A wood to remember the victims of COVID-19. But also, a place to rediscover hope, positivity and to make sense of the limited, lockdown life the community has endured. The “Bosco della Memoria” project is a living and symbolic place in Bergamo, the Italian city particularly affected by the pandemic, where the preservation of memory now transforms itself in a community space, in which culture, art and entertainment are intertwined.
This is the real meaning of the wood: A multifunctional green area of about 6 thousand square meters built inside the park next to the city hospital, conceived by the “Comuni Virtuosi” association and adopted by the administration as a symbol of the tragedy of the first wave of Coronavirus in Italy. Designed by the architect Paola Cavallini and by the agronomist Roberto Reggiani from Parma, the wood conveys the powerless silence and the deafening sirens, but also the desire to flourish and the sense of belonging to the community we have discovered in this difficult period.
Inaugurated by the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, on the first National Day of Remembrance of the Victims of COVID-19, the wood already hosts 102 trees, with plans in place to plant 850.
In the wood, the memory of each victim is entrusted to a seed. "We want the wood to be filled with beautiful things, to symbolize the building of future alongside the memory, for when it will be possible to start being together again safely" explain the organizers. .
The project also includes 1,300 square meters of pedestrian paths inside the wood and some seats to allow people to take time to reflect. The wood represents a fresh start: It will be kept "alive" by cultural and recreational initiatives and environmental education projects, becoming an open-air classroom available to all schools in the area. The park will be a social meeting point for all citizens, which will host musical events, readings, shows and theatrical performances under the open sky.
The initiative, partly funded by the administration and the association, has also been supported by national sponsors. ABB Italy chose to participate in the project, entrusting everyone's condolences to the hopeful growth of new plants and viewing the project as a symbol of closeness, but also of trust in future progress, and as a sign of courage and collaboration, two of the company’s key values.
“ABB has chosen to support this initiative that arose in one of the areas most severely hit by the pandemic and where our presence is historic and widespread. We have found in the project care for others, collaboration and courage, as well as the possibility of committing ourselves to environmental sustainability, in the fullness of ABB values.” said Massimilano Cifalitti, Hub Europe Manager, Smart Power, ABB Electrification.