Milan’s plans to be greener, cleaner: WaPo

US daily praises Milan’s moves to “green” the city.

By 2030, Milan hopes to increase the “green canopy” area of the city from around seven to between 17 and 20 per cent, reports the Washington Post.

In a long article by Colleen Barry of Associated Press, published in the 9 December issue of the respected US daily, there is praise for Milan’s ambitious plan to plant 3 million new trees by 2030 — a move that experts say could offer relief from the city’s muggy, sometimes tropical weather.

And “the World Economic Forum’s global agenda council has put extending the tree canopy among its top urban initiatives, recognizing that small-scale changes can have a major impact on urban areas, including helping to lower city temperatures, creating more comfortable microclimates and mitigating air pollution,” Barry points out.

Barry lauds Sefano Boeri’s “striking” Vertical Forest (pictured), completed in 2014, for its aim “to improve not only air quality but the quality of life for Milan residents.”

“The shade provided by the 800 trees, 4,500 shrubs and 15,000 plants mean that residents rarely have to put on air conditioning, even during the peak of Milan’s clammy summers,” says Barry, adding that the forest has – unexpectedly – attracted more than 20 species of birds.

In the city fathers’ plans for the future, “the project to make Milan greener includes an ambitious plan to transform a disused freight railway network into a series of seven parks, with 25,000 new trees every year. It also includes planting greenery on 10 million square meters of flat rooftops and planting trees in 2,300 school courtyards.”