A Public Debate on a new bridge over the Arno, already planned, which had been called, with the relative assignment of the task to the manager, who never started and of which no news is given.
Problems and purpose
Of the Public Debate (DP) on "Project of a new bridge over the Arno river and related road connections between the junction of the SGC & nbsp; FI-PI-LI in Lastra a Signa and the locality Indicator in Signa ", we read that" the project is shared with citizens, who are involved in the project itself, in the procedural process, in the possible alternatives, being able to express their opinions and ask for explanations both through "the web platform of Open Toscana (Link 1), ”both during the meetings to be held during the duration of the Debate. The meetings will be communicated in the press and on this portal, where the project documentation to be consulted is also made available "(Link 1).
Background history and context
The premises - A congested metropolitan area without braces.
The DP "Dibattito in Ponte" was announced on 12/6/18 by the Regional Authority for Guarantee and Promotion of the Participation (APP) at the start request sent by the Councilor for Infrastructures, Mobility, Urban Planning and Housing Policies of the Tuscany Region, Vincenzo Ceccarelli & nbsp; of 22/5/2018 .
The request for Ceccarelli gave substance to years of protests and pressures to create a new crossing of the Arno for local road traffic between the municipalities of Signa and Lastra a Signa. The metropolitan conurbation east of Florence which, in addition to the two municipalities, also affects Scandicci to the south and Campi Bisenzio to the north is congested by vehicular traffic. Apart from that of the motorway, the only crossing of the Arno is that of Ponte a Signa, located between historical urban contexts, very compact and with unsuitable size and geometry roadways. This creates traffic jams, very long queues, problems with the passage of emergency vehicles and heavy and continuous pollution from dust, exhaust gases, noise in the inhabited center. & Nbsp;
The problem, say the insurgent committees, exists for 50 years, and the many promises to build a new bridge, first called a riser, then a brace, have never materialized. & nbsp;
A committee for the "Yes", public debate and political uncertainty.
The "New bridge to the plain" committee has existed on Facebook since 2017 and more recently has also opened a website (Link 2). & nbsp;
A first participatory process on the issue supported by the Authority for the Participation of the Tuscany Region, established with the lr 69/2007, dates back to 2011. From the summer of that year to April 2012, various interventions took place in the municipalities of Signa and Lastra a Signa: interviews, an information exhibition on existing road network projects ("the bretella" , etc ...), meetings with associations, young people, entrepreneurs, workshops in schools, a cycle of workshops on liveability and various workshops on viability. The participatory process ended with a joint Municipal Council in which the requests that emerged during the participatory process were discussed.
Consistently, the two municipal councils approve a resolution in which the various citizens' proposals should have find a solution with short, medium and long-term interventions (Link 1).
In 2015 an agreement was signed between the Region (Councilor Ceccarelli), the Metropolitan City and municipalities in which there is a commitment to design a new bridge, later called “bretellina”, with a lower cost (14 million). A preliminary design that the Region considered "priority" and included in the planning documents of the regional law. 86/2014 .
The committees are joined by the mayors of the four municipalities, who also jointly request the work from the Ministry of Infrastructure. The reassurances from political offices continue and expectations grow, as well as the intolerance for the continuation of the situation. The committees, however, continue to protest with peaceful means, banners, sheets hanging from balconies and windows, public meetings, letters, petitions, demonstrations on the bridge and in the streets. & Nbsp;
New bridge and DP , plus airport
With the calling of the DP on 12/6/18, the APP opens the procedures for the selection of the manager of the DP to whom it assigns a total of 30,000 euros plus 8,000 for gross remuneration to invited experts. Of the 30,000, 25,000 Euros are assigned as gross compensation to the person in charge of the process . On 26/9/18 with resolution n.47, after proceeding with the selection of candidates by qualifications and having carried out 5 interviews with the first classified, the APP appoints Andrea Pillon, head of the DP . & Nbsp; < / p>
On the FB page of the committee, on 11/21 a post is sent with a warning sign and the word STOP, a figure of the stylized bridge and an airplane in flight. We read that "having no more news of the bridge, we wrote to the technical office that follows the project in the Region" which would have replied: "unfortunately I confirm the problem that has arisen for the construction of the lake in the Renai, linked to the construction the new airport runway; it has already been decided that this small lake will have to be built and where it will have to be built, that is exactly where the new Signa-Lastra road passed. The construction of this lake is mandatory for the construction of the new airport runway. Due to this novelty, the Public Debate of the new bridge has been stopped. The idea of Eng. De Crescenzo is to find another alternative route (as long as there is a way to find a route) to avoid passing over this lake, which has already become a real constraint ". The post continues: “It is a question of starting to study a new solution, when instead our project was already ready to face the Debate. For the sake of fairness, we asked for further clarification directly from Eng. De Crescenzo who confirmed that in mid-December a regional resolution will come out with indications regarding the airport to which our "bretellina" will have to submit because it represents a work that is not as interesting. Bitter judgments about politicians and considerations on what to do (petitions) follow. In the comments it also says: “However, we would also like to add that the mayors should have gone to the technicians for some time to follow up on the matter. It is not logical that ordinary citizens like us always have to research and disseminate news of this project, which you had guaranteed the realization and which is talked about in the institutional channels in an increasingly rarefied way "(Link 3 - post of 21/9 ). & nbsp;
It could be added that the person in charge of the process who had already been appointed should have gone to provide explanations or to send a public statement to the mayors. & nbsp; It also never seems to have been raised the question that the summons of the DP, suspends the adoption or implementation of acts of regional competence connected to the intervention that is the subject of the Public Debate. The suspension is limited to the acts whose adoption or implementation may anticipate or prejudice the outcome of the Public Debate (Lr 46/2013, art. 11, paragraph 2.3).
