about 500 municipalities have participated and have allowed us to start a first real "snapshot" of the existing urban situation. As we feared, it is still a very "skimpy" figure, which denotes the fear of municipal administrations to disclose data that in reality should be everyone's heritage and which should be the basis of a correct urban planning process.
5) What are the geographical areas where the situation is worse?
I would speak of a standard situation anywhere. In the north (Lombardy in the first place) the data on overbuilding already carried out are higher than in the south, but urban planning forecasts suggest a rapid settlement: the dogma of the "new brick" seems to reign everywhere.
The market seems to have sentenced - for the first time in post-war economic history - the collapse of real estate sales for new buildings, in the face of a slight growth in the renovation market. It is no coincidence that recently the Veneto business associations (Confindustria, Confcommercio, Confartigianato, Confcooperative) have published an announcement in all local newspapers inviting the Region to change its strategies, with this very clear appeal: "Stop wasting territory".
6) What relationship do you have with the institutions? With private individuals? With individual citizens?
There is a great deal of attention from citizens, normally excluded from the debate on future municipal urban planning. The institutions are also following us with great attention, in particular the Government.
The municipal administrations, on the other hand, still see us as a "counterpart": compared to the awareness reached by the "simple" citizens, they seem to have not yet metabolized the need for a social, economic and political "change", yet so evident.
7) What campaigns of yours are currently running?
In addition to the aforementioned campaign "Let's save the landscape", We are preparing a Bill of Popular Initiative that will soon be submitted to the attention and signature of citizens-voters, through which we will propose to Parliament to make mandatory, by law, a precise methodology for all urban planning processes municipal. Only if you have data on the current situation (available building stock, relationship between public green and total area, demographic trends, etc.) can you produce correct planning. Which, in any case, must be shared with all citizens.
In the meantime, our census request to all the municipalities that, for the moment, have not intended to consider our proposals will continue with force: the campaign will not expire until all administrations have responded.
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