Valeria Mancinelli, Mayor of Ancona (Italy), since 2013 and winner of the 2018 World Mayor Prize

Ancona Mayor Valeria Mancinelli
replies to questions from
an international audience

12 February 2019: World Mayor invited participants from the 2018 Project to put questions to Ancona Mayor Valeria Mancinelli, winner of the 2018 World Mayor Prize. From the questions received, a representative selection was forwarded to the mayor. She replies below with candour and thoughtfulness.



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QUESTIONS
POLITICS
By Manuel D., Lyon, France:
Question:
Do you think the emergence of macho-male politicians in a number of European countries but also in North and South America and Asia makes it more difficult for female politicians to be heard?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: No, if anything, they require us to be even more effective in giving different but equally convincing answers to those fears that feed the subculture of the most “brutish machismo”.

No, semmai ci impongono di essere ancora più efficaci nel dare risposte diverse ma altrettanto convincenti a quelle paure che alimentano la subcultura del maschilismo più becero.


By Tommaso G., Falconara Marittima, Italy:
Question:
These days, much of the political debate is conducted in front of cameras and on social media. Slogans have replaced arguments. How do you view and react to the, in my opinion, impoverishment of politics?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: Focusing on topics supported by concrete facts, which alone are credible; emphasizing the coherence between saying and doing; telling the truth; also by using images or words "symbol" to communicate, even certain slogans, as has always been done in the public debate, the important thing that the slogan corresponds to a concrete fact, to a practiced and not only predicated “value”.

Puntando su argomenti supportati da fatti concreti, che solo così sono credibili; accentuando la coerenza tra il dire e il fare; dicendo la verità; anche utilizzando per la comunicazione immagini o parole “simbolo”, anche slogan certo, come si è sempre fatto nel dibattito pubblico, l’importante che lo slogan corrisponda ad un fatto concreto, ad un “valore” praticato e non solo predicato.


By Susanna B., Ancona:
Question:
Politics in Europe and Italy are changing. How will the changes impact on Ancona. In particular, do you believe the economic policies of the current government in Italy will be good for Ancona?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: I don’t believe that the current government has an "economic policy" and this worries me, for Italy and also of course for Ancona; as always, I stick to the facts: the financial law recently approved after the battle conducted by all the mayors of Italy has reported the money of the call suburbs but we have lost almost a year in the start of work, cut funds for current expenditure and prevented the use of those bound for investments; they are not good signs, let's hope they do not get worse, and the other state investments in cities, already decided by the previous governments, go ahead.

Non credo che l’attuale governo abbia una “politica economica”e questo mi preoccupa, per l’Italia ed anche ovviamente per Ancona; come sempre mi attengo ai fatti: la legge finanziaria recentemente approvata dopo la battaglia condotta da tutti i Sindaci di Italia ha riportato i soldi del Bando periferie ma ci hanno fatto perdere quasi un anno nell’avvio dei lavori, ha tagliato fondi per spesa corrente e impedito l’utilizzo di quelli vincolati per investimenti; non sono buoni segnali, speriamo non peggiorino, e vadano avanti gli altri investimenti statali in città già decisi dai precedenti Governi.


By Pierro F., Rome, Italy:
Question:
Like Social Democratic parties in other European countries, Italy’s Partito Democratico has lost much support in recent elections. What must the centre-left do to fight back against right-wing populism?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: I have no clear recipes, and it’s not easy to build them, but it’s clear that we must build and communicate different but equally convincing answers to those fears and needs to which populism and the right respond by feeding them; Design a new "social state" of continental dimension; give a policy on immigration at the European level that makes a wall against all forms of racism and at the same time points to rule the phenomenon and to overturn with the facts the widespread perception of the "uncontrollability" of the situation; firmly aim at the European supranational dimension with radical “refoundation” of Europe, and with direct election not only of Parliament but of the European "government".

Non ho ricette chiare, e non è facile costruirle, ma è evidente che si debba costruire e comunicare risposte diverse ma altrettanto convincenti a quelle paure ed esigenze a cui i populismi e la destra rispondono alimentandole; progettare un nuovo “stato sociale”di dimensione continentale; darsi una politica sull’immigrazione a livello europeo che faccia muro contro ogni forma di razzismo e contemporaneamente però punti a

governare il fenomeno, ed a rovesciare con i fatti la percezione diffusa della “incontrollabilità”della situazione; puntare decisamente alla dimensione sovranazionale, europea con radicale “rifondazione” dell’Europa, e con elezione diretta non solo del Parlamento ma del “governo” europeo.


