Grande Milano: a development to rethink – Chronicle

Grande Milano: a development to rethink – Chronicle
Grande Milano: a development to rethink – Chronicle

Marco Percoco * A few days ago I was reading an old book by Professor Reno Ferrara, “Public transport and economic development”, a collection of short essays published in 1961. In one of these, a conference in November 1959 on the development of Milan and in which Gio Ponti introduced the works by pronouncing the following words: “A great Milan exists, and not, we said to ourselves, by hypothesis or idea: it already exists naturally, it exists, before its own urban planning, legislative, distributive equipment, and not…

Marco

Percoco*

A few days ago I was reading an old book by Professor Reno Ferrara, “Public transport and economic development”, a collection of short essays published in 1961. In one of these he gave an account of a conference in November 1959 on the development of Milan and in which Gio Ponti introduced the works by saying the following words: “A great Milan is there, and not, we said to ourselves, by hypothesis or idea: it already exists naturally, it exists, before its own urban planning, legislative, distributive equipment, and more. before, but perhaps against, it is there before public opinion itself has made this dimension “. I believe that the surprise in discovering how the topics of discussion have remained almost unchanged over the last sixty years unites all sectors. We might think that the relevance of those words depends on the well-known visionary abilities of those who uttered them, but we cannot even exclude a priori that the knots of Milan’s development have remained the same and, probably, unresolved. In 1959, the city was in the midst of tumultuous industrial development and great demographic pressures for migratory flows from the countryside and the South. Contradictions, disparities, and even conflicts were already present, although perhaps not as dramatically as from the 1970s onwards. Nevertheless, the planners had already identified the critical point of the misalignment between the borders of the de facto city and those of the de jure city. Today, the terms of the question still remain that of metropolitan and not just urban development, perhaps limited to the Cerchia dei Bastioni. After the pandemic, Milan must re-project itself on international markets, but until it is able to think and put into practice a harmonious development with its hinterland, as it was called in the 1960s, it will not have the mass to be truly a significant economic center world. The Delrio Law was a flash in the pan for the interest of public decision makers. Today, Milan must rethink its space not only with the voters of the next municipal councils, also with those who are Milanese only during the day, through policies and practices of extended development, beyond the visits to the markets of the suburbs of the candidates, to whom soon we will assist. The connections between territories, which take place on the legs of workers, consumers, students, must be the heart of government action, together with interventions aimed at promoting, not compressing, real estate investments on a large scale, the metropolitan one.

* Bocconi University

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