Grosseto – Covid round-trip
Edited on22 June 2020
As you well know, here in Italy we didn’t have time to realize what was going on and was going to happen … and all the sudden, we were all on lock-down, between the 9th and 11th march.
However, nobody is used to despairing, so, immediately after this lock-down, the Municipality of Grosseto and its Mayor took care first of the health of local population by means of a compelled social distancing. This meant not allowing people to go out of home unless for working, food shopping or health related needs, as ordered by law in whole Italy, but also directly home-delivering free masks (part of which given by our Region, another part produced by local factories that immediately converted their production into a more urgent one) and coordinating local volunteer associations in offering services like shopping or other needs to those who could not go out (the elderly or people in “quarantine”).
After those first hard days, Grosseto immediately begun working on “how to restart” activities and businesses after the pandemic, together with its local stakeholders, taking advantage from the already established ULG and from the work started in November in the context of iPlace project. This group has been temporarily opened to other stakeholders, like professionals, trade unions, credit institutions, etc. and converted into a sort of “Macro ULG”.
This Macro-ULG since the beginning has worked, and for more than a month, divided into 8 smaller groups (clusters) according to their nature and mission (tourism, commerce, building, professionals, workers, agriculture and food processing, communication and promotion, economic development), to generate their ideas and proposals (in a bottom-up way) that at the beginning of May had been translated into concrete projects in order to act on 3 macro-areas:
- Infrastructure and technology;
- Taxation and incentives;
This is a synthesis of some already effective initiatives:
As for taxation, it is important to underline that the Municipality has decided to postpone for some months almost all payments for all citizens. Moreover:
- In order to guarantee social distancing, restaurants, coffee shops and stores for the whole year 2020 can have free public space outside their premises, so that they can also recover the space lost inside; at the same time, those who already got it before the pandemic are allowed to ask for up to three times the surface at the same cost;
- Those who work in the building sector and need public space for building sites (to install scaffoldings, operating machines and similar) can have it for free.
As for infrastructures, the municipality was already working on implementing a net of cycling paths to connect the town centre with important tourist sites, thanks to ministerial financing. Now it has accelerated towards this goal, adding the wish to create also a more functional connection of peripheral areas to the town centre. This fact allows a better “social distancing” and it allows to avoid the use of public transports as well as it invites people to go to the town centre. More bike racks are going to be installed around the town.
In the same context, in order to enhance the development of a more and more green economy, a net of electrical bikes and cars charging stations will be soon implemented in the whole territory.
As for technology, in a month the Macro-ULG has produced (not only, but most significantly):
- A project to increase the marketing of local agricultural products through small shops (dedicated to special corners/areas) and restaurants. The project has been given the name and brand, "MAreMMA nel cuore" (that is “Maremma in the heart”): If you consider small and capital letters, cutting the central syllable off, you get “mamma”, that is “mother”;
- A website and a free app, directly created by Municipality of Grosseto; The “Ermes.shop”, where businesses can show their products and products of all kind (as well as services), can be booked, purchased and home-delivered; of course it is reserved to commercial activities operating in Grosseto’s area;
- Promotional web videos to promote all activities at local level and, above all, to promote in Italy and abroad the beauties of southern Tuscany (Maremma) as a territory with strong traditions, still sparsely populated and uncontaminated, with wide seaside, countryside and mountains all around Grosseto. Here is the link to one of those videos “Maremma – a land worth marrying”.
Other initiatives we consider interesting to be shared:
- Reserved parking areas for motorbikes close to the town centre, in order to facilitate shopping in that area;
- Promotional campaign dedicated to the central covered market of Grosseto as a place to purchase quality, fresh, products and valorize them;
- New simplified procedures for public maintenances.
Riccardo Ginnanneschi – City Councillor and iPlace local coordinator
Grosseto iPlace staff:
Submitted by Sonia Files on