Sustainable transport in Milan

Edwina Robinson, 11 October 2016

old fashioned tram

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.

pedestrians in front of a tram Milan

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.

tram lines with grass between

Light rail tracks and grass.

electric car charging station

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.

women on bicycle waiting to cross road

Commuting around the city in style.

bike hire and pedestrians Milan

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 bike assistance

Roadside assistance is offered by bikeMi.

green urban space Milan

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.

urban plaza 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.

More information

Milan is a member of 100 Resilient Cities

Milan's plan for sustainable, efficient and innovative mobility

Bike Sharing Milan


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.

living sustainably

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