Urban ideological and bureaucratic excesses :: Blog on today

When the otherwise theoretical imbalances in the climatic-environmental emergency for trivial seasonal reasons, as in these days of red-hot summer, appear more to the eye – and I would say to the body as a whole -, the sensitivity to other signals. is probably also elevated. My personal is at least sharpened, I do not know about others as well. Probably not some of them, otherwise certain attitudes, certain decisions, certain assertions that are even proud of tasks well done when they are not well done would not be understood and it would be enough to acknowledge it to open, if not second, better future prospects, also to attribute to themselves the profits. One of these issues is drought and “political choices” related to water consumption. I put “political choices” in quotation marks because that’s what we’re talking about: decisions that have more to do with the symbolic than with the substance. The fountains closed to save water, or more precisely to show the intention to save water, or even better the good will to show frugality to those who, on the other hand, are obliged to sacrifice in the absence of water. These fountains can easily continue to waterfall as they do not fish at all from exhausted springs, scarce springs and so on, and the same would be the case for other savings more in image than in substance.

In practice, the impression is that you above all want to make a fog: the real savings, those that mean reacting seriously to the problem of water scarcity, involve clashes with some interests that are more urgent than the tourist who wants to refresh the eyes . or feet. So we confuse the water a bit by closing a visible tap to hide yet another floor, but much “heavier” one. And it is not a pretty sight for the public administration to make precisely these all political choices to privilege someone over others. Another less striking and perhaps less political example is the many, many urban transformations which, in the light of a declared maximum attention to ecological problems, land consumption, waterproofing of surfaces, containment of heat waves, quality of service to the citizen, they really look like to chase banal bureaucratic automations that lead to a completely different place. Uses the same criterion already stigmatized for bike paths: “it’s done because the manual says so”, followed to the letter by decision makers, bureaucrats, planners, contractors, small equipment practitioners, even when frightening inefficiency, inefficiency, catches someone’s eye , even disadvantages that outweigh the urban advantages of the expensive construction. The last case is the children’s play in the garden.

I read a happy institutional press release that boasts of the completion of the restoration of a green area. Which, however, appears, more than restored, almost canceled by the nature of the work. The pictures show the former urban green surface, which contributes so much to drainage of precipitation or to cool the local microclimate, covered by a plate of concrete, again covered with elastic material “decorated” with playful toy plants as in a cartoon or theater performance for kindergarten children. In fact, it is the safety platform on which slides, swings and other small play facilities for children are secured. For their safety when they play, they say. And the collective security of the heat shocks caused by the ruthless superstructure of the garden, of thousands of other similar gardens, where and how do we calculate it? Is there not another and more respectful way of the precious urban soil and greenery to anchor these slides and swings? Clearly, yes, it is there, and it is inside the secret closet along with the water of the fountains, the energy saving of true common sense, many reorganisations at very low cost, but very great need for reflection and awareness. Which seems to hide a lot. Lost in the rain of declarations of “maximum commitment to sustainability”. Which at the time had already become a not very cheerful joke.

The Conqueror City – Sustainability

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