|A two-lanes-wide line of protesters stretches much of the length of Lido's Gran Viale|
At least a thousand residents of Lido took to the Gran Viale yesterday evening at 6 pm, tying up traffic in both directions, to protest the redevelopment plans that would leave just two trees standing. In April of this year the city environmental councilor, Gianfranco Bettin, claimed that the Gran Viale's trees and shrubs were fatally ill with "risalita salina" (rising saltwater) and would have to be removed. The protestors yesterday disputed this claim, asserting that if there were some sick trees on the Gran Viale--though nothing like 280 of them--they were suffering from being improperly planted and poorly maintained.
Protesters also questioned the other justification now offered by the city and Insula for the greenery's removal: that roots along the Gran Viale will interfere with the installation of a new sewer system. In a city where each day's paper seems to lay bare yet more of the extensive corruption of the MOSE water gates, residents are now demanding the kind of transparency notably absent from both that multi-billion euro project and from the plans for the Gran Viale. Their fear is that the city and Insula are--with no input from citizens nor significant oversight--pursuing a disastrous course of action on Lido at this time of acute fiscal crisis that is as unnecessary and counter-productive as it is costly.
Whether the protest will have any effect is anyone's guess at this point. The plans of the city and Insula call for the trees to fall to the ax this summer, while the protesters are asking the city commissioner to immediately block the removal of any and all trees and shrubs.
You can read objections to and concerns about the Gran Viale project at http://granviale.it/, and on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/granviale?fref=ts.
|It's not easy being Green: two protesters symbolically chained to one of the trees due to be removed from the Gran Viale|