Milan city council has begun work to renovate Via Paolo Sarpi in the Chinatown area, one of the busiest commercial streets in the city.

The works, which are due to last a year, include extending the Ztl limited traffic zone to the street in question, which is located in the northern part of Milan close to the monumental cemetery and Sempione Park. This has become necessary after the local police recorded 12,349 parking violations and 2059 traffic violations in the area in 2008.

Improvements will also be made to the road itself including the creation of a single road surface with no distinction between the level of the pedestrian sidewalk and that of the carriageway dedicated to the transit of authorized vehicles.

The paving will be in white and gray gneiss slabs. New street furniture will be installed with the introduction of matching benches, chairs, umbrellas and tables as per the ones already used in the Navigli area. Flowerbeds containing small shrubs will be used to separate the carriageway from the pavement.

Riccardo De Corato, vice mayor and city councillor for safety and traffic, and Bruno Simini, city councillor for public works and infrastructure, have said that the first phase of the works, which began on 1 February, will involve moving the underground pipes and cables in the stretch between Largo Gadda and Via Lomazzo.

The works are expected to cost