A Coveted Concession: The Water Supply Network in Rome between Public Service, Capitalist Development, Geopolitics and Ideology (1864-1964)

Urban Water in Europe and North America: Origins and Developments
By Denis Bocquet

The aim of this paper is to study the historical inertia of a political decision made in 1865 about the provision of water in Rome. In giving a one hundred year concession to a private operator linked to the sphere of Catholic finance, the Papacy aimed at protecting this asset from the consequences of the integration of the city into the Kingdom of Italy. The article follows the various attempts by opponents of this decision to challenge this de facto private monopoly by promoting an alternative development of a municipal company. It also reflects on possible mediations between the spheres behind this appearance of constant antagonism.

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