By Ernesto M., Ancona:
Question:
Today’s young people are generally not engaged in politics. Should and could you do anything to persuade young people to become involved for the benefit of the future of Ancona?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: I believe that the main instrument to "convince" is to give an example: to practice a way of being rather than to preach it. I believe that the "way" through which our Administration deal with public affairs, that is the common good, is a contribution in this direction and therefore I think I will continue to do” what” and “how” we have done in these recent years.

Credo che lo strumento principale per “convincere” è dare l’esempio: praticare un modo di essere anziché predicarlo. Credo che il “modo” in cui con la nostra Amministrazione ci occupiamo della cosa pubblica, cioè del bene comune, sia un contributo in questa direzione e dunque penso di continuare a fare quello che abbiamo fatto in questi anni, “come” lo abbiamo fatto in questi anni.


WOMEN
By Paola F., Ancona:
Question:
Dear Mayor, you are a role model for women seeking public office. Unfortunately there are not enough women like you in Italian politics. How could more women be persuaded to go into politics?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: The difficulties are often linked to concrete facts (load of family etc) and therefore persuasion is not enough but on this ground you can still do something and, even in this case, I believe that what works is the example...”if she has done it, I can do it too”.

Le difficoltà sono spesso legate a fatti concreti ( carico di famiglia ecc…. ) e dunque non basta la persuasione….ma su questo terreno si può comunque fare qualcosa, e anche in questo caso credo che ciò che funziona è l’esempio….”se c’è riuscita lei posso farlo anche io….”.


By Lorella L., Ancona:
Question:
Do you think men have an advantage over women when running for political office?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: Yes, but not so much. Today in Italy it’s for a "cultural" or mentality fact, as for the greater availability of time and resources of various kinds, that is a result of our social organization.

Si, ma non tanto, oggi in Italia, per un fatto “culturale”o di mentalità, quanto per maggiore disponibilità di tempo e risorse di vario tipo, conseguenti alla nostra organizzazione sociale.


By Lilia B., Berlin, Germany:
Question:
Do you have a policy to encourage women in your administration to seek more responsibility and what prospects exist for them?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: In our Administration we try to apply seriously the measure of "merit" (which is obviously always questionable) and this objectively "rewards" women, it’s not a privilege but it’s the terrain on which women in general work better; there are several women in senior positions: among others the Secretary General is a woman, as well as the Finance Manager, and in addition to the mayor also the Councilor ship among the most important that is that which deals with the Port (the Port for Ancona is his major industrial activity) and Finance is headed by a woman.

Nella nostra Amministrazione cerchiamo di applicare sul serio il metro di misura del “merito” ( che è ovviamente sempre opinabile ), e questo oggettivamente “premia” le donne, non da’ un privilegio ma è il terreno sul quale le donne in generale funzionano meglio; diverse sono le donne in ruoli apicali: tra le tante il Segretario Generale è donna, così come il Dirigente delle Finanze, e oltre al sindaco anche l’Assessorato tra i più importanti e cioè quello che si occupa del Porto ( il Porto per Ancona è la sua maggiore attività industriale) e delle Finanze è in capo ad una donna.


By Michele Di S., London & Ancona:
Question:
In your career as a lawyer and politician, have you ever experienced discrimination or been disadvantaged because you are a woman?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: No, "gender discrimination" for the fact in itself of being a woman.

No, “discriminazioni” di genere per il fatto in sé di essere donna no.


By Daniela C. Ancona:
Question:
Has the City of Ancona any measures in place to protect women from domestic violence?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: Yes, we have helped to build what we call "anti-violence network", that is, coordinated work with defined paths and shared operational protocols, of all the Services and the public and voluntary bodies, which have skills and activities in this area; we have also implemented specific dedicated "services", including a second-level "home" reception that has been modelled at national level by the Ministry of equal opportunities.

Si, abbiamo concorso a costruire quella che chiamiamo “rete antiviolenza” e cioè il lavoro coordinato e con percorsi definiti e protocolli operativi condivisi, di tutti i Servizi ed i soggetti pubblici e del volontariato-che hanno competenze ed attività in materia; abbiamo anche implementato i “servizi” specifici dedicati, compresa una “casa” accoglienza di secondo livello che è stata presa a modello a livello nazionale dal Ministero pari opportunità.


ENVIRONMENT
By Maria Pia F., Ancona and Lilia B., Berlin, Germany:
Question:
What projects could improve the quality of life in Ancona and reduce traffic pollution?

