These days, the luminous stream crosses Corso Vittorio Emanuele and is concentrated in Pizzeria Liberta. The entire center is festively decorated. Evocative Christmas scenography. Avellino shines.
Citizens will be happy, and merchants will benefit. There are houses and everything else, and on New Year’s Eve, the singers will arrive.
At Christmas, Avellino is even more beautiful.
Until August 15 and throughout the summer, it was thanks to the numerous events that attracted many people to the capital.
But once the lights are turned off, what’s left?
It is clear that the Christmas and August holidays cannot be translated into modernization and progress. The music is the background, and in the foreground we see Avellino having a small crisis.
This is unambiguously demonstrated, for example, by data on trade.
The presence of neighborhood shops, an indispensable service for citizens, can in fact be considered a measure of a city’s liveability, its state of health, as well as an essential element of the identity of the urban center.
Now, according to the latest data processed a few months ago by the Confcommercio Research Office, 151 neighborhood activities have been lost in Avellino in ten years: in 2012, there were 862 active convenience stores compared to 711 verified in 2022. It is a significant decrease that is recorded in all provinces of Campania but to a greater extent in Avellino. For various reasons: not just because of the Covid crisis and because we now buy online, not just because large-scale distribution is preferable, and not just because the costs are unsustainable.
The commercial crisis is above all the result of the crisis of capital that is no longer functioning and therefore unable to be attractive: it is no business to keep a shop in a city that is not growing. It is not a tourist destination, not to mention that there are those who, as in the past, travel from the province for some reason to the center. The city offers little or nothing, and is incapable of representing anything in the collective imagination.
It has long since given up being the economic, social, cultural and political center of gravity of Irpinia. Added to this is the lack of services of any kind. For example, the “newness” of transportation such as the “new” light rail says a lot about the future of the city.
A city half empty but crowded with traffic, which fills from time to time, at Christmas and August, in an unnatural, almost unbearable, self-distorting way.
Even if everything is not perfect, you should still be proud to have been born in Avellino. Precisely because we are convinced that Avellino can offer more, it is right to express a judgment that is not harsh but at least serious, and to acknowledge that as soon as the lights go out, everything will be as it was before. This is not the best.
Because it is clear to everyone that permanent collective well-being cannot be built by mid-August parades, by fire, by songs.
Better than nothing but it’s not enough. There will be more. Something that is not imaginary.
During these four years, the municipal administration did not prove its ability to plan for the future, but only to manage ordinary matters to the best of its ability. No one expected the miracle. However, we cannot claim to have done anything.
It cannot be denied that the city’s crisis is ultimately a political crisis of the regional government, or rather the result of the absence of a development strategy, of the ability of the ruling class to provide immediate and daily responses to real problems, the fundamental needs of the entire society and at the same time look to the future by creating reliable projections of hope, That is, the conditions necessary to convince a company or a simple citizen to resist and invest in an imperfect situation.
When the lights and music go out, after the hubbub of the party day, this will be an opportunity to ask ourselves what this city is not, a moment to imagine what could (not) be while waiting for the next party, it will be a time to reflect on Avellino’s potential, to think about how Let the capital grow in any direction, and it will be a good time to rethink how a city can truly differentiate itself and shine, even without lights.
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