Veterans from the Municipal Council of Signa on 3/12, called to express itself on the airport Masterplan, the committee sends another post: "It seems that only after the intervention of the two Mayors was it obtained, in exchange for an assent to the Masterplan and the Pond , that the Public Debate is done anyway, but on a different path yet to be identified among various hypotheses and with a different budget, 30 million instead of 70. How credibly do people now ask for trust who not even a year ago had come to present the project to the Theater of the arts in Lastra a Signa, [...] guaranteeing its realization, subscribing to its national importance, committing itself to the citizens [...]. In the election campaign, regional councilors and deputies had spent promises and words; Rossi, Ceccarelli, Nencini, Delrio, Ermini, Renzi [...] then one morning, without delay or explanation, they decide to bury it, to favor the airport, warning us of things that have already been decided? Technical perplexities ... Are we ignorant on this point, but thanks to Eng. De Crescenzo, who was following the project, we were talking in the region in the Technical Office and the track we were talking about was something well defined. The route, it was said, had been studied by experts for a long time and determined as the best possible route from all points of view. Any change would certainly have meant having to almost start over with the feasibility studies and all the work done in the previous 3 years. And the project they worked on, studying materials and hypotheses for a cost of about 70 million, how can it now be contained in a 'streamlined' project with a cost of 'only' 30 million? It certainly cannot be the same project but something new and different. So the public debate on which project is it about? Given that the debate according to the legal process must be started after all the planned studies. Also in this first meeting - given that we were told that the region could not intervene for funding since it was a project exceeding 50 million euros, but had to be found at a national level, or by intercepting European funds and funding, we asked if it was not a cheaper project was possible and we were told no, that this was the only project that could be proposed ... And now they pull this 'small' version out of the hat? [...] We have understood that the works that are given priority by this regional council are not those that are really useful and that bring well-being to citizens (improving the viability, would bring better air quality and would favor the flourishing of new activities in Signa and Lastra, where hours and hours are currently spent in the queue) but those that move the interests of large groups, let's face it: what benefits would the new track give to Signa and Lastra? Only an increase in pollutants and even more congested traffic [...]. Remember that a lot of public money has been invested for this project, they worked on it for 5 years, 30 million have evaporated in the previous project (everyone's money, remember) and now what is the point of starting from scratch? [...] Seeing the Ponte Project drowning in a putrid lake, which is even passed off as a resource from an ecological / naturalistic point of view, makes us ashamed and infuriated. The airport will bring an increase in pollution in our area, which will add to the record dust emissions we have in Signa and Lastra in the air thanks to the traffic (let's not forget the records recorded by the ARPAT control unit in Signa). We ask the administrators of Signa and Lastra a Signa to oppose this sale of things that are really useful and necessary for our territory and to oppose the construction of the lake unconditionally, study with us forms of mobilization to avoid this havoc, starting with our proposal to Timed Limited Traffic Zone and many other possible actions to defend and protect citizens against the abuses we find ourselves undergoing "(Link 3 - post dated 5/12/18).