By Anna Paola M., Ancona:
Question:
What plans do you have to make Ancona a greener city? I refer to environmental policies but also the upkeep of the city’s green spaces.

By Gianfranco I., Ancona:
Question:
What plans do you have to improve urban mobility and make transport more eco-friendly?

Mayor Mancinelli replies to Maria, Anna and Gianfranco: Ancona is a port city: in the heart of the city has its port and around it the urban core has developed.

The traffic issue is certainly important, and the international traffic coming from the port also has a very strong impact. We are moving towards a more sustainable mobility by acting on three lines: the development of cycle paths, the strengthening of public transport, the centrality of electric mobility. We want to become the first city in Central Italy for electric mobility by supporting the private one (with adequate parking policy) and by strengthening the public one (trolleybus network, electric buses, electric car sharing).

We are also preparing a monitoring and action plan for air quality. It will allow citizens to know the state of the pollution and will provide indications on the most correct behaviors to be adopted.

The theme of green must be seriously tackled. Ancona is fortunate to have a high endowment of green per inhabitant. This is good but necessarily entails high annual maintenance costs that are budgeted each year.

Ancona è una città portuale: nel cuore della città ha il suo porto e attorno ad esso il nucleo urbano si è sviluppato. La questione del traffico è sicuramente importante ed anche il traffico internazionale proveniente dal porto ha un impatto fortissimo. Ci stiamo indirizzando verso una mobilità più sostenibile agendo su tre linee: lo sviluppo delle ciclabili, il potenziamento del trasporto pubblico, la centralità della mobili-tà elettrica. Vogliamo diventare la prima città in Centro Italia per mobilità elettrica sostenendo quella privata (con adeguata politica della sosta) e potenziando quella pubblica (rete filoviaria, bus elettrici, car sharing elettrico) Stiamo inoltre predisponendo un piano di monitoraggio ed intervento della qualità dell’aria. Consen-tirà ai cittadini di conoscere lo stato dell’inquinamento e fornirà indicazioni sui comportamenti più corretti da adottare.

Il tema del verde va affrontato seriamente. Ancona ha la fortuna di avere un’alta dotazione di verde per abitante. Ciò è un bene ma comporta necessariamente alti costi di manutenzione annuali che ogni anno vengono previsti nel bilancio.



TOURISM
By Valerio L., London, UK:
Question:
Ancona boasts an impressive artistic and natural heritage, but it is relatively little known in Italy and abroad. Do you have plans for encouraging and supporting a high-end touristic market? Are there plans for, e.g., increasing the number of routes of the local airport?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: The cruise experience says that the strength to be known to an international tourism, interested in beauty and culture, passes through the action of international players such as shipping companies, able to aggregate all the Marche proposal to a world audience.

This guideline must be strengthened. The increase in air traffic and connection routes is also desirable, strategies that the Marche Region is trying to increase

L’esperienza crocieristica dice che la forza di farsi conoscere ad un turismo internazionale interessato a bellezza e cultura passa attraverso l’azione di player internazionali come le compagnie di navigazio -ne, capaci di aggregare tutta la proposta Marche verso una platea mondiale.

Questa direttrice va potenziata. Auspicabile anche l’aumento del traffico aereo e del­le rotte di collegamento, strategie che la Regione Marche sta cercando di incrementare.



By Michele S., Ancona, Laura D.A., Ancona, Eleonora C., Milan, Italy and Kurt v. L., Stuttgart, Germany:
Question:
What is your vision for tourism in Ancona and what initiatives could be taken to promote the city as a tourist destination?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: Ancona is moving forward in this direction: from the development of cruise tourism, to the choice of positioning the cultural offer of the Mole Vanvitelliana hub in a medium-high range. And then the natural beauties of the Conero are more and more of international interest.

Ancona sta facendo tanti passi avanti in questa direzione: dallo sviluppo del turismo crocieristico, alla scelta di posizionare in una fascia medio-alta l’offerta culturale del polo della Mole Vanvitelliana. E poi le bellezze naturalistiche del Conero sono sempre più di interesse internazionale.


By O.M., Ancona
Question:
Are you in favour of building a maritime museum to be run by the city?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: No prejudice. However, the methods of investment and management must be carefully assessed. These structures must guarantee their economic sustainability, in general self-governed. The model must be fine-tuned.

Nessun pregiudizio. Vanno tuttavia attentamente valutate le modalità di investimento e di gestione. Queste strutture devono garantire una loro sostenibilità economica, in generale autonoma. Il modello va messo a punto bene.


