City of Rome rejects Stadio della Roma project, but completion still possible

AGI – Today, the city administration of the City of Rome gave their feedback on the Stadio della Roma project to the Region of Lazio. “The opinion of the City of Rome on the final version of the Stadio della Roma project is not favourable”, the document read. The document has been made available to the public here and its release was announced by the Region of Lazio. Click here for the full report (PDF, in Italian).

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The City of Rome rejected the final designs for the Stadio della Roma project at Tor di Valle, which were presented to Rome’s Department of Urban Planning in May 2016 and provided to the Conferenza dei Servizi convened by the Region of Lazio. It was rejected after a number of criticisms were levelled at the project. But it isn’t a definitive ‘no’, because the city hall has made it clear that if certain conditions are met then the project could yet be approved. The immediate reaction, however, was marked with caution. “The feedback just given by the City of Rome to the Region of Lazio is their administrative view, not a political view. This feedback sets out certain conditions, but these aren’t prerequisites for the project’s completion.” It is also pointed out that, in the document published on the Region of Lazio’s website, there are conditions which would allow the planning offices to give the go-ahead. There will shortly be a meeting between the relevant parties to find common ground between the various opinions that have been voiced over the past few months and to identify which improvements should be made to the project.

Going back to the city hall’s decision, there are many general aspects which they gave the thumbs down to: safety (road and drainage), lack of public amenities (roads, car parks, public transport), lack of documentation and/or content within the documentation (again about roads, car parks and public transport, as well as commerce, environment, urban planning, construction and hydraulic works, and safeguards). Looking at the detail, a number of concerns about road safety were raised; “[there are] numerous situations in which safety cannot be guaranteed, with particular reference to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.” Some critical situations were indicated – though the list was not exhaustive – which “are by no means negligible and which do not allow for this project to be approved.” For example: insufficiently long slip roads; the location of car park exits; the close concentration of various car park entrances and exits, including multi-story car parks, which lead to a high risk of clogging and queuing within multi-stories [NB it isn’t stated in the city hall’s report but it’s clear that this risk of queuing inside a multi-story would be deemed a safety risk]. And again: excessive concentration of roundabout exits; a concentration of entrances to car parks which aren’t compatible with good visibility and manoeuvrability (for motorbikes and buses) and which are both located on bends and don’t physically separate the 2 methods of transport; pedestrian routes “which don’t guarantee” – the city hall state – “pedestrians’ safety, especially when leaving the stadium”; the lack of distinction made between vehicular access for road users and for goods access (in reference to the AS Roma Superstore).

As for the conditions of the terrain itself, their current classification means that “the project, as it currently stands, is incompatible with the dangers posed by the risk of flooding in the area.” As a result, authorisation for all of the buildings, shops, and sports facilities that would be given the green light by the project’s approval “is subject to the redefinition of the perimeters of the zones that are affected by the areas of sediment and which are at risk of flooding”, as well as facilities next to the river. As for the lack of functionality, the report lamented that the areas set aside for the public transport stop at piazzale Tarantelli (Tor di Valle station on the Roma-Ostia Lido line) was “dimensionally inadequate” when compared to the higher demands that would be placed on access to and from the areas in question; furthermore, there is an “underestimation of traffic flows” in the transport study “including in relation to the various different scenarios when splitting the public to private transport ratios”; the proposed access to the ring road around Rome is a “compromise”; the need to optimise/revise the positions of the entrances and exits to the car parks and walkways within them was highlighted; there was also a deficiency of barriers when going into and out of certain car parks. As regards the lack of documentation, the city hall noted that “despite repeated requests for documents” there remain “numerous shortcomings both of documents and within the contents of the documents presented”. The various criticisms are then reported – here, also, “as an indicative and non-exhaustive list” – including, for instance, the lack of a final project or a specific agreement for upgrading the Rome-Ostia Lido line with the Region of Lazio, who own the infrastructure, or deficiencies in the assumptions made within the transport study (for instance, the scenario of playing games on a Wednesday evening), or the effects of using public/private transport on bank holidays, or the lack of considering cycling as a mode of transport. As for the commercial aspects, there remains “a critical issue with regard to the configuration of the commercial zone” and references are made to certain commercial activities. In terms of the expropriation, “up to date cadastral documentation was not provided” following the modifications made to the road layouts on 25th January, without which it isn’t possible to verify whether expropriation procedures are required.

These are, in summary, the reasons for the city hall’s rejection, but they have – as stated above – left the door open and said that the conditions to ensure a favourable outcome can be met by modifying or implementing changes necessary to ensure “adequate levels of road safety, both vehicular and pedestrian”, adequate services for roads and associated infrastructure, completing the project’s documentation by submitting the missing documents to “fill the gaps left in the submission” and to “redefine the perimeters of the zones that are affected by the areas of sediment, which are at risk of flooding, as well as the zones on the riverbanks.”

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