Justice for Florence Tree Removal

Seven employees accused of causing unnecessary damage to natural beauty and heritage of green space around the city have been indicted for the removal of over 300 trees at the end of August 2017. The trees were located in Piazza Stazione and Piazza San Marco, which are protected as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

After the removal, residents of the area were furious and, since then, have protested for the planting of more trees and an investigation. As a result, Deputy Attorney Luca Turco and prosecutor Gianni Tei opened researched the conduct of natural preservation, particularly in protected parts of Florence, dating back to 2015.

It was found that before the 300 trees in the piazzas were cut down, they were classified in category C, meaning that they were ill, but not yet hazardous. Instead of creating programming which would have rehabilitated the trees, the Environment Department drastically decided to cut the trees down.

After investigation, it was concluded that the arboreal heritage of Florence has been neglected and seven municipal employees were found directly responsible for the excessive deforestation, including the directors of the environmental and the gardening departments.

Since August 2017, city government promised to plant 20 trees in front of the station. Ten have already been planted, and the remaining ten will be added upon the completion of the tram line. Mayor Nardella has also put into motion a project to plant 23 more trees in Piazza del Carmine along with placing new benches for the public in the piazza, as well, recognizing that the heritage of Florence cannot only be preserved through buildings and art, but also the natural greenery that surrounds it.  (anna rosin)

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.