From the first route to the second route without DP, less airport
It is written that he was about to resume the Debate on the new route , but the pages of the DP site have never changed; in fact they are still frozen today at the appointment of the manager on 26/9/18 (ril. 26/10/19). On 4/3/19 the media is presented with a study for a new route that takes into account the deviation from the lake imposed by the expansion of the airport, which is also less expensive than 50 million euros . Also in this case there is only one path and one option. & Nbsp;
While committees and mayors continue their daily protest actions, on 27/5/19 the sentence of the TAR (Administrative Court Regional) which the committees and mayors opposed to the expansion of the Florence-Peretola airport had resorted to, which has always been opposed and also the subject of a DP who never left due to defection of the managing company and therefore rejected by the APP (del. 12 of 16/3/15). Auditors and committees rejoice; the TAR cancels the VIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) ministerial decree on the airport for various non-compliances, such as lack of investigation and excess of power, given the exclusion of municipalities from the Observatory (a kind of technical body replacing the Conference of services ) . & Nbsp;
In the meantime, the 3 members of the APP (professors: Francesca Gelli, Giovanni Allegretti and Paolo Scattoni) on 19/3/19 expire due to the expiry of their mandate. The new members are designated on 10/9/19 by the Regional Council , but the pages on the APP website to date (26/10/19) are still frozen to the previous situation, as is the case of the Ponte delle Signe on the Open Toscana website. & nbsp;
Organizational, support and financing entities
Tuscany Region - Regional Council is the governance body that oversees (legislating ), finances, designates the 3 members of the Regional Authority for the guarantee and promotion of participation (APP). & nbsp;
Tuscany Region - Regional Council, Department of Infrastructure , supervises the planning and design services of infrastructural works and finances the works. In this case he requested the DP for the Signe bridge and oversaw the general design. & Nbsp;
Regional Authority for the guarantee and promotion of participation (APP) has the task of promoting citizen participation in the construction processes of regional and local policies. Index the Regional Public Debate broadly defines the requirements, appoints, through a public announcement, the manager of the DP. It intervenes in support of the process and finances its development. In this case, it assigned 25,000 euros gross to the manager, 8,000 euros to host any experts necessary to provide competitive or additive points of view to those of the proponent and withheld 5,000 euros for any other organizational needs.
Responsible of the DP is Andrea Pillon, partner of Avventura Urbana SrL , former curator of important DP processes in Italy. Although appointed, his public communications are not reported. & Nbsp;
Selection and recruitment of participants
The trial was only announced (on 12/6/18) and never canceled, but it is not never even started (ril. 26/10/19). In December 2018 he was suspended due to the issue of the airport pond with a council resolution, but there is no communication about it on the dedicated sites. Furthermore, the question has never been raised that it was the acts relating to the airport that perhaps should have been suspended pending the end of the DP and not the other way around as happened (see Regional Law 46/2013, Article 11, paragraph 2 -3). & Nbsp;
Methods and tools used
The & nbsp; Dèbat Public (Public Debate) , was introduced, by law, by the government French in 1994. Following the virulent protests of local populations against the route of the high-speed line (TGV) Lyon-Marseille, the French government decided that the design of the major works should be subjected to a public debate in advance among all interested parties . With the Barnier law of 1994, partially modified in 2002, an independent authority was established called Commission Nationale du Débat Public (CNDP), which has the task of opening the public debate on all preliminary projects of large infrastructures that possess certain physical dimensional requirements. and cheap. The DP lasts four months and concerns not only the characteristics of the project, but also the opportunity to carry out the work; it is preceded by an extensive information campaign, characterized by pluralistic information; all citizens, associations and groups who wish to participate in it. A contradictory phase then opens, usually through public meetings, called in various ways (worhshop or laboratories, terms that Italy generally means an exchange of arguments between individuals, some of which with technical-political decision-making roles) as well as written forms ( Les Cahiers des Acteurs - The Notebooks of the Actors). In this dialogue phase, contributions are classified by category, questions and proposals. At the end of the public debate, the president of the commission draws up a report in which he illustrates the arguments for and against that emerged during the four months. Within three months of the publication of the report, the proponent of the work must communicate whether he intends to continue his project, modify it or withdraw it. The Débat Public procedure suffers from an excessive uncertainty of the outcomes, and instruments for measuring the representativeness of preferences are not usually applied. The Public Debate introduced in Italy with the regional law 69/2007 of Tuscany is in the method explicitly inspired by the French model. Once Law 69/2007 has lapsed, it is renewed with regional law 46/2013, in which - before it was not - it becomes a mandatory process to be activated in the case of public works exceeding 50 million euros (Regional Law 46/2013, art.8 , co. 1). The model does not differ much from the French model except for the figures who supervise it. The method has also been extended at national level with the legislative decree n.50 of 18/4/16 but is not yet applied.
