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Interim Plazas in the Land of Piazzas

By Fabrizio Prati


Two squares in Milan invaded by parked cars get a complete makeover into pedestrian-priority spaces thanks to tactical urban design.

The City of Milan, with the help of NACTO-GDCI and Bloomberg Associates, designed the Piazze Aperte program using interim strategies to transform spaces once dominated by cars into pedestrian plazas. These first two Piazze are located in neighborhoods outside the city center, and for the first time in years the administration is prioritizing the transformation of these areas. This is part of a larger plan by the municipality of Milan to reclaim peripheral neighborhoods of the city for pedestrians.

The first space to be transformed was Piazza Dergano, originally the main public space in the independent village of Dergano, now part of Lombardy’s capital city. The piazza’s inauguration on World Car Free Day in September 2018 was the first transformation of this kind in the city.

The transformation in Dergano was followed a week after by Piazza Angilberto II, in the south of the city, as part of Milano Green Week.

The opening events of the piazzas gathered hundreds of residents curious to see the transformations.

Early survey results in Piazza Dergano show that 86% of people interviewed prefer the pedestrian plaza, 72% use more of the space, and an overwhelming 84% would like the redesigned space to become permanent.

Based on these encouraging results, the City of Milan is considering ways to expand this experiment to other parts of the city, and is continuing to work with the community to make these spaces permanent.


Piazza Dergano Transformation and Survey Results:



Piazza Angiberto II Transformation and Survey Results:

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