Sustainable transport in Milan
Edwina Robinson, 11 October 2016
Many of us associate Milan as Italy's fashion centre. Less well known is it's commitment to sustainable transport.
For its 1.2 million people (in 2011) Milan is serviced with an integrated transport system and many city streets are pedestrianised.
The transport system includes an underground train network (the Metro), light rail, buses, electric care share schemes and charging stations and a bike hire network.
The centre of Milan is well serviced with a light rail system.
In some parts of the city, the light rail network is flanked by shade trees and the tracks interplanted with grass.
In some places the light rail tracks are interplanted with grass soften the appearance of infrastructure and help cool the urban environment.
Light rail tracks and grass.
The city of Milan has installed car charging sites throughout the city. This Renault Twizy is a two person fully electric vehicle and according to its manufacturer, three Twizy’s can fit sideways in one parking bay (note: the Twizy is less than 2.4m long - the standard width of a car bay in Australia is between 2.5 and 3.0 metres wide).
Milanese in work attire pedal through narrow streets and piazzas to attend business meetings and lunch appointments. Bike helmets are rare.
Commuting around the city in style.
The city has installed a series of bike hire stations, called bikeMi or Bike Sharing Milano. An annual subscription costs 36 Euros (the equivalent of $52).
Roadside assistance is offered by bikeMi.
Redevelopments near the city centre focuson providing quality urban open space with a preference given to use by pedestrians not cars. This space is adjacent to the Bosque Verticale building (Vertical Forest) in the Porta Nuova district, Milan.
The Piazza Gae Aulenti constructed in 2012 is serviced by a Metro train station (Garibaldi). A shallow central water feature is used for cooling down on warm days and the piazza is a pedestrian and bike friendly space.
By reducing reliance on cars for personal transport, sustainable transport systems reduce greenhouse gas emissions and exposure to air pollutants and help create better urban spaces.
Milan is a member of 100 Resilient Cities
Edwina Robinson travelled to Milan in September 2016 on her way to Spain. In northern Spain she cycled 450kms in 10 days on the Camino de Santiago trail.