Five environmental associations including Greenpeace, WWF, Lipu, Italia Nostra and Legambiente have pledged support for Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. A letter from the five organizations to Rome 2024 and the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) published in La Repubblica Sunday backed their opinion that the Games would help improve the Italian capital.
“The Olympics can be an opportunity for recovering abandoned areas and buildings, coexisting with and developing the city rather than exploiting it,” Marco Parini, President of Italia Nostra said.
Italia Nostra supports the bid’s “priorities for recovering existing structures” and for helping improve transportation infrastructure in the city. The use of existing public facilities was also highlighted.
“We are very pleased to receive the endorsement by top environmental organizations” said Rome 2024 Chief Luca Di Montezemolo.
CONI President Giovanni Malagò said “we will continue to work closely with the leading environmental organizations.”
“Rome’s Olympic and Paralympic Games will set a new standard in terms of both addressing the needs of the Host City and serving the athletes before, during and after the Games. The citizens of Rome demand a city with an efficient, environmentally friendly, public infrastructure, that is accessible to all.”
The important boost comes at a critical time for the embattled bid that is fighting to stay in the 2024 race against Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest.
Last month Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi was elected to office after actively campaigning against the merits of the bid and explaining that money should be spent on other public needs. The Italian Radical party is collecting signatures needed to launch a referendum on the bid project and it seems likely Roman citizens might have the final say as to whether the city’s bid will continue.
Should the public vote go forward, Sunday’s endorsement could be a key component for the ‘yes’ side of the equation, helping get Rome’s bid to the finish line.
The International Olympic Committee will elect a winner September 13, 2017 in Lima, Peru.