Piazze Aperte: Milan is giving its squares back to residents

Through a tactical urban planning intervention, the city of Milan is building new spaces for residents to meet and socialize through the project "Piazze Aperte" (Open Squares). 

The construction of a pedestrian area on the west side of the city, scheduled for this autumn, will allow 560 square meters to be returned to pedestrians, while maintaining the presence of some parking spaces and without changes to the current circulation scheme.

This intervention will be accompanied by paintings on the ground, the installation of racks for bicycles and temporary bollards to ensure respect for the pedestrian areas.

This is part of “Open squares”, a program that started  in 2018 with the first intervention "Trentami" in Piazza San Luigi.

With the first 15 interventions carried out across the Italian city, 20,000 square meters of public space were redistributed towards pedestrian use, favoring road safety, social aggregation, quality of life as well as the local commercial activities and neighborhood shops. Squares in the center of Milan districts have been too often absorbed by the need for parking and car traffic, taking away vitality and activity. Some of these interventions were focused on the recovery of spaces in front of the schools, thus favouring sustainable accessibility and road safety in delicate points and moments. 

Municipalities and citizens are participating to the design of these spaces through collaboration, which requires the close cooperation between the city’s departments of Urban Planning and Green, Mobility and Participation.

After Piazza San Luigi, other tactical urban planning projects are planned to take place in: Porta Genova, Minniti, Spoleto-Venini, Corvetto, Ferrara, Capuana and Tirana.

The goal for these light interventions is to lead to structural changes across neighborhoods and public spaces. In the autumn 2021, a total of 38 tactical interventions will be carried out throughout the city. 

Learn more about POLIS member Milan as well as our work at POLIS to enable a more balanced distribution of public spaces across urban environments to promote citizens health and well-being thanks to our Working Group on Active Travel and Health. 

This article originally appeared on Comune di Milano on 13 August 2021, translated and adapted from Italian. Read more here