Workshop #1: Initial Assessment & Vision Building

September 29, 2014
FEEM Milan

Participating stakeholders represented the municipal environmental agency, an energy company, the national institute of urban planning, a transport consulting firm, a regional environmental organization, a financial development agency, and the chamber of architects.

FEEM researchers working on the POCACITO project presented the results of an initial assessment of the environmental performance of the urban area of Milan and discussed the outcomes with the participants. This presentation of “where we stand now” proved to be a valuable entry point for the subsequent discussion on how the city should proceed in order to become a post-carbon city.

The vision building process began with participants collaborating on spontaneous sketches representing their vision of the city in 2050. Many insightful discussions emerged during the drawing and interpretation of the drawings. Ideas developed through this exercise were then used to initiate brainstorming on elements of a Milanese post-carbon future.

The vision for a post-carbon future of Milan that emerged from these discussions focused on 6 broad areas:  people, mobility and transport, environment, land use, energy, and innovation and technology. The field of innovation and development of technology were highlighted as the areas where collaboration and common efforts with the neighboring city of Turin might prove fruitful.

The 2050 post-carbon vision of Milan describes a city where:

  • PEOPLE are sensitive to environmental and energy issues, who have a high awareness of their consumption and behavior and of their responsibilities with respect to the environmental quality and the climate. People have transformed their lifestyles and personal decisions. They find all services nearby with a greater reach and usability, they take part in a participative urban society that is open to the world and recognizes the advantages deriving from exchanges. As a result, all citizens are able to enjoy a more livable city.
  • MOBILITY and TRANSPORT are generally carbon free, organized in a city of sharing with alternative and complementary forms of public and private transport. The city is pedestrian friendly and utilizes shared spaces. All parts of the city are accessible and usable without a car thanks to integrated transport systems.
  • The natural ENVIRONMENT is an important element of the city, with many green spaces integrated into the urban fabric and connected to the outlying territory. Green space contributes to a micro-climate with a reduced urban heat island effect and helps support rich biodiversity.
  • The city has reached a very high level of ENERGY efficiency, and produces all required energy from renewable resources. Low-energy buildings developed towards passive house standards contributing to energy provision. Smart grids promote decentralized energy production.
  • The URBAN FORM is a dense but spacious and highly populated area, with a high rate of permeable surfaces.
  • INNOVATION and TECHNOLOGY are developed and used to create integrated systems and networks that clearly and effectively support all aspects of daily life. Telecommuting and tele-access is available for many types of services thus reducing the need for travel. Collaboration between Milan and Turin on the development and implementation of innovative technologies creates synergies and represents a success factor for both urban economies.

Next steps:
This vision will be used in the next workshop, where we challenge Milan stakeholders how to imagine policies and design strategies that have the potential to put their cities on the track towards reaching this 2050 post-carbon vision.

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