THE PORT
By Giorgio G., Ancona:
Question:
As an Ancona resident, I’m asking whether it is possible to do more to transform the current port area by dividing the commercial freight part from the historical one. The examples of other Mediterranean cities that have accomplished this operation are numerous. I mention only two cases, Genoa and Barcelona. I understand that such a project would need the support of the Italian government and even the EU.

By Angelo O., Ancona:
What are you plans for the port area between the Portella and the Arch of Trajan?

Mayor Mancinelli replies to Giorgio and Angelo: The ancient port is going in that direction. Other spaces will be recovered in the historical area after the demolition of the silos and the possible docking of the ferries in those spaces.

The separation between commercial and tourist-city areas will be better defined with the regulating plan of the port that is starting up. At that moment it will be possible to foresee further functions in the historical area of the city (bars, restaurants, etc).

To date, many steps forward, since the reopening of the ancient port in 2015, have been made.

Il porto antico sta andando in quella direzione. Altri spazi verranno recuperati nell’area storica dopo l’abbattimento dei silos e il possibile attracco dei traghetti in quegli spazi. La separazione tra aree commerciali e quelle turistico-cittadine saranno definite meglio con il piano regolatore del porto che si va avviando. In quel momento saranno in effetti possibili prevedere ulteriori funzioni nell’area storica della città (bar, ristoranti, ecc….) Ad oggi tanti passi avanti, a partire dalla riapertura del porto antico nel 2015, sono stati fatti.


IMMIGRATION
By Jolanda B., Ancona:
Should legal immigrants and even those who are waiting for a final decision about their status not be allowed to work and use their skills for the benefit of the city?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: With the current legislation unfortunately no, they cannot "work", we tried to use some as "volunteers", those obviously available, (about 20 people) but also in this case it was a real "odyssey" on the bureaucratic-regulatory plan with a waste of time / activity resources by the municipal structure difficult to repeat; we need to change the law.

Con la attuale normativa purtroppo no, non possono “lavorare”, abbiamo provato ad utilizzarne alcuni come “volontari”, quelli ovviamente disponibili, ( 20 persone circa ) ma anche in questo caso è stata una vera e propria “odissea” sul piano burocratico-normativo, con un dispendio di risorse tempo/attività da parte della struttura comunale difficilmente ripetibile; bisogna cambiare le norme di legge.


By Angelo O., Ancona:
Question:
How could the integration of immigrants into Ancona civic society be improved?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: In many ways, with activities that are constantly done every day, every month of every year, ranging from school to cultural and social activities of the dozens and dozens of associations that enrich and populate our city community, etc. In part it has been already doing, we need to intensify and spread the belief that this is something that is not only "right" but is "convenient" for everyone, for the newcomers and for the residents of Ancona.

In tanti modi, con attività che vanno fatte costantemente tutti i giorni, tutti i mesi di tutti gli anni, che vanno dalla scuola alle attività culturali e sociali delle decine e decine di associazioni che arricchiscono e popolano la nostra comunità cittadina ecc. In parte si sta già facendo, bisogna intensificare e diffondere la convinzione che questa è cosa non solo è “giusta” ma è “conveniente” per tutti, per i nuovi e per i vecchi anconetani.


By Lorella L., Ancona:
Question:
In our city dozens of different ethnic groups live peacefully together. Do you find it deplorable that elsewhere intolerance towards refugees is on the rise?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: Of course I find it regrettable, but a real problem exists, has existed and partly remains: the feeling that the flow was uncontrolled and uncontrollable, and then the "social management" of refugees once finished the period 6-8 months of assistance from the state, and that is the problem of finding a home, a job, etc. in a situation of economic crisis in which work is lacking for everyone and the resources of social assistance are already insufficient; their demand for the social services of the Municipalities that did not have neither resources nor tools to answer

Certo che lo trovo deplorevole, ma un problema reale esiste, è esistito ed in parte permane: la sensazione che il flusso fosse incontrollato ed incontrollabile, e poi la “gestione sociale” dei rifugiati una volta finito il periodo 6-8 mesi di assistenza da parte dello Stato, e cioè il problema di trovare una casa, un lavoro ecc. in una situazione di crisi economica in cui il lavoro manca per tutti e le risorse dell’assistenza sociale sono già insufficienti;la loro domanda verso i servizi sociali dei Comuni che non avevano però né hanno risorse e strumenti per rispondere.


INTERNATIONAL
By Paola F., Ancona:
Question:
Ancona has long played an important role in linking the western and the eastern Mediterranean, both culturally and economically. Will our city continue to play this role in the future?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: I honestly do not know...it will depend on many factors that are not in our hands and which are difficult to predict in the medium to long term.

