Back to Blog

Milan same as New York thanks to Green Rails project

Making a linear park out of railways and railyards in Milan, where the concepts of public green and wild nature could live side by side. This is the ambitious goal of Green Rails, a project involving Eliante, the Municipality of Milan and WWF Italy and supported by Cariplo Foundation and Italian Railway Network 


The project was inspired by similar experiences already put in practice in other cities like Paris (the Promenade Plantèe), London (Urban Oasis) and New York, where in 1999 has been inaugurated The High Line, a public park developed taking advantage of an abandoned railway built in the '30s. The High Line was conceived by the local community who wanted to preserve from the demolition a piece of history of New York; today, the park is one of the most popular ones among the inhabitants of the Big Apple and beyond.



At the moment, Green Rails is preparing a feasibility study to assess whether San Cristoforo and Porta Romana railyards could be suitable nodes of a potential ecological network having as main branches the buffer zones alongside the train line. Green Rails' consortium is currently performing a series of monitoring in the field aimed at evaluating the quantity and quality of the biodiversity living alongside the tracks. The data will be useful to plan a urban ecological network able to connect the rural areas south-west of Milan with those to the east.



On the long term, alongside the ecological corridor and the operating railway there will be fully accessible recreation areas made out of the railway yards of San Cristoforo and Porta Romana, where structures currently neglected could be restored according to sustainable architectural criteria in order to create a sort of meeting point for citizenry. Green Rails is an ambitious project that, after the feasibility study, will have to deal with many obstacles and problems (above all economic), but that would be a tremendous showcase for the city of Milan hosting the global Expo in 2015.