An Unexpected Lake for a Roman Community – Part 2

In the heart of Pigneto, Rome, Ex Snia Park is an example of the often debated topic of economic development versus environmental preservation. Not only does ExSnia Park provide a quiet oasis, but also captures the community’s spirit and continual mission to preserve the ecological habitat centered around the artificial lake, Lago Bullicante.

Over thirty years after the attempted shopping mall development project led to the creation of the artificial lake, citizens continue to wholeheartedly defend Lago Bullicante against any development plans that threaten to change the peaceful urban park into a construction site.  

Once I translated the sign in the park, I instantly felt the passionate defense of this lake:

“It is a place freed from profit and building speculation thanks to the participation and fight of so many.”

One of the leading defenders of Lake Bullicante is CSOA ExSnia translated as Self-Managed Occupied Social Center. CSOA ExSnia, formed in 1995, advocates for the preservation of Lake Bullicante and promotes cultural vibrancy through community events such as concerts and theater performances. Recently a local university proposed to extend its campus near the park, however, this sparked differing viewpoints. 

Ex-Snia Park serves as a global inspiration for environmental protection, displaying how grassroots activism can protect nature preserves for urban communities.

Jinamai Joseph is currently interning at Universita Popolare Di Torpignattara for the summer of 2024 through Living and Learning International Southeastern University.

Read her blog here.