Reimagining Milan’s Piazzas
Bloomberg Associates and Milan designed and implemented Piazza Aperte, a series of dynamic public plazas around the city.
When we talk about great public space in Milan, we think of spaces like the Piazza del Duomo. But every neighborhood in Milan needs public space, and working with Mayor Sala and his team, we’ve been working to bring new life to streets in every neighborhood in the city.
Janette Sadik-Khan, Bloomberg Associates
Milan wanted to create community spaces around the city that were safe, pedestrian-friendly and designed to enhance the social life of local residents. The city called on Bloomberg Associates to design a new program to bring public space to residential neighborhoods that lack it, providing local residents with attractive community gathering places, and making local businesses and attractions more accessible to residents and visitors.
In launching the Piazze Aperte program, Bloomberg Associates convened city stakeholders from various departments, selected a list of initial plazas, developed specific site plans, created a temporary design toolkit to implement re-designs, and partnered with Milan’s Planning and Mobility Departments to launch the first new piazzas in 2018. We closed off what were once spaces for cars, using street furniture, paint and design elements to create more space for pedestrians and bicyclists. For the duration of these temporary installations, Bloomberg Associates helped the city evaluate and monitor the impact of each area, soliciting citizen feedback and analyzing behavior at the public plazas. Eventually, this feedback and analysis will inform the process of how we transform these spaces into permanent capital works.
The first two plazas, Piazza Dergano and Piazza Angilberto, were implemented in September 2018. Piazza Porta Genova was inaugurated in April 2019 during Milan’s Design Week with the help of volunteers from Bloomberg L.P. Since then, the program has expanded to ten sites across the city, reclaiming 100,000 square feet of public space with more plazas planned for the future. After the success of the initial plaza launches, Bloomberg Associates partnered with the Mayor launch a public call for recommendations for new piazzas beginning in 2020, with the goal of bringing vibrant public plazas to every corner of the city.
100,000 square feet of public space reclaimed
65 applications to first public call for new piazzas