Milanese champions at caring for public gardens

Hundreds in Milan plant and clean local flowerbeds and green areas.

The number of green areas – from traffic islands to local gardens – being lovingly tended by local residents has shot up from 50 to 504 in the past ten years, city hall has announced.

Companies have always been keen on sponsoring a public garden or greenery in a square, that’s a valid marketing policy, but private citizens in Milan have also discovered the satisfaction of a blooming neighbourhood. They are now looking after a total of 288,990 sqm all around the city – that’s about the area of 40 soccer pitches.

The flowerbeds in tree-lined Via Washington on the western edge of Milan city centre, for example, are all cared for by the people living on the street (pictured).  Leading daily La Repubblica recently interviewed a resident there, who explained how a meeting of a tenants’ association three years ago had voted to take over the gardening.

Another milanese in Viale Abruzzi told the daily how residents voted to share costs of around a €1,000 to buy and plant the flowers in the beds along the street.

Milan city hall has launched a project, “Adopt a public green space”, which is attracting shops, coffee shops, tenants’ associations, schools and individual residents. Sponsors have finished planting poppies along the median in Viale Monza, and are now turning their attention to Piazza della Scala.

And in an initiative sponsored by Italgas, the Russoli Park in Via Carlo Bo has seen an area of 10,000 sqm completely restyled with lawns, flower-beds, kids’ games and open-air sport zones, while Luxottica is about to finance the restyling of Piazza Cadorna, under the windows of their offices there.

Photo: La Repubblica