Rome's mayor makes early pitch for green vote in 2010 Olympics race
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications
ROME, Jun 01: Since environment sustainability is one of the key elements which come into play in the Olympic bidding process, Rome city officials believe they are already taking one highly significant step forward in pursuit of the 2020 Games.
Mayor Gianni Alemanno has a master plan to transform the city into a green, low-carbon, post-petroleum capital. Alemanno unveiled his proposals in the presence of United States economist Jeremy Rifkin, who has been advising the European Union on a long-term economic sustainability plan.
Alemanno's project envisages Rome investing around €500m over the next 20 years in new industries and businesses. He believes such a strategy would create thousands of new jobs and make the capital independent energetically.
He added: "It's not just an energy plan, but also an environmental, urban and economic one. It's a complete plan to develop the city."
The project envisages three main areas of transformation: turning the congested historic centre into a greener, pedestrian-friendly space; developing the commercial/industrial "ring" around the capital; and improving the agricultural areas outside the city to reduce its carbon imprint.
Rifkin described the overall strategy as pursuing a "democratization of energy." Rome hosted the Games in 1960 but lost out to Athens in 2004. A decision on 2020 will be taken by the IOC in 2013.
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