Onestamente non lo so…dipenderà da tanti fattori che non sono nelle nostre mani e che sono oggi difficilmente prevedibili nel medio-lungo periodo.


By Anna P. M., Ancona:
Question:
Ancona has historic links to many parts of Europe. Will you strengthen partnerships with other towns and cities across our continent?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: Yes, of course, in the context of projects for European funding for example, as in many other initiatives, I think of Youth games, a sort of Olympics for boys between 14 and 16 years, in which cities from six nations of the Adriatic-Ionian region take place every two years in Ancona.

Si certo, nell’ambito dei progetti per finanziamenti europei ad esempio, così come in tante altre iniziative, penso agli Yout games, una sorte di olimpiade per i ragazzi tra i 14 ed i 16 anni a cui partecipano città delle 6 nazioni della regione adriatico-ionica che si svolgono ogni 2 anni ad Ancona.


By Susanna B., Ancona:
Question:
Do you think closer co-operation within Europe would benefit the economy of Ancona?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: The relationship with Europe passes mainly through national policies. For sure, the European strategies and resources are for us an important step to redevelop the city, to activate specific training, to guarantee further development possibilities.

Il rapporto con l’Europa passa principalmente attraverso le politiche nazionali. Sicuramente le strategie e le risorse europee sono per noi un tassello importante per riqualificare la città, attivare formazione specifica, garantire ulteriori possibilità di sviluppo.


FUTURE
By Valerio L., London, UK:
Question:
Innovation is key for achieving a sustainable economic development and a dynamic, open society. What is your vision for attracting and retaining talents in Ancona and improving the synergy between the city and the Marche Polytechnic University?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: We must work to make ourselves increasingly attractive to young people, thus offering adequate services. With the Polytechnic University we are working a lot in this direction, thanks also to a specific sensitivity on the part of the current Rector Magnificent.

Occorre lavorare per renderci sempre più attrattivi per i giovani, offrendo dunque servizi adeguati. Con l’Università Politecnica stiamo lavorando molto in questa direzione, grazie anche ad una sensibilità specifica da parte dell’attuale Magnifico Rettore.


By Susanna B., Ancona:
Question:
I support your vision for the future of Ancona. But I fear many of your ideas may be difficult to realise, particularly the enhancement of the city’s historic area and its ancient port.

Mayor Mancinelli replies: On this I believe, I can confirm that we will quickly see some news: a new illumination of the waterfront from the red lantern to the Mole, the development of the “Palazzo degli Anziani” redevelopment of Piazza Dante and the revitalized ancient port.

Su questo credo di poterle confermare che vedremo rapidamente qualche novità: una nuova illuminazione di tutto il waterfront dalla lanterna rossa alla Mole, lo sviluppo di Palazzo degli Anziani e la riqualificazione di piazza Dante, il porto traianeo rivalorizzato.


By Dario R., Senigallia, Italy:
Question:
What will Ancona be like in 2050?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: I try to say it with some adjective: inclusive, innovative, sustainable, cultured, supportive.

Provo a dirlo con qualche aggettivo: inclusiva, innovativa, sostenibile, colta, solidale.


PERSONAL
By Julian S., Frankfurt, Germany:
Question:
Can you envisage for yourself a role in national Italian or European politics?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: I do not exclude anything at first, but today I certainly focus on my city, Ancona. It is my job but also my great passion.

Non escludo nulla a priori, ma oggi certamente mi concentro sulla mia città, Ancona. E’ il mio compito ma anche la mia grande passione.


By Carla C., Ancona:
Question:
A career in politics often demands great personal sacrifices. What are the rewards?

Mayor Mancinelli replies: See the most beautiful city, enter a new school and come together with whole families, meet the approval gaze of a person in need, know that your commitment and your sacrifice helps many to grow.

The "job" of mayor, in direct contact with citizens, their aspirations and their problems, helps to understand, perhaps more than any other institutional role, that "doing politics", understood as attention to the collective interest, still has a sense.

Vedere la città più bella, entrare in una nuova scuola e giorire insieme a famiglie intere, incrociare lo sguardo di approvazione di una persona in difficoltà, sapere che il tuo impegno e il tuo sacrificio aiuta tanti a crescere. Il “mestiere” di sindaco, a contatto diretto con i cittadini, le loro aspirazioni e i loro problemi, aiuta a capire, forse più di ogni altro ruolo istituzionale, che “fare politica”, intesa come attenzione all’interesse collettivo, abbia ancora un senso.