Despite numerous postponements due to Covid, the Milano Monza Open-Air Motor Show, with dozens of cars on display along 3 km of pedestrian streets, from San Babila through Piazza Duomo, even around the cathedral, to get to the Castello Sforzesco.
The more than 100 cars and motorcycles on display, we read on the event website, will present “QR codes placed on each platform that will allow interested parties to view the page reserved for each model, with technical data sheets, images, videos and links to contact the manufacturers. “
Civil society associations and activists of national and Lombard networks and realities draw the attention of citizens and the administration to the contradiction of hosting and sponsoring an event like this: on the one hand, the purchase of products from “over 50 manufacturer brands” is directly encouraged, transforming the public space into a private car showroom; on the other, Milan tries to promote its national and international image of sustainable city attentive to the safety and well-being needs of citizens of all ages and abilities.
To make cities sustainable, safe, livable for all people, necessary decrease the rate of private motorization, do not encourage it with initiatives that contradict the guidelines of the PUMS (Urban Plan for Sustainable Mobility) approved by the Municipality of Milan in 2020. Milan is also highlighted in the C40 Cities global network and already in 2000 it had signed the Charter of Aalborg (Charter of European cities for lasting and sustainable development).
European cities (Berlin, Bern, Vienna, Frankfurt, just to give a few examples) have private motorization rates much lower than that of Italian cities which, as can also be seen from the recent research by Legambiente Clean Cities (2021), suffer from a considerable delay. Italy is one of the countries with the highest motorization rate in Europe, with 656 cars per 1000 inhabitants (Milan: 495).
If we want a more democratic and inclusive public space we have to change the model of mobility. Fewer and fewer private cars, more space for people, starting with minors, the elderly and people with disabilities; more and more journeys with truly zero-emission vehicles, increasingly shared, collective, silent and safe. Waiting for Italy to take a position on the proposal of ban the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles by 2030 in Europe, currently underwritten by nine EU countries, the damage caused by excessive motorization continues to be considerable and under the eyes of all: accidents, congestion, pollution, alteration of the climate, lack of space for commercial activities and for well-being, heat bubbles, overbuilding, land consumption.
Cars are also improper weapons: when they do not get stuck in a traffic jam they become faster and more lethal: in 2019 34 people died in Milan, with over 10,000 injured, for a total of over 8,000 accidents. Thinking about the health of the younger generations, never before do children move so little as in this historical period: 73% of Italian children are accompanied to school by car, even for short distances, with negative repercussions on psycho-physical health, on self-esteem. and their future independence.
There are high health and social costs linked to pollution of the city (loss of years of life and days of work). The air of the Po Valley is heavily contaminated by dangerous pollutants produced from different sources. In cities these are mainly caused by vehicular traffic, considering the primary and secondary emissions and the raising of dust. Wear and abrasion of asphalt, tires, brakes and clutches are increasing pollutants and electric cars alone will therefore not solve the problem of pollution and traffic in the city, nor the negative effects on the climate.
So why encourage people to buy even more cars, if we are already at the end of the line? Instead, more coherence is needed: Milan cannot support its green and sustainable image if at the same time it sponsors an event such as the Milan Monza Open-Air Motor Show. Rather, promote at the regional level e national model of the City 30 Km / h: an efficient, healthy, productive and safe city for all ages and abilities, with more and more collective transport, leaving the logic of a parking city and racetrack or, as in this case, a city car showroom.
The associations ask the governor of the Lombardy Region and the mayors of Milan and Monza to rethink the support given to a demonstration anachronistic like this, which contributes to promoting the need for mass motorization, now out of history: even in Italy the Bologna Motor Show has long since ceased its programming, while following the protests the Frankfurt Motor Show will no longer be held in the city that has long hosted it.
On the afternoon of Saturday 12 June, the associations invite all citizens to visit the Motorshow in a conscious and critical way, looking for the QRCodes that explain i real effects of an engine indiscriminate, to show that another world (and way of getting around) is possible.
Subscribing associations and committees
Legambiente Lombardia Onlus
Legambici – Legambiente for active mobility and cycling APS Milano
Legambiente A. Langer Monza club
Parents Antismog APS
Families without cars
MobiGe – Genoa
Citizens for the Air
Bike to School
FIAB Milano Ciclobby
Extinction Rebellion Milano
Urban cyclists Rimini
Eco-institute of Reggio Emilia and Genoa
Critical Mass Genoa
Massa Marmocchi Milan
Vas Verdi environment and society
School Roads Campaign
Monza Park Committee
Committee “Villa Reale is mine too”
Associazione Salvaiciclisti Rome APS
AMoDo – Sweet Mobility Alliance
Ciclostile – popular bicycle workshop of the Bruno Social Center of Trento
Fridays for Future Milano
Luigi Guccione Onlus Foundation
Marco Pietrobono Onlus
AIFVS Association of Victims of the Road
Michele Scarponi Onlus Foundation