Seveso: a symbolic place for environmental protection

38S Seveso luogosimbolico per la tutela dell'ambiente (1) 0026 Seveso
Veduta dall’elicottero della natura dormiente del Bosco delle Querce (Fototeca ISAL-BAMSF Photo Rodella)

The experience of Seveso started up an irreversible process which obliges by law to control pollution for the safety of citizens. In fact, two European directives on matters of industrial risks are called the “Seveso Directives.” Seveso has thus become a world symbol for the protection of the environment.

From 1976 onwards, the choice to live in Seveso has implied a greater awareness of environmental values. A choice which made the population more aware of the importance of the recovery of downgraded areas and upholding of those of greater prestige. Some areas that testify to this fact were the environmental and social areas like: the Ronchetto Canal, a green area that was abandoned and then recovered by the environmentalists of Seveso, the Groane Park created precisely in 1976, the Wood of Biulè and the Historic Villas of Seveso.
In 2000 the municipalities of Seveso, Meda, Cesano Maderno and Desio initiated the Local Agenda 21 process, constituting the forum and the inter-municipal agency for sustainable development. In 2001 Legambiente together with Fondazione Lombarda per l’Ambiente and the Municipality of Seveso started up the historic-scientific research project “il Ponte della Memoria” (Memory Bridge) with the aim of reconstructing the story of the 10 July 1976 incident through the collection of documentation produced by the spontaneous committees of that time.
In 2003 also the Fondazione Corriere della Sera collaborated in the project by producing a DVD with all the articles published by Corriere della Sera and other RCS newspapers from July 1976 to July 2003. The community did not disintegrate. The Memory Bridge of memories was born precisely to pass on this story, connecting the present and the past: the reclamation was not done only by the excavators, but above all, by the community which reacted to the damage and continues to inhabit their land, finally healed. Also because of this, Seveso today is a symbolic place of environmental protection.