While many have been working hard for some time now to secure approval for Roma’s new stadium, Rome’s councillor responsible for city planning, Paolo Berdini, has frequently been an obstacle in the path to bringing the project to completion. In an interview with Radio Radicale, Berdini said the new stadium would be “useless” and that rumours of his impending departure from his position in the council are entirely unfounded.
Roma’s new stadium
Rome is a schizophrenic city. We’ve been talking about something which will be useless to the city, which is Roma’s new stadium, for months now. We don’t even know what to do with the Stadio Flaminio, which is falling into ruin. If the Stadio della Roma were to be built, what would happen to the Stadio Olimpico? Who would maintain it? We don’t have in mind what some other Italian cities do – instead, look at Turin, they demolished an old stadium to build a new one, complete with a shopping center. When I was young, stadiums didn’t have things like that, they were entirely functional. If they can do that in Udine, in Turin, why wouldn’t it work in Rome? I won’t compare us to other countries, as they’re ahead of the game compared to us. In England, people build beautiful stadiums in city centres, while we don’t know what to do with ours. Instead in Rome we have to build yet another white elephant and then we won’t know what to do with either the Stadio Flaminio or the Stadio Olimpico.
I’m not leaving my position as councillor for city planning, those stories were completely made up. They were shameful, as I’ve said before. Adnkronos invented something that was entirely illogical and without foundation. But Adnkronos‘ story was then reported by all the newspapers. It was a political move against Virginia Raggi, trying to make a story out of nothing. We can all relax now, Raggi and this council will continue to move forward with the mandate that we have been given by the Roman electorate. People will continue to provoke us, despite the early signs that this council is governing the city well, but they will continue to fail.
How Rome can become a city of sport
It’s absurd that we’re talking about this, the city doesn’t need to. There are already perfectly good facilities like the Fulvio Bernardini sports complex in Pietralata. It’s fantastic for those who live out in the suburbs, it’s always full of people. From first thing in the morning to late at night, it’s full of young people playing sport – and it’s all completely free. It’s a great sports facility. This city’s suburbs aren’t abandoned and decaying, they’re full of energy. They’re places where a young person can play sport outside without all the traffic of the city centre. We have these glaring contrasts, on the one hand there is the undoubted failure of the swimming stadium, on the other there are these sports facilities in the suburbs.