Known as one of the key fashion capitals of the world, the Italian city of Milan is considered to be Italy’s economic capital, housing the national stock exchange, and a hub for arts and culture.
Preparing for the storms ahead
A city of rivers and canals, Milan is facing increasing flooding as extensive rainstorms inundate the city, and like hundreds of cities around the world, Milan is preparing for the impacts of climate change.
Facing up to the risks of climate change, Milan city council is committed to building urban resilience. It plans to publish a full climate adaptation plan, and has joined two global initiatives: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and 100 Resilient Cities: Milano.
Flood mapping has been completed across the city, and the next urban master plan will consider climate impacts in long term urban planning.
But for Milan, urban climate action is about more than risk management. It’s also about grasping the opportunities of the new sustainable economy. The city’s Smart Cities Initiative aims to develop new business industries, accessing new funding sources through 100 Resilient Cities, boosting energy efficiency, and working to meet the city’s target to cut emissions by 20% on 2005 levels by 2020.
Increasing the use of renewable energy and encouraging the use of more efficient boilers have put Milan on the pathway towards meeting its target, while the biggest impact has been down to the extension of the city’s district heating network. Using heat from gas power plants, waste-to-energy plants and ground-source heat-pumps, the system is dramatically more efficient than households each having their own boilers.
Collaboration is key
To make a sustainable city, you need collaboration between different community stakeholders. With this in mind, Milan has collaborated with the private sector on several projects.
It is working directly with business to upgrade the city’s street and traffic lights to LEDs, and setting up car-sharing programs. There’s much more to be done, but Milan is firmly on the path and to become a sustainable resilient city.