Opposition to Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games prevents “improvement and growth” of the city, Bid Committee President Luca di Montezemolo has claimed.
His comments came following a meeting with various enterprises and universities in the Italian capital, where discussions took place on how to use the bid to make Rome a "smart city".
This would see the capital use technology to enhance quality, performance and interactivity of urban services, it is hoped.
Representatives from Rome 2024 attended the meeting, which was held at the Olympic Stadium and organised with the support of the Lazio Region and Unindustria.
It is hoped turning Rome into a smart city would improve contact between the Government and residents and would reduce costs, which always proves to be an important factor for any city bidding to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The former Ferrari chairman’s comments also come following calls for a referendum to be held on Rome’s attempt to bring the Summer Games to Italy for the first time since the capital staged the event in 1960.
He dismissed such claims, saying there was “no need” for a public vote on their candidacy, and has once again urged all of the city’s inhabitants to get behind their bid.
“Only with a great team effort we can bring out the potential of this city,” di Montezemolo said.
“The Olympic and Paralympic Games must be an opportunity for the entire population.
“Today more than ever we need this challenge to look forward, to get Rome and Italy involved, but also to generate economic development.
"Opposing the bid means surrendering and inhibiting improvement and growth.
“This is an opportunity not only to renovate or build new sports facilities, but also to invest in ideas.
“We need young people to launch important initiatives and we must support them and direct their efforts towards this huge challenge.”
Rome organisers recently released the results of a survey which claimed that the bid is supported by 77 per cent of the Italian population, and by 66 per cent of Romans.
Officials have continually insisted they will not have a referendum and the survey results, carried out by polling firm IPSOS based on 2,200 interviews, helps back this view, they claim.
The Italian capital’s bid also has the backing of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who said last week that Rome was the strongest candidate in a race which also includes fellow European contenders Budapest and Paris as well as Los Angeles.
His support comes after former Prime Minister Mario Monti withdrew Rome's bid for the 2020 edition of the Olympics after assuming office in 2012, claiming it wasn't affordable at the height of the European financial crisis.