“These two cities are unique for different reasons, Rome for its history, and New York from an economic and social point of view.” The mayor of the Eternal City, Gianni Alemanno, could not contain his enthusiasm during his trip to the Big Apple, where his meetings, appointments, and events were often very different from each other.
He described his impressions to journalists in this way: “Very efficient, orderly, both the subway stations and cars are clean. I did not see any graffiti; it means that the ‘anti-writer’ initiative is working. And this is how they combat blight. Either I was just lucky or there is truly a high standard.”
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Photos by Riccardo Chioni
Security, respect for the city, and the education of young citizens were recurring themes throughout Alemanno’s visit. The connection between these topics was made clear in his discussion with Mayor Bloomberg about security and the young farmers’ experiences in Harlem.
The police force of New York works together with citizens who coordinate local volunteer projects. This type of “volunteer citizen” is useful not only for safety measures but for social initiatives as well. The participation of ordinary citizens at an early age is of vital importance in order to improve the image of their own city and to combat urban decay for successive generations.