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21/06/2013

Fighting urban blight for a beautiful Milan

The degradation of urban spaces is a common problem in many cities, also Milan. Not only urban blight makes cities uglier and less liveable, but it has a considerable economic cost as well. According to AMSA (the public company managing Milan’s waste collection and disposal), about one million euro is spent every year to repair damages and refurbish Milan’s most neglected places.

Some figures give a clearer idea of the magnitude of this phenomenon; over the last year, AMSA has collected a total of 2,839 tons of waste illegaly disposed throughout Milan’s territory, of which 94% was composed by large objects. Its collection and disposal has cost the municipality € 1,021,945, of which about 100,000 for cleaning illegal dumping in areas not subject to public use. Moreover, the phenomenon is increasing steadily; during the first six months of 2011 in many “risk areas” the total number of AMSA’s interventions has reached and even doubled the number reached during the whole 2010. 

Therefore, it is both a social and an economic problem. Especially in times of tight budgets, helping to reduce these costs is doubly important, as it would free up resources for other interventions needed by the city. And here comes Eliante’s project.

Funded by AEM Fundation, the project's approach can be summed up with a motto: "case by case, place by place". The idea is to take into consideration the peculiarities of the territory where “risk areas” are in order to give appropriate responses according to their specific conditions. Only in this way, in fact, structural and long-term solutions can be provided. 

The project is made of 3 phases: a “urban blight map” will be drafted combining AMSA’s data and citizenry reports; then, local meetings will be organised in order to find specific solutions to urban blight according to neighbohrood peculiarities. Eventually, the agreed measures will be put into practice.

Hopefully, the project will be able to provide people and local communities with quick and effective answers because it will directly empower them. People shoud be actively involved in taking care of territory; results are not passively expected from general programs or plans, but they are actively built in a short time span.