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Italian philosophy for a cleaner world25th of October 2013
Italian correspondent Anna Garbagna reports from a meeting in Milan, where a project has been launched to clean up the city’s neighbourhoods.
The first event of Cleaning Aziendale Milanese took place during the summer in Milan.
The initiative - which is part of the ‘Milano Quartiere Pulito’ (Milan clean neighbourhood) project that witnessed the removal of 300 pieces of graffiti by 25 volunteers in a number of towns and cities - involved two businesses. Lastminute.com (leader in the online tourism sector which dedicates itself every year to voluntary work activities) and the company Fratelli Branca Distillerie.
They joined forces to reduce the degradation caused by vandalism of the walls of the famous and historical Milanese company F.lli Branca Distillerie, which among other places will be included in the circuit of Expo 2015 in Milan.
After many cleaning operations in numerous cities and towns, and after the first cleaning of an apartment block, the ‘Milano Quartiere Pulito’ project started here with the first cleaning of a company premises.
Over 20 employees of Lastminute.com, together with a delegation from Fratelli Branca Distillerie, brought the building back to its original state. Between nine in the morning and midday, the team cleaned 400 metres of road corresponding to two of the boundary walls of the famous and historical Milanese company.
The objective of these clean-up operations is to create a virtuous circle of the initiative and to give responsibility to citizens by means of an action that starts from the bottom and is inspired by a culture of taking action.
It is in this way that inhabitants of the city can become true key players in the fight against degradation. It is a form of reappropriation of the city with the aim of making it a really beautiful place in which to live and to make the citizen a key leader in the fight against degradation and in the choice to reconquer his/her streets, his/her neighbourhood, to define his/her roots.
The initiative had the support of the National Antigraffiti Association, which was already operating in the whole Milan area and approved this first active example of cleaning of company buildings in Milan. We must not forget, as the Association itself has highlighted, that the shared respect and care of one’s working space also leads to a strong value of inclusion and civic-mindedness.
Citizens in action
The company façade now shines again thanks to two tones of water-based paint provided free of charge by the Boero Group of Genoa, high pressure cleaners provided by Branca itself and solvents offered by Lantania of Bergamo.
Fabiola Minoletti from the Abruzzi-Piccinni committee declared that to have cleaned two sides of the factory, some 100 metres, was a good example of active working citizens in action. Not only citizens but also office workers react to degradation, as stated by Andrea Amato, president of the National Antigraffiti Association.
This is another step on the road to reconquer degraded parts of the city with active participation and with the hope that this template of active reconquest of the capital of Lombardy can be emulated by other Milanese companies and also throughout the nation.