Milan adheres to energy awareness day

19 Feb. BikeMI free for the day.

Milan city hall will support the 12th energy awareness day “M’illumino di meno” on Friday 19 February with a number of initiatives, including totally free use of BikeMI for the whole day.

The energy-saving days, organised by RAI Radio2 show Caterpillar, have succeeded in reaching a high profile by involving public institutions, embassies and major companies in their programme.

On Friday, any resident may use BikeMI push-bikes or assisted pedalling bikes (pedelecs) without charge. A subscription must be signed, but no charge will be debited.

Municipality HQ Palazzo Marino will turn off all lights from 17.30 to 19.00 to show awareness of the need for everyday gestures – like switching off unnecessary lights and other power-consuming devices – to make a personal contribution to energy saving.

The municipality has also encouraged all city employees – and every other resident – to go to work on foot, by bike or by public transport, and to join in the “lights off” at least for the same period, if not for longer where possible.

Several Milan offices have accepted mayor Giuliano Pisapia’s invitation to take part. At both city airports, lights will be shut off for a few minutes several times during the day, after an announcement to tell the travelling public what is going on. City mobility agency AMAT will do the same, and has organised a caravan of employees going to work on bikes, while environment authorities A2a and AMSA have instructed employees to turn off lights and computers during their lunch break.

Meanwhile, Milan has joined London and Lisbon in the “Sharing Cities” project, creating a pilot zone at Porta Vittoria and Vettabia districts to study initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. The €25m EU sponsored project, of which €8.6m are destined for Milan, will include “intelligent” street-lights, 60 shared cars and 150 shared bikes, 76 public recharging points and 10 electric goods vehicles.

Results reached in the three cities will be cascaded to Bordeaux, Burgas and Warsaw to continue and refine the experiment.

Milan has also already fitted all street lighting with LEDs, bringing an energy saving of 52 per cent, announced city hall.