What happened: process, interaction and participation
The trial was called, never canceled and never started. No official information / communication from the authorities (Region, APP) has ever been provided in this regard, to date (ril. 26/10/19).
Influence, results and effects< p> The trial has been called but has never started. To see how the tool fits into the dynamics of governance see above the chapter "History and background context". & Nbsp;
Analysis and lessons learned
After this case, two irrefutable facts, to the detriment of the generalist vulgate:
- not all local environmental committees are against infrastructures, indeed some ask for them, while administrations complicate them;
- public administration in question, suffers from problems of efficiency and effectiveness of the decision-making process that go beyond requests for participation, protests and any delays induced by democratic processes complementary to electoral ones or resulting from an excessive exchange of views with citizens. li>
Transparency . Specifically, various information is lacking on the DP; the technical authorities and those of the APP also did not intervene promptly in the communications despite the fact that the DP had already been called, but they waited for the representatives of the committees to ask. To date (ril. 26/10/19) the pages dedicated to the DP, both those of the APP dedicated to the DP, do not provide a synthetic picture of what has happened or will have to happen, but have remained frozen at the start (12 / 6/17). & Nbsp;
- Debate in port, https://participedia.net/case/4834
- Community in debate, https://participedia.net/case/5407
- Public debate Termoli 2020, https://participedia.net/case/4998
- Public comparison Passante di Bologna, https://participedia.net/case/4810
- The TAP gas pipeline and Puglia, https://participedia.net/case/5005
- Referendum on Bolzano Airport, https://participedia.net/case/4801
[1 ] APP, & nbsp; Resolution n.45 of 12/6/18, http://www.consiglio.regione.toscana.it/upload/AUTORIT%C3%80%20PARTECIPAZIONE/documenti/Deliberazione%20n_%2045del%2012_06_2018 ( 1) .pdf (rel. 25/10/19). & Nbsp;
 Pucci, P., Toscana News, Press release dated 19/3/2015, http://open.toscana.it/documents/818859/820427/Rassegna+stampa + March + 2015 / af0de417-e70f-4d8d-9434-5cb641413380 (ril. 25/10/19).
 APP, Public notice for the appointment of the manager of the DP, http: // www.consiglio.regione.toscana.it/upload/AUTORIT%C3%80%20PARTECIPAZIONE/documenti/AVVISO%20PUBBLICO(2).pdf (ril. 25/10/19).
 APP, Resolution no. 47 of 26/9/2018, http://www.consiglio.regione.toscana.it/upload/AUTORIT%C3%80%20PARTECIPAZIONE/documenti/Deliberazione%20n_%2047%20del%2026% 2009% 202018 (1) .pdf (ril. 25/10/19).
 Valbonesi S., Ponte sull'Arno, the DP starts, but there is a 'single option, 22/1/19, https://www.stamptoscana.it/ponte-sullarno-parte-il-dibattito-pubblico-ma-lopzione-del-tracciato-e-una/ (ril. 25/10 / 19).
 CM, Le Signe, the shoulder strap “changes direction”. The new route proposal was presented, 4/3/19, http://www.florence.tv/video/pro-signe-presla-bretellina-rada-di -tracciato /? fbclid = IwAR0BqfOtfpJvDgQs7u37bh9IV_2peuIbS3e8DGs541US-RM1DKVNYlMZZgM (ril. 25/10/19). & nbsp;
 The decamp of the minister , News of Prato, 27/5/2019, http://www.notiziediprato.it/news/il-tar-stoppa-l-ampliamento-di-peretola-bocciato-il-decreto-ministeriale-di-via a > (ril. 25/10/19).
 Tuscany Region, Press Office, Press release n. 1034, 10/9/19, https : //www.consiglio.regione.toscana.it/ ufficio-stampa/comunicati/comunicati_view? idc = 0 & amp; id = 27731 (ril. 26/10/19).
[ 9] Urban Adventure, in Participedia organization section, https://participedia.net/organization/4768 p>
- Open Toscana - Debate in Ponte, http://open.toscana.it/web/dibattito-in-ponte/home (ril. 25/10/19).
- New Bridge Committee for Piana, https://www.comitatonuovoponte.info/ & nbsp;
- Facebook Committee page New Ponte per la Piana, https: //www.face book.com/pg/NuovoPonteperlaPiana/posts/?ref=page_internal (ril. 10/25/19).