Mediapolis, one year on

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photo by Anthemic Tangle

The best definition of Wal Mart, the world’s biggest distribution outlet, is: “Wal Mart knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” In the United States, the opening of new supermarkets is contested more and more. In tiny centres of population, the economic effects of a new supermarket are disastrous, as local production is swept away and the territory is impoverished. Research results have shown that requests for public assistance double when Wal Mart moves in. The superhypermegagigamarkets form part of the past, of a prehistoric concept of development.

A year ago, I wrote a post on this Blog about Mediapolis, a commercial area part-financed by the Region of Piemonte, by the optimum President Bresso (the TAV one) of the DS party That public money (our taxes) have to finance a supermarket is something above my comprehension. I will have to get help from an expert and try to discuss it at the next gathering of the Province of Turin and I’ll be there on 30 June at its “open doors” event. However, I’d like to ask our employee Bresso a really simple question. The money for Mediapolis, our money not hers, shouldn’t it be used instead for productive activities, that are innovative and that develop the local realities? To develop tourism and to preserve the beauty of Canavese? Among these is the Masino Castle with its balconies that will in the future give wonderful views of the commercial area of Mediapolis and the splendid flow of heavy goods vehicles that will be supplying it.
I’m publishing an open letter from Giulia Maria Mozzoni Crespi, President of FAI - Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (Italian Fund for the Environment), to Mercedes Bresso and I await a reply from the mythical Porcellini the director of the mediapoliswhateveritis.


“Dear president,
I have been told that in a recent meeting in a community hall in Eporedia {Old name for the city of Ivrea} you affirmed “Mediapolis is going ahead”. This firm position, as you can imagine, worries and saddens me for the many reasons that I have already set down.

It is true that your Cabinet has approved the agreement that opens up the way to the commitment of a “Programme Agreement”, but the appeal by the Council of State is still pending and that could bring the whole decision-making process back to the beginning. As you certainly remember, the process started off by ignoring a motivated contrary opinion by the Commissione Urbanistica Regionale {Regional Urban Commission}. I have also been told that with regard to Mediapolis, and also in relation to TAV, that you believe it is appropriate to take definitive decisions. But if you allow me to say so, it doesn’t seem completely correct to put these 2 on the same plane. One is the TAV, a massive public operation of European importance and the other is Mediapolis, an initiative with use and advantages that are absolutely private. Of course like any private company it will have an effect in terms of employment.

The presumed public benefits, in particular the much acclaimed figure of 1500 new jobs (that became in one moment even 10,00 jobs) are so far, as far as public knowledge is concerned, completely unsubstantiated, just as, as far as I know the advantage to the public of this enormous public investment has also not been made evident.

Many times we have requested that the decision about Mediapolis should only be taken after an evaluation of the benefits and the general appropriateness, using documents and objective criteria and gathering information from everyone in the whole user base. But we’ve never had a response from the Region. However we are waiting to have the chance to speak in an Open meeting of the Provincial Council and it would please us to be able to think that it won’t be a moment of ritual, with the decisions already taken, but that our reasoning can be listened to and discussed in view of the deep worry and conviction that we are expressing.

As you know, it is not only that there is a risk to the fertile soil, the delicate hydrological equilibrium, and an unrepeatable landscape that determines our opposition, but also the conviction that Mediapolis represents a development model that is not appropriate to Canavese, to its history and to its potential.

Models like that are, by now not appropriate anywhere, because of the waste of energy (can we allow this?) that involves the congestion of private transport as well as the total absence of identity and of integration with respect to the territory occupied.

In fact we are always more convinced that the true key to development that is long lasting and strategically correct is to be found in local initiatives that are being created spontaneously in local communities. We are trying to come alongside these initiatives here in Canavese using our own modest resources as well as our experience. It is a long time since this initiative started and many things have changed: among these are the sensibility and the awareness that the transformation and the alteration of the soils and of the landscape have such a high degree of irreversibility as to inevitably penalise future generations.

Honoured President, I am well aware, that much of the institutional road has been walked for Mediapolis and that normally it is not good practice to discuss a choice too many times, but I would still like to add my personal appeal because this case is so delicate and risky. Please analyse it again calmly and in depth. Please accept not only our help in this activity, but also that of other associations and of the whole local community. It seems that local opinion is much more varied on this issue than it was a few years ago.”
Giulia Maria Mozzoni Crespi.


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:33 PM in | Comments (1)
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Beppe today I read an article on repubblica.it concerning the "911 Loose Change" video-documentary.
Loose Change is one of the most complete videos that shed light on the 9/11 attacks (available on video.google.com).
I think that it is time for you too to speak about it. They told us a lot of lies on that tragedy and you usually are the first that informs us...
you don't wanna be the last one this time so don't wait any longer!

Posted by: Emmanuele Da Iglesias | May 21, 2006 02:17 AM


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