Milan, like all Italian cities, has a concentrated urban tissue and dispersed land for green use. As a tourist or a city-dweller, you can recognize two types of green spaces based on the density and shape of their use: concentrated and linear areas. Concentrated green spaces can be defined by parks and gardens, while linear vegetation is represented by the alignment of trees along the road.
The parks of Milan vary in function and size, and can also have different typologies. There are the city’s most known parks such as Sempione, Giardini Publici di Venezia, Lambro and Idroscalo, and also the neighbourhood pocket parks that are mostly used by locals.
Out of the two categories, linear vegetation along the sidewalk seems to have a stronger visual impact on the urban design of an area. Based on this indicator, the neighborhood of Milan can be defined according to the number of “green streets” that it has. These areas are highly concentrated around Citta Studi, while in the center they are missing completely.
In Milan you often hear people say that the city would be more beautiful if it had more trees. But how much of a difference does a tree make? It appears that areas with linear vegetation feel more “cozy” and have a better aesthetic aspect, while ones without look more hostile. Tall vegetation also helps diminish traffic and noise pollution, which in a busy city like Milan is much desired.
As urban planners we often ask: how can we help our neighborhoods be happier places? Is planting trees the answer? What do you think?
Credits: Photographs by Raluca Albulescu and Alexandra Serbana. Data linked to sources.